Happy New Year lovelies!
Let’s get right into it.
If you are an ardent trend follower, then you must know that there are trends we definitely need to ditch in the New Year. Whether it’s make up, fashion, lifestyle, health or even our natural hair, the fact remains that we need to throw some things out the window.
Most people tend to jump on bandwagons, even ‘let’s ditch stuff’ bandwagons. I think this makes no sense. The only things we should scrap off are those we’ve tried and aren’t working. So while many are thinking about the unnecessary obsession of laying edges or having snatched (I have always wanted to use that word. It sounds like someone grabbed someone’s wig and ran away with it) weaves, I’m trying to be practical. So, knowing that I’m not the most active nurturer of my natural hair, I decided to come up with some trends that we *cough* lazy girls can say adios to.
Numero Uno: Chasing length
Jamaneni (that’s Chinese for ‘surely’) we don’t need to have length checks every five minutes or five days. I’m sure even our hair strands feel the pressure every time they see a ruler or a calibrated shirt (yes, people have those nowadays). Let’s stop chasing length and chase health. I mean, would you rather have a full head of thick, luscious, moisturized hair with enviable curl definition or a head of tail-bone length hair that is kamoja kamoja (Chinese for ‘one one’)? Actually, in high school we used to call it ‘nywele tatu’ (three hairs, hehehe) because you could count the strands if you dared to try. So, there’s no point in having long, unhealthy hair. Plus, it might sound like a cliché but once you focus on health, length will automatically come.
On a related note, those who suffer from Edward Scissorhands tendencies also need some intervention. While you may not be length-chasing, you also cannot be trimming your hair every two weeks. Donge? (That’s Korean for ‘You feel me?’)
Numero Dos: Drying Your Hair in its Shrunken Form
Single strand knots are the deffffo incarnate!!! You go in for a trim with your hair like Rapunzel’s and come out looking like Kelly Rowland back when Destiny’s Child was a hit. Here’s to hoping that the one video I saw of her in a bob was actually her signature cut. The point is that you leave the salon cursing the hairdresser for no reason, thinking she was jealous of your mane. Kumbe this whole time you have been nurturing these pesky single strand knots. In Chinese, ni tule tumatuta hujishuka at the ends of individual strands na huwezi tubomoa. They feel like bumps.
Guess what causes them? Neglecting your ends! In fact, one of the main causes is letting your hair dry without stretching it. So, instead of jumping out of the shower and going about your day, make a point of braiding or twisting your hair in sections. The hair will air dry and because of the stretching you will experience significantly fewer knots and less tangling. This ultimately helps you to retain length and also reduces ‘kushikana’ aka tangling once you have open hairstyles such as wash and go’s.
Numero I-Don’t-Know-How-To-Count-In-Spanish-and-Googling-Would-Have-Been-Pretentious: Nighttime Routines
I know those times when you get home after what seemed like a 48-hour day. You don’t want to think about a shower. In fact, if you had your way, you could just fall on the sofa like a sack of potatoes and wake up to your alarm the next morning. The last thing on your mind is how to braid or twist your hair before bed. So you reach a compromise: drag yourself into the shower then throw on your ‘seng’enge ni ng’ombe’ t-shirt, your ‘maziwa ni tuzo’ bandana and sleep.
Unfortunately, these days tend to be more than we care to admit. So we keep wondering (again) where single strand knots are coming from, why our hair is so dry, why we have split ends and keep experiencing breakage. Wonder no more! Diligently pursue your nighttime routine, even if it only involves two huge matutas and you will see a difference.
Numero Four: Anti-regimen Squad
If I’m not preaching to the choir……..I’m not a fan of routines or monotony. I think they suck the fun out of life sometimes………SOMETIMES. However, I’ve been learning that a huge percentage of life is actually the mundane. Once you muster that, making progress becomes easier. The same applies to hair regimens. Let’s ditch the lack of consistency. Let’s monitor the products or DIY concoctions we use. Let’s have a predictable routine for our washes, conditions, treatments and even styling. That way, we can monitor how far we’ve come. Ama namna gani my fren?
Numero Five: Blindly Following Trends
You log onto YouTube…….wait, do you ‘log on’ to YouTube?
Anyway….so you’re on YouTube, your favorite natural hair guru is doing a review on Robb and Vicks Kingo.
You see, they have been crushing Vicks Kingo and mixing it with Robb. They massage it into their scalp every night: the tingly menthol stimulates growth. They swear that their hair has grown to ankle-length in one month. So, off you go to your local chemist (every joint that sells over the counter medication is not called a pharmacy in Kenya) to buy the biggest tin of these products. At this pace, you will be sweeping the streets of Nairobi with your hair in two months tops! Those kanjo ghost workers won’t have anything on you!! Chei!
Patience, research and self-discovery will take us further than these gimmicks. Let’s not jump onto every Kentaste coconut oil, JBCO, upside down massage, hair grease, big chop trend that we see online. The fact remains that, not everything will work for everyone. Instead, let’s follow up these ‘revelations’ with proper research, not just Google searches. This way, we know the implications of anything before we set out to spend money we shouldn’t be spending only to get disappointed.
Since I like nice rounded numbers that end in five or zero, I will stop there. Hopefully, if you’ve been a culprit when it comes to any of these (myself included) we can yield to conversion an see the light, yes? 🙂
Also, I have heard your plea for photos, just to confirm that I am writing not fiction here :-). The next post shall have some. In the meantime, follow me on IG @njeriegitau. I suspect that Bella will be making her debut there soon. Till then, adios my lovelies!