Doesn’t it just make your day when you’re wearing THAT natural and another fellow natural shares a complement or has a conversation with you without ever opening their mouth-just eye contact-and yall be like-YEAH-without ever even having to say it.
-The Brown Truth
—I Am Not Even Going To Try To Understand It Anymore—
I sometimes find myself quietly annoyed at naturals/nonnaturals who constantly stop me or directly ask me how I have gotten my hair to be so healthy, thick, and so lusciously long.
I tell them: “I haven’t put heat on my hair for over two years”…”I haven’t put chemicals in my hair for over two years”…”I haven’t put color into my hair CHEMICALLY-BASED or NATURALLY-BASED for over two years”…”I do not do any style where I have to touch, slick, pull, or handle my edges constantly”…”I use a spray bottle to spritz a concoction made with conditioner, oils, and water every morning and night over my hair”…”I cover my hair nightly or whenever I lay down with satin or silk”…”I wear my hair in protective styles as much as I wear it out”…”I deep condition often”…”I trim only when my hair tells me ‘she’ needs a trim”…
Shall I go on?
Then, unsurprisingly after a few days, weeks or months…they come back and say, “Well what are you doing to that beautiful hair…or an update: “Oh, I haven’t started that regimen yet” or “I really need to try it” or “You know what, it’s not going to matter because you’ve always had long hair and it’s all genetic”…
“MAN, POOF BE GONE!”
-The Brown Truth
“I believe protective styling can not only be beneficial for growth…but also alluring.”
-The Brown Truth
What is the purpose of protective styling?
Protective styling is crucial for not only a natural, but also any women who has to wear her hair out into the environment. Having a style, any style rather, that shields your ends from being frequently exposed and touched will in time not only contribute to the continued health of your hair…but it will also contribute to the continuous growth of your hair as well.
If you are constantly touching, pulling, or styling your hair, this inadvertently causes friction and splitting to occur on your ends, which will eventually lead to breakage (which is the number one culprit to length retention).
How often should you wear a protective style?
Personally, I wear my natural hair in protective styling more than I wear it out. It’s a personal preference, and I often enjoy the exoticness of the types of styes I can do with my multi-textured hair.
I love the way I can do the coolest style ever-where my ends are protected and I am not constantly having to touch it-and it lasts for weeks…and still looks like I just did it, even while taking it down.
The only reason I usually never go past two to three weeks for any of my “homemade” protective styles is because I am keen on deep conditioning my hair-within that time cycle-faithfully. Never have I not deep conditioned my hair at least every two to three weeks; many times I am doing a hot oil treatment within that same time span.
Are all protective styles boring?
First, if the question as to whether or not protective styles are boring is on your mind…then…I am definitely the wrong person to be asking. I am pro’ protective hair everything. I absolutely love anything that contributes to the health and growth of my hair.
SO, with that being said…none of MY protective styles that I’ve ever done-since being natural-have EVER been boring…this is not up for debate. The proof is in the pudding…here is a snapshot of the different protective styles I’ve sported since going natural:
*Just a few examples….
Do they really help to retain length?
As a blogger, I must say that everyone seems to be an expect when it comes to the subject of growing long healthy natural hair by focusing on “length retention”. Well…I can only offer my experience and firsthand knowledge.
I will like to start by saying that my hair does not follow the estimated expectation of 1/2 inch of monthly growth. I have never taken any super vitamin or hairfinity, or any of those advertised products that advances growth.
What I have done is create a consistently effective regimen. In a previous post from a few months ago I spoke about simplicity and consistency. The main components of my regimen are: WATER, OILS, AND BUTTERS. It’s just that simple. With any style I do (because of the texture of my hair), I make sure that water is a consistent component from beginning to end, whether it’s used purely or as the primary ingredient in the products that I am using.
With that being said, I BELIEVE because of the simplicity of the natural components I consistently put into my hair, this is the reason my growth and retention rate is often much higher than the general estimation. I really don’t care if people claim it’s my genetics-and I am going to take the liberty of making this point: MY GROWTH AND RETENTION RATE WAS NOT AS SUCCESSFUL WHEN I WAS RELAXED, though I had long hair…it took most of my life to grow it-if anyone take the time to pay attention to the type of ingredients they are putting into their hair and being consistent with an effective regimen, they will find the optimum way of promoting growth and receiving retention; especially if protective styling is a part of that (depending on the texture, some naturals may need more or less of protective styling within their regimen).
