Thursday, August 26, 2010

The what challenge/routine? Huh?

I'm sure you've seen them. The routines and challenges aimed at naturals using or participating in a routine consistently for X amount of days/months. Even those that had you literally scratching your head like, "What the hell is that?"

I've even participated in one. A growth challenge, to be specific. For one year, I utilized minimal manipulation hair styles and maintenance. No trims or haircuts. I went from armpit-length [stretched] to waist-length [stretched] in that time. What did I learn? That less stress equals more retained growth.

But then I look at all of these new challenges and routines and what I see are routines that will end up costing folks more money than they probably realize and maybe creating product junkies....and for the sake of what? What exactly are you seeking? What are your desired results? Most who participate are still learning their hair. Hell, I'm STILL learning even 7 years in. But what I hope many ladies realize is that most of that money will end up under your sink or in your closet and you may find yourself frustrated if the routine ends up being a waste of time AND money.

If you're going to start participating in a routine or whatever, you need to ask yourself some questions:

  • What are the purported benefits of participating(i.e. how will it benefit me)?
  • What are my goals?
  • Are the goals realistic?
  • Will participating cost me more or less?
  • Do I have the funds TO participate?
  • Can I be consistent so that I CAN experience the potential benefits of participation?
  • WHY am I participating?
If you can answer these questions and feel confident in the hows and whys, GO FOR IT! And make sure to document your results. It can help you learn more about what can, will and WON'T work for your hair and your experiences could possibly help another natural along in their journey! :)

Natural Urbanista


vonnie said...

sage advice, keeps you from just hopping on any bandwagon/challenge without thinking of the costs/benefits

Alana said...

no trimming? yikes!

Ms-gg said...

Good topic! Most of the challenges that I see on the hair forum I frequent (nappturality) are pretty normal and not that intense.

Also, I would say that some women need to also modify the challenge to fit their own hair needs. Don't sacrifice the health of your hair for a challenge!

KP said...

@vonnie Indeed! Bandwagon jumping will leave you flat out broke! LOL!

@Alana Yup. No trimming. I didn't wear my hair out during that year. Only protective styling, which involved keeping it twisted up or worn as a twist out. If you wear you hair out the majority of the time, not trimming isn't an option.

@Ms-gg I agree. Find a routine that best suits your personal needs. But then again, most are still trying to discover what the need. I guess for many, this is just the "growing pains" of learning how to care for their hair. I'm still of the belief that less is more. :)

beautifulms said...

I've done one challenge drinking more water (8 glasses) to improve hair health. I think that was a good challenge because it improved my overall health, skin etc and it didn't really cost me to much. I took photos every week or so and I realised my hair/skin were better off. And after the challenge I became better with my water intake.

But there are some challenges that are done where you have to use this specific product and I don't think thats beneficial really. The best challenges are the one where you have to make a healthier lifestyle change or tke on a better hair technique, I think.

Pilar said...

This is sooooo true. I see challenges on forums that call for a ridiculous amount of product. It can be frustrating when you're still learning your hair and that's exactly why I did the BC. I hopped on every bandwagon and challenge and for 2 years, I staid at APL. Now I have a TWA and its just us two... hanging out lol. Glad I found your blog.