This winter has been harsh! To give my strands a break,
I decided to do a protective style challenge for the next 60 days. This 60 day
challenge will give my strands a break from the stress of daily styling, and
manipulation damage. I expect to see some growth and length retention over the
next 60 days.
What I did not expect was that this challenge would be so
difficult. I’m currently experiencing curl withdrawal. After growing to love my
tightly coiled hair for the past 3 years, I now find it difficult to go long
periods of time without them.
Curl withdrawal is the group of symptoms that occur
upon the abrupt discontinuation or decrease in curls, or kinky hair. Symptoms
- the overwhelming need to return to curly hair,
- the constant need
to check on new growth, and
- an empty feeling as the love for your temporary
If these symptoms sound familiar, don’t worry! You are not alone!
2 weeks into my protective style challenge, I am having a difficult time convincing
myself that my curls are better off being tucked away. I continue a moisture routine while my hair is
protected. I also take this time to examine my hair, and measure any new
growth. I often find myself obsessing over my curls while they are tucked way
or straightened. Many experience curl withdrawal after straightening their
hair. After a quick tryst with the flat iron, many curly girls quickly return
to their natural curls after just a few days. To help get over curl withdrawal
here are a few tips:
1 Remember you wanted this – I can’t tell you how many times I
have spent money putting in a style, only to take it out a few days later. When
dealing with the overwhelming need to return to my curls, I take a step back,
take a deep breath, and remind my self that protective styling is a great way
to help me reach hair goals. I remind myself that curls can fall victim to
manipulation damage If I constantly install, and remove styles with each mood
swing. Healthy Hair is the ultimate goal.
Jazz It up- Put in a protective style that quickly got
boring? Jazz it up! Add color, or use
hair chalk to add a funky color. Chop it up! Give your weave or wig a trendy
cut. Do something you wouldn’t dare do to your curls. This hair isn’t your real
hair, use it, abuse it, go nuts! Asymmetric rainbow colored bob?!
Why not?! If your temporary style became boring quick, do something crazy to
liven it up. Then be glad this look is only temporary.
Don’t frown at your flattened curls- If you flat ironed your
hair, enjoy it! Flip it, swing it, bun
it, do a length check, and enjoy the ride. Your curls will return soon. And
when they do, love them with all the conditioner in the world.
Remember you are not your hair- Over your current style? This is not the end
of the world. You are beautiful no matter what happens to be going on at the
top of your head. Collect your thoughts, and find a new style. Natural hair is
incredible versatile, enjoy the journey.
You can find Tyra over at Indigenous Curls.