Will You Run Out Of Protective Styling Ideas?
This is one of the most important questions to consider if you are on the fence about making protective styling apart of your long-term natural hair care regimen. I believe the answer is NO.
Our hair is versatile beyond belief. I have not repeated a protective style since going natural exactly 25 months ago. I have created and gathered styles on my to-do list that will fill up the next two years at least (…if I stick to my 2-3 average week range that I usually wear them). This is only from the list of ideas I have developed since this year along…and…I am still catching up with all of my ideas I have listed from last year. Now, keep in mind…I don’t solely wear my hair in protective styling 365 days a year. Sometimes I like to let her out to go free, the ‘Curly Fro’ of course…and many times I love to spend time doing the high curly puffs, buns, and flexi rod sets.
Obviously, I am in love with being natural…SO naturally for me I am finding limitless solutions and options. I must admit, when your heart is into something…it seems to be neverending.
Words of advice…
If I could tell you one thing about protective styles it would be to:
“…Use protective styling as an avenue for understanding patience and having more time for you. You’re going to be amazed at the creativity you find yourself amidst…and the ball of humbleness time has made you into…”
*Here Are A Few Pictures of my Freshly Finished Protective Style…Large Twists…
–The Brown Truth
What’s Up Brown Truth Tubers!
This is just a random post on how I was feeling today. If I could tell my natural-haired sisters anything about embracing your natural hair…it would be to start with yourself…love is limitless; it helps us to appreciate the smallest of things…regardless of what it is…when you see it, it’ll make you smile. “Happiness is a residual medicine, it pays for itself.” [Words From The Brown Truth]
#Love Your Hair and You Will Surely Love Who You Are
…I was certainly feeling myself today…
–The Brown Truth
I feel amazing…this look is regal…unique in it’s existence…I’m never letting it go.
These were my thoughts last night as I approached the mirror to do one last style check before leaving out. I was so pumped to be trying out one of Neosoul lounges in the city. Many times I have felt that, man this isn’t my home…and I jut haven’t found my spot yet.
You know the feeling right? Well, at least those of you who have picked a new city to call home away from anyone you knew or are related to during your adult life…the feeling of emptiness though you’ve met hundreds and have crossed paths with so many…it just doesn’t feel complete until you find that spot that becomes YOUR spot.
I never understood the importance of having that social place where you feel you can go to just be you as an adult. Being that I was mostly eclectic growing up-there wasn’t even a recognizable teenage laymen term for it yet, at least where I come from-I never really just had a spot that I felt was made just for me…just for my crowd.
I’m not saying that all naturals are going to be eclectic like myself and absolutely love Neosoul music like myself….I just do…and…I just so happen to be natural. So, there’s no attempt to generalize here. I’ve always adored Neosoul music…it soft, deep, exotic tone has always seemed to just match perfectly my soft, deep, exotic personality.
Last night I surprisingly took a break from my five week consistent protective variation of twisted styles and I let HER out-the fro of course. SHE was so ecstatic to have some time out and to herself. She let her presence be known and showed me a different side-or rather-size to me that I’d never seen. It-the experience- was so wonderful. For me, it’s like a long-term reward of giving her so quiet time to herself…she got a chance to show how much she has reflected and grown-literally.
As I fixed my belt and prompted my skirt for the last time, all I could do was exhibit a slight basing smile that was relished to see that SHE-my lovely fro-had grown to be in the ‘medium fro zone’…I’ve been waiting for this moment…that feeling of seeing my reward of patience and nurture collide into one.
I’m reminded often that ‘going natural’ was the best thing I could have done to have lustrously healthy hair. Moments like these tells me that my confidence before is not even comparable to the levels of confidence I have now…it’s the bomb-being natural-I’m just feeling myself all the way.
-The Brown Truth
***In My Zone and Feeling Myself Photo Shoot—Side Eye—Below***
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-The Brown Truth
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The positivity and excitement is dually shared…and I hope that my posts/pics/shares make your day, enhances your encouragement, and promotes a continuance of our Natural Hair Pride.
–The Brown Truth