We’re literally just a couple of weeks ago from a new year and a new decade. You know what that means, right? We’re also a hop, skip and a jump away from making some new resolutions too. If you read that line and just let out a big sigh, I feel you. I’m not big on making resolutions either. But what I do like to do is focus on things that I’d like to switch up a bit and then make promises to myself. What’s the difference? Although it’s probably more psychological than anything else, resolutions seem to oftentimes be unrealistic and stressful. Promises? They are a bit more down to earth and they help to hold me accountable.

Since Naturally Curly is a site that’s all about hair, I thought it would be a good idea to share with you some of the promises that I am making to my tresses and myself as we both gear up for 2020. Don’t worry, they aren’t too taxing. They are all about love, patience and consistency—the power trio that can give you the kind of hair you’ve always wanted by this time next year.

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Image Source: @naturallycurly of @cocosluxcurls

1. “I will totally fall in love with the hair I was born with.”

I recently watched a YouTube video from a woman who said that she hates the hair (type) chart because, to her, it conditions women who have 4-type hair to hate it. Perspective is everything because I don’t see it that way at all. Actually, embracing what my curl pattern is, along with understanding more about porosity, have helped me to take better care of my hair.

I’ve got Black female friends with 3-type hair and, believe me when I say that, they have their own battles to fight—being told that they must be mixed (even when they aren’t); wishing that they didn’t have to use an insane amount of product to make their hair do some of the things that mine does naturally; having to wash their locks more often…the list goes on and on.

That’s why I’m like, “We all have things to love about our hair—things that make us distinctly different from the rest, so why not celebrate those unique features?” And why not make 2020 the year that you decide to do it? One definition of envy is “To count someone else’s blessings more than your own.” Rather than wish you had what someone else does, how about embracing what you naturally do. It’s dope, all on its own. Trust me.

Image Source: @naturallycurly of @camilacvieira

2. “I will become less of a product junkie.”

I get it. Some people are product junkies when it comes to their hair (if that’s you, our site has an online store that you will absolutely love!) just like when it comes to cosmetics and other stuff. As it relates to this particular promise, I’m not saying that you should change the core of who you are—if you like to experiment, do you, girl. What I am saying is, if length retention is one of your goals for the new year, something that could actually be working against you is constantly putting something new or different in your hair. It’s far better to spend a good amount of time (it shouldn’t take more than a couple of months) to create an effective hair regimen and then stick to that. Not only will it increase your chances of ending up with the kind of hair results that you want, it can save you a mint on hair products too.

And what about your love for products? Eh. Maybe change that over to hair accessories or at least cutting the amount that you get in half. I’m pretty sure you can find other ways to put that extra money to use…right? Exactly.

Image Source: @naturallycurly of @beauty_skindeep

3. “I will commit to what works for MY hair.”

This world is full of opinions and, when it comes to hair care, hundreds of sites, blogs and videos that swear by what works and what doesn’t. I used to be the kind of person who stuck to someone else’s hair regimen, no matter how much my hair didn’t like it, believing that eventually, my tresses would adapt. Eventually, I came to the realization that the more natural a product is, the better; my hair actually prefers to be stretched (with heat); and the same three things are what help it to flourish.

Peer pressure is real, even when it comes to our hair. Spare your hair the pressure of being expected to act like someone else’s locks by paying close attention to what actually works for it and then sticking to that…no matter what.

Image Source: @naturallycurly of @kaydayallday

4. “I will educate myself on what length retention requires.”

For me, 2019 was about making peace with my personal decision to grow my natural 4a hair out (because I’ve been wearing it short for most of my adult life). 2020 is gonna be about getting serious about length retention. One way that I’ve been getting my mind prepared to achieve some real inches is I’ve been watching videos of women who are already where I want to be (you can check out a few of ‘em here, here and here). I’ve also been paying attention to supplements that seem to be all the rage too (like MSM).

Now, I’ve been in the natural (or at least semi-natural because sometimes I rocked a texturizer) long enough to know that duplicating another person’s hair routine doesn’t automatically mean that I’ll garner the same results. Things like their own hair type, their genetics and even the climate that they live in can all play a factor. At the same time, I also know that “knowledge is power” and so, it’s a good idea to have as much information as possible if, like me, you want to gain some real inches over the upcoming months.

Image Source: @naturallycurly of @eboneedavis

5. “I will be patient and gentle with my locks.”

Something that I often compare my hair is silk. While on the one hand, silk is really strong, it can also be super fragile as well. Now put a pin in that while I make a brief comparison. Although my long nails are my own (and then powder dipped), my nail tech will personally vouch for the fact that there are times when I have to see her, in between appointments, and it’s because I have chipped my polish (even though it is gel) or even broken a nail. It’s not because she didn’t do a good or thorough job; she’s fabulous. It’s because I am so rough on my nails.

*le sigh* My “roughness” is a reality that I’ve had to accept when it comes to my locks as well. Although I have the right tools, sometimes I still yank too hard when I’m detangling or if I don’t wait as long as I should for my deep conditioner to penetrate my strands.

There really is no point in having all of the right stuff to maintain my natural curliness if I’m not going to be patient and gentle while applying everything. Same goes for you. So yeah, make it a point to not try and rush Mother Nature when it comes to the growing out process and be gentle in the meantime with the hair that you actually do have. Be grateful for what you already have too. You’ll end up with some of the best hair results if/when you do.

Image Source: @naturallycurly of @wavycurly

6. “I will not stress out my hair—or myself.”

I am a self-professed quotes girl. Big time. One of the sayings about stress that I like a lot is by best-selling author Eckhart Tolle—“Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.” In other words, worry, anxiety and the desire to want to control things that you can’t control, are a huge part of the reason why a lot of us stress ourselves out.

Hmph. I don’t know about you, but one of the last things that I want to take into a spanking new year is stress. When it comes to my health, it tends to break me out, make my periods worse, keep me from resting, alter my moods and it really affects my concentration. When it comes to my hair specifically, stress has a tendency to keep all of our hair in its “resting phase”. If it stays that way for too long, that can ultimately lead to hair loss—and who wants that?

So yeah, another promise that I am going to make—and I hope that you will too—is that I will not allow people, places, things or even ideas to stress me out too much. For one thing, stress doesn’t usually make things better, only worse. And secondly, my health and well-being and hair deserve better; especially as I head into another year; you too.

Here’s to 12 months of awesome hair care and fabulous results! Be sure to keep us posted (in the comments).