What if you never ever watched a youtube tutorial, or ever read a blog post about caring for your hair, what would your instincts tell you?
As an avid supporter of letting your hair be free to do as it pleases I look back on my own hair journey and think; What if I had used my own natural instincts to take care of my hair, what would that have looked like?
At the beginning of my natural hair journey, I was the girl, trying everything and anything I saw on online because I honestly was afraid of my own natural hair. It was so foreign to me, yet it was a part of me like, my ears, hands and toes.
Without the help of digital media or even a hair dresser the first person we look to is our mom. Obviously, we cannot strip away the basic training that we have all been given from generations past. It is only natural to know what grandma gave to mom and what mom gave to me.
However after years of doing this I think that even with practices that have been passed down from generation to generation, there are some instinctive things that we can trust without the confusion of articles and fancy videos.
In this article, I want to identify some of these things and really hone into the concept of “listening to your hair” and knowing what to do when you start to hear what it is telling you.
1. Strip away the myths
I think this is the first step to instinctive hair care. We know the myths, “Do not wet your hair so often” is the first one that comes to mind. When I let go of that myth in my hair journey, everything thing changed for me, water every day on my hair was nothing but a thing.
2. No chemical alterations
Let’s get this out of the way! -Hair care with chemical alterations does need help, in other words, it is easier to give your hair what it needs when it is not chemically treated without the help of media and professionals.
Once the science of chemical relaxers, heat and color are added, the game changes. You can use some instinct to care for your hair but once your hair is out of its natural element it isn’t easy to determine what it needs with just your gut feeling.
3. Cleansing comes naturally
Cleansing our whole body is something that should come naturally to all of us and that includes our hair. Nobody should have to go on Youtube to figure out when their hair is dirty, you just know! You also know that when your hair needs to be washed is not the same as the person on the video post telling you she washes her hair on a monthly basis.
Cleansing your scalp and hair should be instinctive because your scalp will give you clues. You might itch a bit more, you will notice your hair appearing heavy, oily and lifeless, whether that happens after 3 days or 30 days is unique to you. Either way, you know it is time to do something about it, and cleansing is that thing!
4. Combatting dryness
Dryness is not something that you have to guess about when our hair is dry we know it! Even if your hair is feeling a bit weird and you are not sure if it is dry yet, do not worry, if you do nothing you will know for sure eventually.
When something is dry, instinctively what do we do to get it moisturized? We wet it! Water is life for everything on this planet and so it is life for your hair as well.
If you do not have water which is rare, and you are staring at your product cabinet wondering what to use on your hair, your next bet is to search for a product that has the most water in it.
Instinct and styling have a very strange relationship because we are all bombarded with images of what we should look like and sometimes those images dictate what we think is our natural look.
We have all come to accept that there is always some styling involved with caring for natural hair because we still have to live in this world and do as society dictates.
We would all love to run around product free, strands growing towards the sun, #froalldayerryday but that isn’t our reality. (At least not yet)
If I were to style my hair based on just what my instincts tell me, I wouldn’t style it. I would leave it alone and let the curls just do what they want, it doesn’t get much simpler than that in a perfect world.
6. What about the things we have to learn?
With all of that said in the same breath, I cannot deny the power of learning about processes that make our hair care life easier. Most of these things do satisfy a preferred aesthetic that we are all entitled to having so we cannot knock a girl for exploring her creative side.
How to seal, detangle, speed up hair growth, braid, rock blonde hair, and do a ballerina bun will always have special places in our hearts and as such we all crave knowledge and science when it comes to caring for our hair.
The point is, never count out the value of that gut feeling. When people say, listen to your hair this is exactly what they mean! Trust your instincts first and worry about the aesthetic later.
If you did not have one video or blog post could you care for your hair?
Featured image – @ayanaiman