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Welcome to The United KinKdom!
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My blog is dedicated to celebrating Afro hair and the experiences of UK Naturals. Dont be a stranger, spread the word and lets keep Uniting the KinKdom one curl at a time. International visitors are ALWAYS welcome. Enjoy!
Much Love Crystal Afro x
(Natural since Jan 2011) (Contact Me: crystalafro@hotmail.co.uk) View my complete profile

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

4 Downsides To Being Natural

As I mentioned in my last post, I'm getting back on YouTube
(so head over and subscribe >here<)
and a couple of weeks ago I posted a video titled:

4 Downsides To Being Natural
 >> Click Here To Watch << 

I posted it in a few Facebook groups and had some great responses.
However, I did find it interesting to notice that a few people got on a slight defensive about it. (I'm pretty sure those were the people who read the title without watching the video, but heyho.)
For those of you who aren't really YouTube users, here's a brief rundown of my thoughts...

Downside #1: LAZINESS
I've been natural now for about 6years and in that time I've become comfortable and familiar. In a way, this is wonderful because it means I've learned to love and accept my hair in a way that I never thought possible when I wore weaves.

The reason I class it as a "downside" is because my comfortable-ness has tipped the balance into complacency. Where I once had an almost religious approach to my hair care, I now cut a whole lot of corners; and when it comes to styling, it's back in a basic, boring, bun at least 80% of the time.

My desire to prove the versatility and acceptability of my hair, declined hugely in the last 2 years.
I've just been happily getting on, without over-thinking or thinking too deeply about my hair. On the one hand, more power to me, because this is how it should be; on the other hand, I think it's time to try and do this crown some justice by celebrating it with a bit more creativity, and better hair care.

Downside #2: LOOSING PEOPLE

Since going natural and witnessing the UK scene growing, I've come across a lot of bloggers and businesses that have come and gone.
As I mentioned in the video, this isn't always a bad thing.
As a blogger, optimistic individuals constantly alert me to new business ventures. However, the difficult truth is that the majority (maybe 7 out of every 10) are less than impressive.
But then there are the standout brands like Be Unique Hair care, MMM Hair, and Rosebox for example. Independent brands that I've seen coming up from the start, whose products were exceptionally great, but for various reasons were unable to keep going.

When you've struggled through the trial and error that goes with finding your perfect products, it's almost painful when you discover they've been discontinued.

In addition to this, there's an extra special pride and desire I have to support other sisters who've worked hard to develop a dream. It's inspirational and has the added bonus of being beneficial if the reality of their dream also benefits you.
Consequently if they close down it's doubly disappointing.


Downside #3: POLITICS
*Insert Kermit Meme here!*
I'm gona keep this one brief because otherwise there is too much that could be said.
I don't think it's good when there are all kinds of public beef and aggression within our relatively small community of naturals.
Personally, I believe it's vital that we voice our opinions, and express our thoughts, but I also think communication is key to progress, therefore sometimes it's important to think about how, what and why we're saying the things we say.

The sad things is, I think a lot of the fallouts that occur are the result of unrealistic expectations, possibly the most damaging expectation being, the idea that because we're all natural we're all going to get along. Sometimes I wonder if we'd do better to be a bit more accepting of each other's differences instead of being too quick to criticise and condemn.


Downside 4: EXPECTIONS
This one probably relates more to bloggers, and again I'd say it actually stems from a good place, but the more people watching your hair journey, the more you can feel a responsibility or obligation to cater to people's expectations. This can sometimes feel quite restricting.

Also, I think there's still something to be said for the problem of curl envy, and debate surrounding "desirable" curls. This can lead to people having unrealistic expectations of their own hair; or aspiring away from their own hair in favour of more popular, and let's be real, often more celebrated on social media, looser curl patterns.

ANYTHING TO ADD?
I recommend checking out the video and also listening to what other Natural Hair Bloggers, +Queen Teshna & +natural belle had to add to my list of downsides.
As usual, I'd love to hear what your opinions are, so please feel free to comment.