A couple of weeks ago, I read a blog post in which the writer asserted her opinion that a weave is not a protective style. That article is here.
At one point, the writer makes a comment about the motives behind regularly wearing weaves as a protective style and it made me think (or rather continue thinking) about why people do the things they do. This blog is going to be very short and could probably be described as non-committal considering the article that sparked this blog. However, the purpose of it is to make people think further about their own stance in reference to their hair.
People argue back and forth about natural hair, “going natural,” choosing to relax or texturize, protective styling, weaves, wigs, “heat training,” flat ironing, and everything in between. At the end of the day, I feel that it’s important that everyone ask themselves: “what’s my motivation?”
Why are you returning to your natural hair? Why are are choosing to relax? Why are you “heat training?” Why are you choosing to grow locs? Is it concern for your hair health? Is it beauty? Is it to fit-in? Is it to stop getting grief from one side or the other? Is it to “stick it” to one side or the other? These are rhetorical questions, of course. These are questions to ask yourself as you walk along your hair journey (or really any journey in your life).
I call it “the why behind the why.” I’ve found surface reasons for our choices are rarely our deeper motivations. I’ve moved away from “because I want to” because I’ve realized that’s often only the first part of the sentence. For example, one could argue that the writer of the aforementioned article has a valid point. Why return to natural only to cover it up with things that mimic their former straightened look? After all, there are protective styles that can be done with one’s own hair. On the other hand, there are many valid considerations for using weaves or wigs as protective styles like time, convenience, skill, variety, etc. Everyone is entitled to their own reasons.
All too often, I speak to individuals who are not seeing the hair progress they desire and are upset about it. Once the discussion deepens, it becomes clear that they never really wanted to return to their natural hair in the first place and their problems are a direct result of the fact that they are doing something that they never really wanted to do. It was a novel idea to which they weren’t wholeheartedly ready to commit. Keep in mind, I realize that this does not describe all naturals; not even a portion great enough to generalize.
I think most of us can agree that when we undertake something that we really don’t want to do, we don’t get the best results from it. This is usually because our attitude about it isn’t right and that affects everything we do….or don’t do to reach the goal we never wanted in the first place. Eventually, we either give up or continue in ambivalence but can never really get any joy out of the process even if we reach the goal.
Checking our motivations can also keep us from prematurely giving up on our journeys towards whatever it is we want in life. What you really want to do, you’ll work towards making happen.
So, no matter what you choose to do with your hair, make sure it’s really your choice. Figure out what you want out of your hair journey, set that goal and use what motivates you to commit to that goal every single day.
Until next time,…