Natural Hair Routine Challenges in College

Before I started college, maintaining my natural hair was a lot easier. However, I did not realize it until I started college. I have faced some challenges in my routine, but I am pretty sure I have it all figured out now.

Hard Water I did not understand that there is a difference in the water depending on where you live. The first time I washed my hair on campus I noticed that the texture was different. My hair felt really dry and brittle. I had not done anything different with my routine, so I knew it had to be the water. The water is considered hard because it has more minerals in it, but unfortunately it does not agree with my hair. In order to counteract its effect, I deep condition my hair before or after I wash it. This allows my hair to soften and gain moisture. Also, after I wash my hair, I apply a leave-in conditioner and olive oil. The hard water is my only option, so I have learned to work with it.

Not Having Enough Time Before college I was at home with more free time. Now that I am in college, my life is being run differently. I am on a different schedule with less free time. In order to solve this problem I had to find where in my schedule I had the most time and used it accordingly. I have learned to split my routine into two days for time purposes. I wash and moisturize hair one day and style it the next. I usually wash my hair at night so that it will have all night to dry. It is also a time where I can be inside while my pores are open. Maintaining my hair is very important to me, so finding the time is crucial.

Not Having Enough Space I was used to having a tub and a whole house to move around in. After starting college, I feel as if I am in a box compared to before. Limited space can be an inconvenience especially when you have a lot of products and accessories. Having a smaller shower has pushed me to limit the products I use and limit my washing process. I have learned to adapt to this situation by only using a cleansing conditioner or shampoo and a regular conditioner. When it comes to styling, I set up a little area in my dorm room with only the things I will be using. Do I feel restricted? Yes, but I make my only option work.

Limited Budget College limits the amount of money you spend. I am not able to buy products as frequent as I would like. I cannot just go buy a new product when I feel like it and try it out. I am limiting myself by only buying a product when I run out of one of them. This helps with my limited storage space as well.

What challenges have you faced with your hair due to a change of your environment? How have you adapted to the changes?



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2 thoughts on “Natural Hair Routine Challenges in College

  1. I just started college, too, and MAN is the water in the Shenandoah area of VA hard! So much calcium and lime and the water that there area white spots EVERYWHERE. My research brought me to a chelating shampoo (Joico K-Pak is what I used), washing at the sink with a spray bottle full of distilled water, a good DC with heat following having to rinse with that hard water, and a final dousing with the distilled water following my DC. I *think* it worked ’cause I noticed a lot of definition again, even as I was shampooing. (I just did all this yesterday–will probably do a takedown on Monday or Tuesday.) I also think this could be why my hair hasn’t looked great in months, as I moved to my parents home in another area of the state from the NYC area (where the water is great) months before starting school. It wasn’t as bad there, but I could always tell my parents’ water was harder than what I was used to.

    Just remember to use the distilled water WHENEVER you’re doing anything to revive the hair between washes!

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