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FEATURES Jul 3 2013 6:45PM

Lesson Learned: Don’t Go Chasing After Someone Else’s Curl Pattern

by Laquita Thomas-Banks http://allnaptural.blogspot.com/

During my transitioning journey, I remember watching videos and visiting hair journey blogs and ooing and aahing over silky smooth curl patterns. I couldn’t wait until my transition was over so my very own silky smooth curls could be unleashed.

Throughout my transition, I slowly began to notice that the texture of my hair didn’t appear to be the same as those I had been drooling over on the blogs and videos. But I kept my eyes on the prize and just figured with a little training my texture could be whipped into shape.

I figured it was the products that these ladies were using that produced these silky smooth curls. So began my product scavenger hunt. After piling on tons of products - and unbeknownst to me at the time actually weighing down my curls – I realized that the products weren’t helping me achieve my goal of silky smooth curls.

Even though I stood in the bathroom mirror disappointed, broke, and white-headed with product running down my face I still didn’t put two and two together. I reasoned, “It’s not the products that will unleash my curls; I must find the perfect techniques or routine.”

So after studying routines and techniques which included co-washes, CWC – condition, wash, condition, L.O.C. methods – liquid, oil, cream, sleeping with shower caps on – baggie method, etc., I was confident my goal of silky smooth curls would be met.

Well I must admit that after following these routines my hair was softer and super moisturized and I even spotted a few more curls here and there. Nonetheless, I still didn’t achieve my silky smooth curls. And even then I decided to experiment a bit more switching up different products along with these techniques, but again to no avail.

I had to finally face the music: piling on products and strictly following other people’s routines did not yield the silky smooth curls I had envisioned. What was I to do? Well, first off, I decided to give my hair and myself a much needed break. Chasing after particular curl pattern was not only exhausting, but stressful.

I simply washed, conditioned and added a little oil or pomade to my hair and just let it be. On occasion, I added a few flat twists in the front, put on a headband or hair clips, but that was the extent of my routine. It was short, sweet and simple. I actually began to love my not-so-smooth kinky coils and to my surprise, other people liked them as well.

I began to get compliments from friends, family members and strangers on how nice my hair looked and enquiries on what I did to keep it looking so healthy and shiny. I was actually thrilled when a few people even asked if I had put a texturizer in my hair. These compliments came after only a few weeks of my low product and simple routine.

I realized I had spend months buying tons of products and following other people’s routines with the unattainable goal of achieving THEIR curl pattern. Even though my kinky coils were not the “smooth and silky” ones I coveted, they were and are still beautiful as well.

So for all those who are transitioning and/or newly natural learn from my experience. Become familiar with your own curl pattern, learn what your hair likes/dislikes and develop a routine that will help your hair grow healthy and strong. Through months of stressful trial and error, I learned that growing a head full of healthy hair should be the primary goal versus attaining that “perfect” curl pattern.


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