Whoever needs to hear this,
leave those social media natural hair "challenges" alone. Steer clear of them, in fact. Find what wash day system, moisture method & general upkeep guidance works for you thru your own familiarity w your hair. That may require you to broaden or even narrow your understanding of natural (Black; afro-textured; 3c-4c) hair.
Stop allowing these youtubers/influencers to convince you that "greases & leave-ins are bad for you", or that doing xyz is stunting your hair growth/length retention. Stop watching ppls content for natural hair info if their hair texture isn't the same as yours & vice versa. You're not doing anything wrong if your hair is retaining growth — & at the same time your hair isn't gonna grow overnight, so its important to have a healthy understanding of that as well.
Your hair is growing. Its never not growing. Stop worrying ab that. Stop putting your hair under so much pressure to be past your shoulders or to your forearms or your waist at breakneck speed. It doesn't happen like that. Find what works for you & keep doing that. You will see benefits. You will see a difference. You don't need 4-5 shampoos & conditioners to achieve what you can w literally the same shampoo & conditioner, maybe a leave in, & oils if necessary — routinely.
Have faith in your crown 👑 & don't rush the progress. Its happening.
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In many cultures, ethnic groups, and nations around the world, hair is considered a source of power and prestige. African people brought these traditions and beliefs to the Americas and passed them down through the generations.
In my mother’s family (Black Americans from rural South Carolina) the women don’t cut their hair off unless absolutely necessary (i.e damage or routine trimming). Long hair is considered a symbol of beauty and power; my mother often told me that our hair holds our strength and power. Though my mother’s family has been American born for several generations, it is fascinating to see the beliefs and traditions of our African ancestors passed down. We are emotionally and spiritually attached to our hair, cutting it only with the knowledge that we are starting completely clean and removing stagnant energy.
Couple this with the forced removal and covering of our hair from the times of slavery and onward, and you can see why so many Black women and men alike take such pride and care in their natural hair and love to adorn our heads with wigs, weaves, braids, twists, accessories, and sharp designs.
Hair is not just hair in African diaspora cultures, and this is why the appropriation and stigma surrounding our hair is so harmful.
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