Originally posted on Connect Nigeria
For many of us (ladies), the concept of a healthy hair journey seemed like an utopian task especially before the popularity of the internet. It was an ideology we could only connect with via foreign movies and music videos. In order to satisfy this far- fetched need, our local industry began to manufacture synthetic weaves. It still wasn’t enough. Our hair wasn’t long and bouncy like Beyonce’s. We weren’t able to whip back and forth like Willow’s except with box braids anyway.
The turning point came with the influx of the ”human hair weaves”. It took the industry by storm and before we knew it every Jill, Jane and Megan was rocking a Brazilian weave irrespective of their bank accounts. It became a fad that had come to stay even till today. Finally our life-long desire of waist-length hair had been granted. Plus they came in all sort of variations, a level of discipline was needed to restrain oneself from going overboard.
In the midst of all this some of was weren’t in the least bit swayed. We didn’t buy the idea of sewing bales of faux hair just to feel good or show off especially in our humid environment. And so the search began. There had to be a way to grow out our own hair without extensions. Thankfully, Google was gradually gaining momentum. It was an answer to our prayers. After ransacking the interweb, we finally reached a threshold. It was Team Natural vs Team Relaxed. Either way, with proper maintenance, we were guaranteed a healthy hair journey.
An HHJ is quite relative. What I consider healthy might be what you do and vice-versa but we can generally agree it majorly depends on the use of the right regimen and products. We all have different hair types, it’s totally up to us to determine what works for us and what doesn’t. We also need to have at the back of our minds that the waist-length weaves we seek refuge in, is totally attainable. Often times, people that are seen with weaves 90% of the time, have nothing to write home about their own hair. They haven’t fully cultivated a habit of taking proper care of their without depending on these weaves. The other day, there was a photo circulating on the internet of a lady that left her weave in for 6 months. 6 WHOLE MONTHS! Honestly, that’s the height of filth. Besides It speaks a lot about you as an individual. A mean if you aren’t able to take care of something as little as your own hair, then I think you need to be checked. Plus women are known as multi-taskers, this shouldn’t be an issue at all.
In essence, HHJ is not a foreign concept. If you can dedicate just a quarter of the time you spend in the salon to attend your own hair needs personally because we advocate you aren’t at the mercy of your hair stylists. Most times they have zero knowledge of hair care and so can be very ruthless. So you should learn to read up and implement what you’d read. Buy the right products not necessarily the expensive ones. Often times, locally-made ones are more efficient. For those that are DIY-savvy, open your kitchen cabinet and concort a few recipes. Build a regimen that isn’t too complicated. The simpler, the better and follow it up religiously and I promise you’d love the result in the long run. You might even ditch those weaves unconsciously. Your healthy long hair will cause you to be a centre of attraction.
If we don’t take care of our hair, who will?
Meanwhile, I don’t understand why the editor changed the title to ”Following the natural hair journey” especially since I wasn’t particularly making reference to any. The idea is to advocate an HHJ irrespective of your choice. Whether relaxed or natural because the truth is, not everyone can play for a particular team. People will always have options and it’s not my place to try and impose anything on them.