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Choosing to start on a natural hair journey isn’t easy. Once you’re in the thick of things–awkward lengths, matted ends and everything else that could confuse and irritate you–the natural hair journey seems time-consuming, frustrating and literally, sometimes, a tangled mess. When it becomes difficult, the urge to quit and run to a relaxer is strong. You can stay motivated by using a few tricks that will prevent you from giving up.

Remember why you started. 

What was your motivator when you chose to start your natural hair journey? Was it a goal? A feeling? A need for a visible change? Many women choose to start their natural journey with a Big Chop or a transitional period. Whatever the reason, keep it in mind when you’re feeling the urge to quit–either because of that little voice of discouragement or from other people who don’t like the changes you’ve made to your hair. The urge to quit is usually a passing thought, not a ‘solution.’ Keeping your primary motivator for starting in mind will help you resist the urge to give up on your hair.

Visualize your goal.

Create a vivid image in your mind of your future achievements. It could be of your waist-length hair floating behind you as you dance. Or, it could be an image of full, perfectly twisted locks. If you don’t have a goal, create one. A vision of achievement in reaching your hair goals works wonders in increasing your positivity. And remember, your hair crushes didn’t get their luscious manes overnight…

Get an enthusiastic hair accountability buddy.  

Even though her enthusiasm for accountability might annoy you greatly, a partner will keep you from quitting when you feel like you’ve reached a plateau in your natural hair journey. She’ll keep you motivated when you want to take scissors to your locs. She’ll give you product recommendations. She’ll be there to cheer for you when you need a jolt of enthusiasm. And most importantly, she’ll keep you on the path when you want to throw in the hair towel.

Uncover limiting beliefs you have about your hair.

Ask yourself this: Is the reason you want to quit that the natural hair journey because it really isn’t for you? Or is the problem that you’ve got a negative belief you’re feeding into that prevents you from allowing yourself to fully enjoy the journey? The limiting thoughts you have about your hair could be something major like, “I have ‘bad’ hair” and “I don’t feel beautiful without long hair.” The beliefs could also be hidden in a thought like, “My hair never does what I want. It’s such a time-suck in the morning.” Once you’re able to realize what these limiting beliefs are, you can turn them around into positive, self-confident statements like, “I’m learning that my hair is unique” and “My hair is s*xy because I’m the one rocking it.”

When you feel like giving up, don’t. Remember why you started and keep your outlook positive through visualization and a cheerful hair mentor. Continue on your natural hair journey with confidence and the motivation to go toward your goals. When your hair grows long and healthy, you’ll be glad you didn’t give up.

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