Is Consistency Really All That Important Or Do We Naturals Just Stumble Into Long Hair?

I have been enjoying watching some classic naptural85 & haircrush videos this week which got me thinking about how I approached my hhj in the beginning. I’m not a flake. Or at least I make a concerted effort not to be. Yet sometimes I feel that I change my mind so often it surely cant be healthy.



I know I go on a bit on BHI about the importance of both simplicity and consistency in our hhj’s but is it really all that important for us naturals? The only reason I ask is because I haven’t been the most consistent person during my 5 years of growing my hair yet I have obviously still received a certain amount of success in length retention. And I’m not the only one.

I have of course always done the basics consistently. I washed my hair weekly, mostly without fail, deep conditioned on most of those weeks but when it comes to protective styling and reducing manipulation, I have tried, failed and succeeded in equal measure.

There have been times when I have put in braids or a sew in and then taken it down after a week! This didn’t happen all the time but it did happen often enough to make me begin to question why I bothered when I knew that it wouldn’t last long anyway. I have changed my mind and then changed it again especially when it came to how to wear my hair on a day to day basis.

So I carried on putting in braids, removing them, wearing my hair straight, doing braid outs, sew ins’s, flat ironing, vowing to wear my hair flat ironed all the time then in the same month saying that I prefer my hair curly. In essence I was consistent in my inconsistency! lol

In spite of my fickle-ness I did in most years manage at least a 40% protective styling regimen. I have tried heat training, BKT’s and even on occasion looked upon those with long healthy relaxed hair (Jeni) with a mournful longing because I know for a fact that my hair type just doesn’t work well with relaxers. Not that I would every consider relaxing again anyway.

The way I see it, since most of us are actually going through our hair journeys and learning our hair’s likes and dislikes for the first time there is naturally going to be a certain degree of experimentation. With experimentation comes mistakes and lots’ of uncertainty surrounding what is right for our hair.

I have seen a LOT of relaxed women go through this same fiasco of chopping and changing their regimens at a moment’s notice and come out the other side a few years later having retained very little length.Β  But as naturals, sometimes I think that we kind of stumble into long hair after which we start preaching to noobs about how consistency got us to where we are when it may not be strictly true.

Just like a teenager trying to find their place in this world by testing boundaries with authority and getting into a heap of trouble then learning through those mistakes, maybe a better tactic would be to encourage this wild experimentation in the beginning.

Experience after all is the best teacher and once you learn what absolutely does not work for your hair, you can start doing the things that do work and then become consistent later on once you are settled into what your hair can or can’t do.

I admire naptural85 who has stuck to as simple a regimen as anyone could ever imagine. As far as I can tell she uses probably two shop bought hair products, a shampoo and conditioner. She uses no heat, sulphates, silicones or even hair creams or pomades and has never followed any bandwagon. Everything else that she uses on her hair, she makes herself (flax gel).

Still, in spite of my admiration for her I know that I could never do what she does and I reckon most of us naturals have no wish to be that militant with our hair either. I honestly believe now that consistency, at least in the beginning is not going to be an accurate measure of your success in the long term. If you are newly natural, go ahead, refuse to protective style, wear your hair down daily, experiment with color (within reason) and flat iron once in a while. Once your ‘teenage hair’ has done it all, it can settle into a nice comfortable ‘middle age’ of consistency.

I have very little to share about my hair this week. Like I said, I have watched too many haircrush videos so I’m having some serious hair anorexia at the moment. Truth be told, I am tired of doing hair at the moment and I am fighting an almighty urge not to cut a couple of inches off and go back to MBL (I miss that length). But I know if I trim now I will definitely regret it so I’m holding off until the end of the year then take stock and make a decision.

When I feel this way about my hair I generally know it’s time for some protective styling asap because it allows me to miss my hair and show it some love again. I have a natural hair show to attend on the 19th of this month which means that I can’t protective style properly at the moment so I’ve opted for some large-ish box braids until after the show.

I think I may run a hard core protective styling challenge on BHI after the 19th so if you would like to join me in that, keep an eye out for the post that I will probably put up around the 26th.

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  • Rebecca Land

    Yes consistency is key! I have a regimen that works for me and my natural hair is thriving. During the perm days I could NEVER get my hair past shoulder length, going natural and using a simplified regimen has me well past shoulder length. For me Consistency & Simplicity is key!

  • Leandra

    For me I am stumbling head first! When I went natural it was like someone had let a child loose at a candy store and I was trying colors like a possessed woman. Actually now I have calmed down a little and I am concentrating on being consistent. I still can’t do protective styling because it feels so restrictive andI know it’s something I’m going to have to work on. I am currently grazing bsl which is the longest my hair has ever been but I know if I want to reach waist length I have to be more consistent and stop jumping into bandwagons.

  • Nadine Fletcher

    I agree I haven’t always been consistent in the past. But now that I have been on a regular
    simple routine for several months now. The length Retention has been Forth Coming!!!
    And I couldn’t be more Pleased right now. Simplicity is key plus Consistency!! At least it
    has been for me. It’s getting me over the hump.

  • Love this post! I agree with consistency part. My hair might not have gone through certain staged had I stuck to deep conditioning at LEAST every two weeks and did protective styling more often. But even with all that, my hair is still healthy, and has grown a TON this year so far. πŸ˜‰

    • So I see, pretty length chick! I mean if we want super long like classic length or whatnot then maybe consistency is what will get us there but for just standard long (mid back to waist length) then so some of us a good reggie with a bit of protective styling is enough. πŸ™‚

  • lissa_the_cocoa

    Hair is hair. If you keep it clean and moisturized it’ll grow 1/2 to 1 inch every month. Yeah, there are some things you can do to break it off more, but healthy hair is going to grow.

    • Oh boy, if I could grow 1/2 inch every month I’d be in heaven but alas I’m a slow grower so my hair grows just 4 inches a year which is an inch ever 3 months! Having said that I would be lying if I didn’t admit that some degree of consistency is what got me where I am today. My regimen was haphazard sometimes but I still managed to protective style for approx 4-6 months of the year πŸ™‚