One of the few things I discovered in recent times is that people (Nigerians) don’t read/do research. Instead, they get information from unverifiable sources such as word of mouth from friends and family who might or might not have embarked on their natural hair journey at one point or the other.
The result is half-baked/watered down information on how to grow your natural ‘virgin‘ hair. This is why many coaches and consultants will continue to cash out because people simply cannot take out time to research a journey they want to embark on but that’s just by the way.
In a previous post, I talked about how the natural hair journey is just like any other fitness or weight loss journey and should be taken as seriously as well. You need to know every single step you would need to take as well as the pitfalls to avoid.
What are the benefits of doing research before starting a natural hair journey?
- It prepares you for the journey ahead. A few years ago, natural hair was not as popular as it is now. This meant that we didn’t have that much information available to us. But then, half a decade has gone by and things have changed. You could just type in the keyword, ‘natural hair journey’ on Google and you would have tons of local and international content at your disposal. That content has been provided to prepare you for the journey as a new natural. This brings me to my next point.
- It gives you an opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences. There’s a popular quote that says ‘experience is the best teacher.’ and it couldn’t be truer. During the course of your research, you would stumble on other people’s natural hair journeys and learn from their successes and mistakes. You would know what made their journeys worthwhile and how you can learn from it.
- It broadens your mind and gives you a window into the possibilities of natural hair.The worst thing you can do to yourself and your natural hair journey is to put yourself in a box. Click To Tweet There are no hard or fast rules to a successful natural hair journey. There are only fundamental principles you must follow. You would not know any of this if you did not do adequate research.
- It protects you from falling for scams. Every 6 six months or thereabout, there’s a new ‘magic product’ that claims to give you long hair in a ridiculously short time that goes viral in the natural hair community. Often times, these products are usually a scam. Except you’re generically predetermined to have long hair, they won’t work. Doing an adequate research before your natural hair journey shapes your mindset. It also prevents you from wasting money on magical products.
What then are the dangers of not doing research before starting a natural hair journey?
- You would easily get frustrated. See, believe me when I say natural hair is an entire ballgame on its own. If you’re not adequately prepared, you’re simply doing yourself. Sometimes, people ask me the most basic questions like, ‘what is detangling’ and I ask in return, ‘did you do any research?‘ 9 out of 10 times the answer is usually no. I kid you not. Managing your natural hair is not a phenomenon we are used to on this side of the world so it’s gonna require a lot of unlearning and relearning. Unlearning bad hair care practices that were used on relaxed hair and relearning healthy hair care practices that allow our natural hair to thrive.
- You would waste a lot of money, particularly on hair products. A lot of people that don’t do research often times think they can get away with simply Black soap, Coconut oil and Shea butter. That is a discussion for another day. But those that have some level of understanding of natural hair products end up buying tons and tons of products at the beginning. Overtime, they end up tagging the idea of growing natural hair an expensive venture. Studies have shown that this person did not adequately do their research but just went on a shopping spree without checking their hair type or their hair porosity thereby wasting money in the process.
- You would lose direction. Think about it like losing weight. If you don’t eat the right food or do the right exercises to lose weight, your efforts will all be in vain and you would not get any result. But how will you know what food to eat or what type of exercise to do without research?
- You would not get any result. For most of us, growing our natural hair is a chance at long and healthy hair but this doesn’t happen overnight. For some of us with the genes, it would take 3-4 years tops. For the rest of us without the genes, it would take maybe 8 – 10 years. But that’s fine. As long as you’re on the right track, you would get results in no time. The right track begins with adequate research.