Is This It? How to Deal with the Reality of Your Natural Hair Texture
You’ve spent hours on YouTube, plowed through forum threads and admired all the glossy photos of women with natural hair. Then you took the plunge and jumped into the wonderful world of being a natural haired woman. No more creamy crack for you. You just knew that your natural coils would grow out into thick, shiny curly coils…just like all the images you’ve seen. You’ve bought all the products to moisturize and make your twist out turn into buoyant springs of luxurious curls and then reality hits–your hair is either not so thick, not so lustrous, not as shiny as you were hoping, or the curls aren’t holding like you were hoping. Reality settles in and you are trying to come to terms with YOUR OWN natural hair texture. Welcome to the club ladies. After five years of being natural and trying every product under the sun, I finally came to grips with my no-curl-to-be-found hair texture and found pride in my 4c coils. So here are some simple tips to ease you into the reality of your natural texture and help you find pride (with fly style) in your own hair.
1. Healthy hair is more than skin deep.
Most people go natural because they want healthier hair. Great. Truth be told, if you don’t care for your locks, they won’t be healthy in their natural state, and it doesn’t matter how many topical products you add, because the saying, “You are what you eat” applies to your hair too. Drinking water and keeping the blood flowing through exercise will help with healthy hair, faster growth and keeping your locks moisturized.
2. Washing your hair daily isn’t just for everyone BUT black women.
Okay, so maybe not daily because washing our hair is nowhere near a simple 15-minute process. However, don’t be afraid to wash your hair frequently, about every four days to a week at least. Use sulfate-free shampoos or just co-wash (washing hair with conditioner only) and you will definitely see growth in your hair. Even more so, it will help you train your hair to be manageable. You can even wash your hair with the twists/braids intact. Makes for a much smoother process.
3. The best products are found in your kitchen.
You don’t have to dole out tons of money on the latest hair products. There are definitely great products out there, but beyond a good conditioner, you can craft most of your hair products out of your kitchen. Coconut oil, grapeseed oil, extra virgin olive oil, mayonnaise, and eggs are all things I’ve used to create deep conditioners and moisturize my hair. Add some aloe vera juice/gel, glycerin and shea butter to the mix and you can almost create your own hair care line.
4. Patience and an open mind is key.
Really. Take a deep breath. Exhale. Pick up a wide tooth shower comb and take time with your hair. No two strands are alike. No two afros are alike. It’s going to take a minute for you to find your hair flow, but it will come. Don’t dismiss the vloggers/bloggers with a different hair texture. You might not be able to follow them to the tee, but you can take advice here and there to find what works for you. I learned how to braid from a white woman on YouTube and figured out that while twist outs are a definite no go for me, my 3a hair sister showed me that a flat twist out is supreme. Learn to love you and the hair God gave you and it will all fall into place.
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