The natural hair movement has grown from being a trend to serving as a mantra for self-confidence and loving every inch of our God-given selves. But, let’s keep it 100. Even though we now have access to every tutorial, hair product, and DIY kitchen beautician recipe you can imagine, many of us still struggle with just the basics of caring for our crowns. Even before you figure out how to craft the perfect curl, you’ve got to learn how to keep your hair hydrated and healthy and how to style it through all of its lengths and transitions.
[SEE ALSO: How To Protect Your Hair From Your Protective Style]
And even when you do, caring for your natural hair may seem like a lot. Don’t stress, you’re not alone. There as so many women who have big chopped more times than they can count, only to return to what they considered to be the ‘ease” of straight hair (or are hiding it under wigs and protective hairstyles. Even Lizzo, the queen of self-confidence, admitted that learning to love her kinks and coils was the “final frontier” in her natural hair journey.
But, as you begin to understand that they weren’t going natural, but returning to your roots and reframing how you view beauty, your natural hair journey will change for the better. Here are three tips to help you find your you and embrace and truly love your texture.
Develop A Relationship With Your Hair
Whether you’ve got the kinkiest of kinks or relaxed beachy waves, the most important part of your hair journey is developing a relationship with your tresses. During a recent conversation about embracing our hair textures, Lizzo reminded us to “listen” to our hair. “Put love into your hair,” she said. “The more love I started putting into it, the more I started to love and take care of it and care for my hair.”
That means hydrating, feeding, nourishing, and nurturing it. Pay attention to how your hair responds to different products and styling techniques. Take notes. Don’t run from it.
Learning to care for your hair natural hair also takes time. When you’re just starting out, wash day might take a lot longer than you had hoped. Heck, after you’ve been at it for years, wash day might still take a lot longer than you had hoped. But it’s not just for styling. Chances are it’s been years since you’ve seen your actual hair pattern. So, it may be a trial-and-error process to find products and learn styles that complement your natural hair patterns (yes, plural). And, once you’ve found the holy grail, it just might change.
That’s okay, you are relearning your hair.
You Don’t Have To Be A Walking Hair Tutorial
I know, I know, this kinda sounds like blasphemy. You want the perfect coil or kinky updo at all times. But, too many twist-outs (especially on dry, brittle hair) can end up with you twisting your ends off. And, over-styling can lead to fairy knots, breakage, and lost edges. It’s okay to let your hair rest and be.
“If you can avoid over manipulation on the days when you don’t have time for your regimen, it will be easier to keep your hair healthy and flourishing,” advised Monique Little, founder of fashion-forward headwrap line, YGN headwraps. Become friends with protective styles, indulge in headwraps, let your frizz — or be free.
BONUS TIP: Do What’s Right For You
At the end of the day, your natural hair journey is YOUR hair journey. One that should be about loving and embracing what grows out of your scalp and learning what styles work best for your lifestyle. Your defined textures don’t define you. Don’t get caught up in debates about what makes a “true” naturalista. Choosing to blow out, flat iron, or rock a protective style doesn’t mean you hate your hair or yourself. In the same vein, being natural doesn’t mean you are in love with your hair, either. Whatever the reason, whatever the season, make sure your hair journey is focused on health, happiness, and hydration!