I understand why you may believe that, and if you are comparing natural hair to relaxed hair, it’s the obvious way to describe it right?
OK, fine. But let me share something with you. This is the twenty-first century, not 1955.
Advanced products and access to fabulous tutorials on sites like YouTube have revolutionized styling, perceptions, maintenance and the manageability of natural hair.
Yes, it is now possible to do lower-maintenance, wash-and-go styles that don’t necessarily involve wearing an afro, and the hot-comb-on-the-stove with heavy grease method is not the only alternative to an afro.
You can wear twists, braids, twist outs, braid outs, puffs, pin-ups and the list goes on.
Plus, if you haven’t managed/styled your natural hair in 20 years (or ever) how do you really know your hair is unmanageable?
In 2007, my relaxer damage started. I kept trying to repair my hair with products, only to follow up with another relaxer that reversed any fixes I made weeks before. This lasted for 3 years. Then I started to question why I never considered going natural since my hair was clearly not liking these chemicals anymore.
I began throwing around the “unamanageable” word in reference to my natural hair, but I started to realize I had no real experience with my hair outside of relaxing.
I got my first relaxer at age 8, so why was I assuming such a thing when I had no reference point? Because my texture wasn’t shiny and curly? And if my hair was so unmanageable, why couldn’t I just learn to manage it?
In any event, I was tired of damage and my temporary bandaid-approach to solving my hair issues. So I decided to start transitioning to natural hair.
Two months into my transition, I saw no evidence that my hair could be managed. My fears were confirmed. My tresses were brillo-pad dry, brittle, breaking even more than when I was relaxing and I wondered if I had the “right kind of hair” to go natural.
But for some reason, I never gave up (I think I was just fed up with chemical damage.) I kept deep conditioning my hair weekly and I stayed away from direct heat.
I Can See The Light!
By the end of my 3rd month something started to happen. My new growth began softening up. I even noticed a few coils and spirals coming out of my scalp. Spring curls? In my dry, fuzzy hair? Who would have thought????
I also noticed that my hair didn’t tangle as easily as it did when I first started transitioning. Managing my hair was starting to get a little easier.
I’m now 7 months into my natural hair transition. I have almost 4 inches of new growth yet my hair is actually getting easier to manage? How could this be? If natural hair is so unmanageable then how come it’s getting easier with more length?
Knowledge and patience. Once you learn what your hair likes and needs, you will find that it becomes easier to take care of it. Now, that doesn’t mean it won’t take you longer to style or wash your hair, but you can still learn to manage it.
I Challenge Your Beliefs
Instead of saying your hair is unmanageable, how about saying you haven’t really learned how to take care of it.
I have friends who are natural, their hair is twice my thickness, triple the length, and I doubt any of them would describe their hair as unmanageable.
Time consuming to style? Maybe. Unmanageable? I think that word is relative to your commitment and experience.
It does take me longer to style my hair, but the rewards outweigh the work involved. My hair is healthier than it’s been in a long time.
Want manageable hair? Deep conditioning weekly (I use Organics Olive Oil Root Stimulator) and using good leave-in conditioners will help with detangling and minimizing frizz. You will be surprised at how your behaves when you learn to properly take care of it.
Seven months into my transition, I never thought I’d be able to go this long without a relaxer and be able to maintain my hair.
If your belief about the manageability of natural hair is based on lack of experience with your own hair, just remember you can learn how to manage it just like you learned how to manage and style your relaxed hair.
And if you don’t want to learn, there are probably many stylists in your city who specialize in caring for natural hair. 😉
Having said all the above, I realize natural hair is not for everybody. You have to be mentally prepared to make this transition and not everyone wants to learn how to manage or style their hair.
Just please don’t make assumptions based out of fear and lack of experience with your own hair. Natural is manageable if you take the time to learn how.