In the not-too-distant past, I was sick and tired of my hair. Juggling a toddler, a husband, a job, and even a little bit of time dedicated to personal projects is enough on its own. Washing, moisturizing and styling my shoulder length, high shrinkage, type 4 hair was just too much. My hair had become tangled, dry and frizzy due to postpartum changes but also just new-mom neglect.
Back in the day, if I wanted a break from my hair I got it braided – but I don’t wear braids anymore. I don’t do weaves or wigs anymore either, so getting a break that way wasn’t an option. Something had to give.
Ultimately, there have been a few key things that have changed the game for me. I do still sometimes get too busy to deal, but the tips I am about to share have had me looking forward to caring for my hair, and amazingly, even wash day.
If you are sick and tired of your natural hair but don’t want a relaxer or added hair, read on for ideas.
Look for Natural Hair Inspiration
Be careful not to shoot yourself in the foot with this one though – it’s important to make sure we are feeling inspired and not envious when admiring other naturals in real life or online.
If what you’re seeing is making you feel even worse about your hair, try the next idea.
Is it possible that the reason you’re over your hair is that you’re frustrated that it’s not like someone else’s?
If so, close that Youtube guru tab, and unfollow the Instagram feed too.
It’s time to focus on your own hair, and stop worrying about what anyone else’s hair is doing.
Pay attention to what your hair does and doesn’t like. For me, observing my own hair and how it reacts to different things has gone a long way to avoid the Youtube guru trap. Just because it works for them, doesn’t mean it will or should work for me and that’s ok.
It’s so important to be able to enjoy videos and websites and images while loving on your own kinks and coils at the same time.
Try Something New
If there is a new product or technique you’ve been wanting to try, a daring cut, an accessory or color, go for it! There is no time like the present to inject some new life into your hair.
For me, Haitian Black Castor Oil and oil cleansing have made doing my hair fun again. I actually look forward to wash day, and the improved condition of my hair makes it that much more enjoyable to wash, detangle and style.
A change of pace may be all you need to fall in love with your hair all over again.
Choose Simple Styles and Rotate
It’s important to change up your style regularly in order to prevent hair loss caused by having tension on the same part of your scalp for extended periods. A handful of easy, flattering low manipulation styles can get you through a time that you just don’t feel like dealing with your hair or coming up with creative ideas.
Look back through your selfies, on Pinterest or Instagram, and pick out two to four quick, easy styles that you like and feel good wearing.
Wear a style for one to two weeks, then change to the next one, rinse and repeat. Don’t bother thinking about new styles or ideas.
Sometimes taking a break can do a lot to spark creativity and you’ll be dying to play with your hair before you know it.
Visit a Stylist
I know many of us naturals hate going to the salon. Whether it’s too time-consuming or we’ve had a bad experience with a scissor happy stylist, we often swear off salons for good.
Despite the drawbacks, going to a salon once in awhile can be a welcome respite from doing everything yourself, and who knows, you might actually enjoy it enough to do it more frequently.
Be sure to choose a reputable salon and a stylist that is truly comfortable working with your hair type. Ask what techniques, tools, and products they use before making your appointment. Stalk them on social media. Go with a personal recommendation if you can.
Be prepared for a lengthy visit with a fully charged phone, book, water, snacks, yarn, magazines – whatever you need to feel relaxed. Although salon visits can take awhile, they can also be a much-needed break and time to decompress if you allow it.
Have a Girls’ Day
Every once in awhile, I have my mom braid my hair after washing it. If she wants, I do her hair too.
It’s a nice break from doing my own hair all the time, but without the time and expense of going to a salon. It’s also a great excuse to spend a few hours together, talking and catching up.
If you really want to make it fun, get a movie, drinks, snacks and make a day of it with your mom, sister, daughter, or friend.
Headwrap It Up
Headwraps are an excellent way to tuck your hair away for a while without causing any breakage or stress to your scalp. Go with a satin-lined headwrap or use a satin scarf or cap underneath to protect your hair.
Get yourself a few styles and colors so that you will have a variety to choose from and won’t feel pressured to come up with a hairstyle instead.
Satin-lined hats are also a great option for blah hair days.
When you high-key don’t want to be natural anymore but don’t want a relaxer either, these tips can help you get over the hump and on your way to loving your natural hair again.