Thursday, April 3, 2014

A Serious Condition

This past winter was harsh! To give my strands a break, I decided to do a protective style challenge for the next 60 days. This 60 day challenge will give my strands a break from the stress of daily styling, and manipulation damage. I expect to see some growth and length retention over the next 60 days. What I did not expect was, that this challenge would be so difficult. I’m currently experiencing curl withdrawal. After growing to love my tightly coiled hair for the past 3 years, I now find it difficult to go long periods of time without them.

Curl withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in curls, or kinky hair. Symptoms may include, the overwhelming need to return to curly hair, the constant need to check on new growth, and an empty feeling as the love for your temporary style fades. If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t worry! You are not alone!  

About 2 weeks into my protective style challenge, I started having a difficult time convincing myself that my curls are better off being tucked away.  I continue my moisture routine while my hair is protected. I also take this time to examine my hair, and measure any new growth. I often find myself obsessing over my curls while they are tucked way or straightened. Many experience curl withdrawal after straightening their hair. After a quick tryst with the flat iron, many curly girls quickly return to their natural curls after just a few days. To help get over curl withdrawal here are a few tips:

1.     Remember you wanted this – I can’t tell you how many times I have spent money putting in a style, only to take it out a few days later. When dealing with the overwhelming need to return to my curls, I take a step back, take a deep breath, and remind my self that protective styling is a great way to help me reach hair goals. I remind myself that curls can fall victim to manipulation damage If I constantly install, and remove styles with each mood swing. Healthy Hair is the ultimate goal
Protective style with Color

        Jazz It up- Put in a protective style that quickly got boring? Jazz it up!  Add color, or use hair chalk to add a funky color. Chop it up! Give your weave or wig a trendy cut. Do something you wouldn’t dare do to your curls. This hair isn’t your real hair, use it, abuse it, go nuts! Asymmetric rainbow colored bob?! Why not?! If your temporary style became boring quick, do something crazy to liven it up. Then be glad this look is only temporary.

       Don’t frown at your flattened curls- If you flat ironed your hair, enjoy it! Flip it, swing it,  bun it, do a length check, and enjoy the ride. Your curls will return soon. And when they do, love them with all the conditioner in the world.

       Remember you are not your hair-  Over your current style? This is not the end of the world. You are beautiful no matter what happens to be going on at the top of your head. Collect your thoughts, and find a new style. Natural hair is incredible versatile, enjoy the journey.

   Have in a Protective Style? Dealing with this serious condition? Reach Out for support in the comments below!  

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