Monday, March 11, 2013

Growing Long Natural Hair with the Goldilocks Hair Tactic

Too Little or Too Much Hair Attention

I call it the Goldilocks Hair Tactic and it's something we should all adopt. We struggle to find the middle ground when it comes to giving our hair the adequate amount of attention. For decades black women have scorched, stretched, crimped, relaxed, plaited and twisted their hair in an effort to look "strikingly beautiful" and, at the same time, induce growth. It's no wonder why in black communities our real hair is widely perceived as brittle. "It just doesn't grow, so I relax it to make it look longer," a lot of women will tell you as they sit in a salon getting their monthly perm. What they need to realize is that it's no wonder. They're all hacking away a tree trunk with an axe,  not expecting the tree to fall. There are only so many ways I can word this ladies, we are straining our hair way too much and it is high time we stop.

Protective Styling and Time
Crochet braids are great protective style- a personal
You might be wondering why I brought up the Goldilocks Hair Tactic. I have been natural for almost 3 years and I have used crochet braids as a protective style for about two years. My crochet braids kind of define me, because I so rarely have my natural hair exposed to the elements. When I decided to go natural, I quickly learnt the importance of protective styling. As cute as that afro is, in the long run, it leaves you susceptible to tangling and hair breakage. Low maintenance and speed made crochet braids appealing and, well, I never looked back.

This weekend, I removed two-month old crochet braids and was taken aback by the length I had gained underneath them. I've often heard natural hair gurus say that if you want your hair to grow you need to "leave it alone and give it time". Last night as I touched my 100% natural hair, I fully understood the value of that kind of treatment. Three years after my transformation, my natural hair has reached the maximum length that I obtained when I was relaxing- all without sodium hydroxide, flat-irons chemical burns. The added accomplishment there is that the hair is still growing. There are plenty of concoctions for hair growth on the market, but the best word of advice you will ever receive is to leave that hair alone!

For those of you wondering what my natural hair looked like yesterday. It's
possible to grow long natural hair - I am doing so inexpensively.
Regular Washing and Moisturizing
That being said, there are some ladies all too willing to follow my advice- some who have taken it to an extreme. The problem is, complete abandonment will not get you far in your natural hair transformation either. In fact, both natural belles and permed divas are blameworthy here. All too often they get some weave and completely neglect their real hair for months. As the saying goes: "Out of sight of mind". If you have done this, it has to stop today. When I say leave you hair alone it is only to dissuade from the tugging, pulling and burning. That in no way condones the failure to wash your hair WEEKLY (yes weekly!) and keep it moisturized with water or a good leave-in-conditioner and a serum. Neglect will leave you with a mass of hair that needs to be concealed- it almost becomes a secret shame. On the other hand, with a little bit of care, you'll have the option of tucking a mass of lovely natural locks under your protective style or flaunting them out in the open. I don't know about you, but that seems like a no-brainer to me.