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This site is my online journal that documents my attempts to reach various goals inspired by the principles found in the book, Think and Grow Rich. Join me as I strive to meet financial goals, fashion goals, school goals, hair-care goals, and everything in between. I hope that other young women will relate and find my journey useful to read about; this blog is for me as much as it is for women seeking resources for personal development and freedom. To get a daily dose, follow me on twitter and facebook...and don't forget to follow my blog!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Set it and Forget it: A Natural Hair Care Plan for the Lazy and/or Rebellious

With all the information out there supposedly showing black women how to have fabulously long, strong, and wild natural hair, it's a little hard not to feel a bit overwhelmed. I mean, what on earth is a "baggie" and how often do I have to do it? Why do have to "protect my ends"...what if I want to show them off? Why do all the "natural" hair products cost a million dollars? Do I trim or don't I trim? Do I need to see a hairdresser when I'm natural, or not? Is shampoo allowed or am I forced to wash my hair with just conditioner for the rest of my life? What happens when I go on vacation and the airport takes away my 16 oz bottle of Extra Virgin Olive Oil? Do I have to do a hot oil treatment before swimming? Why are there so many RULES???

All of these questions weigh infinitely heavier on me when you couple them with the fact that I am a bum. Well not a total bum, but I do tend to bum out on things when I feel I have something more important on my plate. Don't get me wrong, hair is important ("hair is a woman's greatest accessory") but what happens when...oh I don't know, you have a 10 page research paper due for class next week? What happens when you're finally gaining traction on that clothing line you've been designing for 5 years? When you get that promotion at work and your hours increase? When your boyfriend comes over more often? When you're taking more time to volunteer with your church? What happens when, oh I don't know, life becomes kind of interesting and you can't spend 4 hours before bed every night massaging your scalp and "deep treating" your ends? Are Black women forever relegated to that back of the Pretty Hair Bus if we don't spend infinite amounts of time (and money) on our locks?

Call me rebellious, call me lazy, but I simply refuse to spend exorbitant amounts of my time on my hair anymore in the hopes of achieving hair greatness. Back in August, in my "Think and Grow Fabulous Hair" post, I prescribed myself the following plan:
  1. Track my progress obsessively
  2. Tie my hair up every night or at least sleep in a silk pillow case to deter breakage
  3. Continue to wash and style my hair when it's parted into four sections for less breakage and easier manageability
  4. Keep hair inspirations nearby in either a physical or online scrapbook
  5. Use natural products
  6. Use Henna regularly
  7. Style my hair using the Twist n' Curl method to promote growth
  8. Get a support system! (i.e. naturallycurly.com hair forums)

In a nutshell, I totally fell off from that plan. I wrote it because it was the best distillation of everything available online for natural haired women that I could come up with. Now that I am thoroughly exhausted with "doing my hair", I've stubbornly decided that oodles of effort is not what it takes for a Black woman to have nice, natural hair—especially if she's got other things to think about. My new plan is as follows:

  1. Track my progress obsessively Spend time on my hair when appropriate
  2. Tie my hair up every night or at least sleep in a silk pillow case to deter breakage Sleep in a satin bonnet cap—it's easy and it works on a myriad of hairstyles
  3. Continue to wash and style my hair when it's parted into four sections for less breakage and easier manageability Wash or co-wash my hair whenever I feel it needs it (generally every 3-4 days)
  4. Keep hair inspirations nearby in either a physical or online scrapbook When I see nice hair, I'll mentally note it and keep it moving
  5. Use natural products Use products that work (Raw Shea butter, Aubrey Organics Shampoo and Conditioner, and Kinky Curly Leave-In seem to do just fine)
  6. Use Henna regularly (Henna was way more hassle than it was worth...more on that in another post)
  7. Style my hair using the Twist n' Curl method to promote growth I like Bantu Knots—they take 10 minutes, require no heat, tools or supplies, and look great when you take them out
  8. Get a support system! (i.e. interact with people with nice hair who actively pursue other goals so that I don't sucked back into the "do your hair" vortex)

So I don't know, maybe I'm a lunatic and will fail miserably with my new "set it and forget it" approach to my 'fro, but since I've been actively "doing" my natural hair for 6 years with pretty mild results, I think a more hands off plan is exactly what my hair needs. We shall see...

How are all you naturals fairing with your quest for great hair? Is a certain amount of time on your hair required? Let me know by leaving your comments below...


  1. your post TOTALLY describes me! I LOVE my hair but i get frustrated and discouraged when it comes time to do it...I keep SAYING i will tie my hair up but most of the time i get lazy so i only tie it up every now and then...LOL. I dont even have alot of hair to style which frustrates me even more...

  2. Yes, I have just begun to understand and appreciate my naturally curly hair. I have learned that less and versatility is best. I aim for low manipulation hair-styles and I no longer suffer from "PRODUCT OVERLOADISM LOL!" I am still battling with some things and I am broke nowadays. But my hair is healthy, strong, and growing. I just combat wit dry scalp oily hair under moisturized and frizziness WAT A COMBO! But if you know of any other sites our useful lit on naturally curly hair that is truly insightful please let me know!

  3. I definitely would have to agree with this. I've always been natural, but this yr I decided to start learning how to do my own hair and not paying people. So when I started out doing it I was reading hair boards every day, trying all kinds of new products and basically wasting hours of my life on my hair. That was all fine and dandy until life got busy lol.

    Now that I've found what products work on my hair (AOHSR, AOGPB, KCKT, KCCC) and what methods work best I just stick to it. I got my hair pressed for the first time since July and the growth is AMAZING. I'm pretty much at bra-strap now, and I was at SL. I chalk it up to my leaving it alone.

    p.s. Henna is way too much work for me, too. I have a box of Jamila left that I'm gonnna use just because I paid for it... but after that? No more. lol

    (longest comment ever???)

  4. I love how you all make me feel like I'm not the only one!

    @Setena when I was transitioning, motowngirl.com and longhaircareforum.com helped me out a lot. Even though I've been natural for a while now, I find that maneandchic.com and curlynikki.com both have useful, relevant information.

    @Selah Congratulations on your bra-strap length hair! Feel free to email me at thinkandgrowchick@gmail.com with any pics or reccommendations you have so that I can share it with the rest of the readers!

  5. Me? Give advice? LOL I find that funny since all I used to do was scour the internet for help.

    Seriously though, the best piece of advice I could say is to do the research and try to find the products that works for YOU. I have a list of stuff that I bought (32 things!) on my search for my "staples." Yea, 32. Fortunately I only bought the products from places that allow returns of open/used products (target, CVS, Whole Foods, Walgreens, Sallys, etc) so I didn't go broke trying all that stuff that ultimately didn't work. 32 is still extravagant. I was on a search for thee perfect stuff - and after a lot of time and trips to stores I found them.

    Now, all I have to do is replace the empty bottles, and consistently Keep it simple. Yay. Good luck to all women in finding out what works for them :)