When I returned to natural many (read four) years ago, I read this phrase on every other blog and heard countless YouTubers rehash it.
It sounded strange,
dare-I- say cultic even…. How do I listen to my hair…?
In my minds eye, I had this vision of my curls stretching and bending to whisper into my ears….”~We need moisture, more love and a lil TLC!~!!” or whatever.
But my tresses were only an inch long….. They were never going to whisper sweet nothings into my ears…. well, not for a long time to come…so I thought.
As time went by, I figured that there were never going to be any whispers. However, there were going to be little and BIG cues everyday that would help me figure out exactly what was going on and what was needed.
If the tresses were craving moisture, the hair would feel rough and brittle. Warm to the touch hair was also a sign of not properly hydrated hair.
Little pieces of broken hair in my sink meant that I was due for a protein treatment. Tangles and single strand knots(SSKs) meant it was time for the dreaded trim.
If I had been eating my greens and keeping hydrated and attempting to exercise, it would show on my hair, and the reverse was true.
Cool to the touch, shiny and bouncy hair meant that we were in a very good place.
During my journey there have been constant whispers but there have been times the hair has literally yelled…because I was not listening….
- Coconut Oil
I have a love hate relationship with Coconut oil. The whole world and its mother plus its cousins loves coconut oil…how can we not like coconut oil…it is so rich and creamy and smells so good. It also has immense benefits, but my hair would have none of that.
Like a love-struck girl I kept insisting on using coconut oil and suffered the effects of dry, straw like hair until one day I painfully let go…well not quite, I still use it as a pre-shampoo oil but I might be letting go fully soon due to recent discoveries.
Oh how I wanted for my hair to hate protein…after all 1/3 of the naturalista population was protein sensitive (insert eyeroll). It took me a whooping 3 and a half years to listen to my hairs begging and pleading that not only was it not protein sensitive, but it loved protein. Hydrolyzed protein in particular and Henna is bae not a bad boy.
I have a serious case of Hands in Hair syndrome…. like a clingy lover, I can’t keep my hands off my hair…. This constant manipulation is not good because it leads to damaging my fine but dense strands. Which leads to breakage, breakage equals to stunted growth, stunted growth makes me paranoid that my hair is not growing which leads to even more manipulation…..aaarrgh vicious cycle. my hair keeps saying stop the manipulation, I am finally learning to let it go….
As I pen this, my hair is currently saying to me it is NOT feeling my current hairdo…..my scalp is dry, irritated and itchy. I know that if someone said this to me about their hair, I would say without missing a beat…. take it down…it is not worth the damage/stress/ pressure etc. But then I think just how much it cost to get it done as well as the time and effort and mentally make plans to get some Peppermint Essential Oil to try soothe my scalp.
And as I ignore the messages from my hair, I think how this mirrors life choices. How often does my gut tell me something ain’t right, or that the time is now, or countless other messages and I ignore it….Only to bear the brunt of my choices in the not so distant future?
The moral of this rambling….
Listen to your Hair…. and YOUR GUT. There is a voice that has no words. Listen