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Tame the Mane

The Natural Journey Ain’t for Everybody

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What’s your concept of beauty?

In this all natural, whole grain, non-GMO, gluten-free society, the natural hair journey has continued to evolve. But are we losing sight of what it means to be beautiful? Do we have to compromise health for beauty? I know I did! I thought if I could just grow my hair long enough I would be considered beautiful, desirable even. But is that necessarily the goal? Why is it so critical to have long hair?

My journey began in 2010, after graduating with two degrees back-to-back and working several part-time jobs to survive as a struggling college student, I was tired of constantly frying my mane. I would literally perm my hair, curl it, wrap it, and wear it down every day just sweat it out every other day. After a while I saw this lifeless limp hair as boring and dull, so I started playing with hair dyes. 

Still lifeless, at least it wasn’t dull and it represented my personality a little better. But I couldn’t shake the fact that I went through so much just to end up with lifeless limp hair at the end of the day. I decided to go natural in 2010 and stop with all the chemicals. I just wanted to see what my hair would do without all of the processing. Could finally grow past my shoulders? Would it reveal something about my ethnicity and background? I sat down with my spouse at the time and explained to him why I felt the need to make such a drastic change. Not to necessarily ask for his permission, but to allow him to be a part of the process. I was, after all, altering the appearance of the woman he knew and loved. And him being who he was of course had my back 100 percent.

One of the things I quickly learned was that I was going to have to part ways with the slick edges I was so used to. I fought it at first with edge control, gels, and waxes but eventually gave in because of the balding and facial breakouts. Once I started to see the numerous textures that formed in my hair during this process, I researched proper hair-care for my coarse tresses.

After reading numerous articles and texts on the subject, it became clear that my hair was actually very fragile. At this point I took it upon myself to dedicate myself to the process of taking care of my natural hair daily. I tried various products and even got a routine down for the times I wanted to wear my hair straight in order to optimize health without compromising beauty and versatility.

So what did I discover? Here are my major tips for transitioning:

  • Water is great for the health of your hair, even if it’s not ideal for management and styling
  • You DO NOT have to oil your scalp
  • The more coarse your hair is, the more fragile it is
  • Braids aren’t always ‘protective’
  • Not all ‘natural’ products are a great fit
  • Oil alone does not equal moisture
  • The state of your combs matter - no jagged 'teeth'
  • Edge control is not protective
  • Only de-tangle when wet
  • Different styles require different tools and moisturizers
  • Your diet does matter

Your natural journey is just as much about healthy hair as it is about accepting yourself as beautiful... no edge control, clips, un-stretched, no heat, rods, sew ins, hair glue, wig caps, or head wraps... You heard me! Are you YOUR idea of beautiful? Life’s too short to live by someone else’s opinion. #growself #youdeserveit

The makeup and styling is cute as add-ons but actually KILLS our self-image. We start to despise what we were born with, finding it completely necessary to cover 'us' up. Don't believe me, go a week with your natural hair and no makeup. Becoming natural is more than hair. Remove it all and begin to ❤️ what you see. Then you can rest assured that the add-ons are just that... add-ons. If I am wearing them, I'm ok, if I sleep late and run out of time to add them, I'm ok. Let's be careful not to forget what our beautiful selves look like.

Personal Looks & Product Preferences

Ladi S
Ladi S

Originally from Chicago but I have a soft spot for small towns. Workforce Development by profession, Urban Planner/Community Developer by education, Writer at ❤️! Led by Christ. Divorced, Mother of a Superstar 🌟

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