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Hair care is basic: clean and moisturize regularly, treat when necessary, and trim when necessary. Maintenance is fairly universal across the texture spectrum and styling techniques tend to vary based on curl patterns. Oftentimes it is not the maintenance that is demanding but our expectations. Frustration and even damage ensues when we are obsessing over our curls or someone else’s curls. Disappointments are always the result of unrealistic expectations or user error. If you are wondering why you are not manifesting the results you want, here are three ways you are sweating the small stuff. 

Worried about multiple curl patterns

Few people have a consistent curl pattern throughout their hair. For the most part it all tends to blend, especially after the hair has been styled and dried. No one will notice that you have a looser curls at the nape and in the underlayer with tighter curls in the crown. I rarely witness people with such an obvious difference that it affected the overall shape of their hair. If this is you and you want to do something about it, consider a curly cut. Deva cuts are dry curly cuts that are designed for people who primarily wear their hair in its curly state. When you straighten your hair, it is likely to be uneven, but if you wear your hair curly, then you have nothing to worry about. If you do not want to risk having uneven, straightened hair, then wearing stretched styles will solve the problem.

Read more: 7 Gorgeous Styles to Stretch Your Hair

Fighting humidity

Don’t believe the lie. Humidity-fighting products can only do so much. If it is hot and humid or raining outside, all the time and effort you put into twisting, braiding, and roller setting your hair may have gone in vain. This is where my Ouchless elastic headband came in handy. When I wore predominately stretched styles, I was always prepared to put my hair in a puff in the event that my hair would be destroyed by the weather, which was almost daily when you live in Texas.

I tell this experience to say, if you are approaching your natural hair journey with the expectation of achieving perfect hair—however you define perfect hair—you may want to reconsider. Everyone is not going to have defined curls or twist outs that are weatherproof. Frizz is a thing and the sooner you accept it, the less defeated you will feel. The best way to approach your natural hair journey is to be willing to accepting your own unique aesthetic.

Read more: The 411 on Humidity and Dew Points

Craving shine

Shine is not always an indication of healthy hair. Shine has a lot to do with how hair grows from the scalp and the condition of the cuticle. The follicle of straight hair creates a circular hair strands and the follicle of a curly hair creates an elliptical hair strands. Straight hair tends to reflect light much easier than curly hair, especially curly hair that is kinky.

Rely on your hair’s ability to maintain moisture and withstand breakage as an indication of how healthy or damaged your hair is. If you want shine for aesthetic purposes, consider using a pure carrier oil or oil blends from brands like SheaMoisture or Alikay Naturals.

What have you come to accept about your hair?