Is This It? How to Deal with the Reality of Your Natural Hair Texture

May 2, 2012  |  

By Jouelzy

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.

Jouelzy offers tutorials on all aspects of Black hair care via her YouTube channel. You can also find her daily hair tips and inspirations on Facebook.

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  • Danielle

    Try products by Black Solutions made specifically for black people!  They have a waterless shampoo so you can go to the gym and an anti humidity spray so your hair will not fall after spending hours doing it!

  • mdeborah827

     I’ve been growing out my own hair for two years now in it’s natural state.  I wear a wig though because I don’t have the energy or money to go after all the ideas suggested.  I like the idea of not buying from Asians who took over the Black beauty supply biz but now they look like hey’re poised to try to take that over too.  They look so disappointed to see us NOT using their hair (the wig I have is older but well maintained).  I hope the sisters responding to this article realize that every dime spent with these gangsters at their stores supports their efforts to continue to run Black owned beauty supply businesses out of business and that this is their true intention. 
      Looking at the high unemployment rates drives me insane and looking at who owns those businesses and how they treat us is insanity.  Just want to shop for items that have to to do with my Black self at Black owned stores and want to see us behind those counters.  This is something I don’t see expressed enough amongst sisters.  We’re asleep and time to wake up.  Their power will concede everything with a distinct and targeted demand.

  • Wow

    Perhaps sisters are deluding themselves with the idea that going natural will uncover hair like that more akin to a biracial woman ala Alica Keys, Thandi Newton, Paula Patton., etc since black hair blogs or blogs centered around black women, typically use stock photos of biracial women with naturally curly hair whenever the topic of “natural hair” is brought up.  Natural hair does not equal naturally loose curly hair and no amount of product is going to change your hair texture into something it’s not (other than a perm that’s quickly applied and washed out to create a curly pattern as opposed to bone straight).  Media should first stop perpertuating the lie of “natural” hair and show what the majority of black women who wear their hair natural look like and sistahs won’t be running to the beauty supply store buying up every product to make those curls “fall” and getting disappointed.

    • tam

      WOW…I think most black women know that. Sounds like you were a little

      •  I don’t know if most Black women know that, because I didn’t. And I get comments on my YouTube channel daily suggesting that women didn’t know that. If you look at media it displays women with naturally curly hair and so I thought there was some way I could train my hair into that texture. Took a minute to release that was not the case. And just look at who the top natural hair YouTube vloggers are and you will see the same image portrayed…big curly hair.

      • Jsajsa28


      • Wow

        Your assumption is very incorrect. Disappointed, far from it.  I’ve worn my hair natural for over 12 years, loc’d for 7 and various natural styles thereafter. But I also know what works for my hair and what doesn’t. Many women who do the big chop experience major anxiety when they envisioned their natural hair looking like what is typically shown on TV or in magazines of natural hair on black women. Look at the you tube vidoes of black women showing how they got their natural hair to “do what it do” through various methods of applying some natural hair product, twisting, teasing, and taming their hair into submission and read the comments from sistahs who are trying to achieve that same look and tell me that most black women are aware of what they hair can do in its natural state. 

  • um…

    I cut my hair off and about 10 other women followed suit, but they were disapported because their’s did not wave and curl most went back to perms!! Don’t try short  natural styles just because others can wear them!!

  • um…

    I LOVE my natural hair!! I’ve been natural for 8 years, first cutting shoulder length permed hair almost to the scalp. I wore this until very recent when I finally decided to grow my hair into natural curls,  It grows very fast!

    I’m testing Wen, not so sure that it’s really doing any more for my hair than any other cheaper product would do for friz. i’m gonna give it another month or so.


  • Treaclesis

    Frequent washings is good, I mean who doesn’t like good smelling hair that isn’t waxy or dirty. Washing your hair once every 3 weeks or once a month is nasty. 

  • IllyPhilly

    This is like the 11th article on this. Is it really that serious? Me, I like afros and braids is that natural? Natural is non weave/perm right? Do white chicks have this issue cuz everyone of them that I know has more extensions than I’ve ever seen.  

    • Courtneyhilton52

      its non relaxer…you can still wear extensions and be natural

      •  yup cause I wear a weave all the time. I just enjoy the versatility of it all 🙂

    • Mrsadkiah

      It’s definitely an opinion thing. There is no text book definition. I personally feel that tif you don’t have chemically processed hair (meaning the actual chemical make up of your hair is ALTERED PERMANENTLY) then you are natural. Some feel that as long as your hair isn’t straightened your natural. You have the Nazis that will say you’re not natural if you straighten/color your hair, and wear wigs/weaves. Like I said it’s all opinion. I just do what I do when I want to with my hair lol!

  • LezMiz

    I’d love to see more hair articles for those of us who are relaxed. I have healthy, armpit length relaxed hair and I’m always looking for tips/discussion in that department. I was natural for twenty years, so I can contribute to these conversations, too, but it would be nice to have more content targeted at relaxed folks.

    • wondertwin

      I agree. I wear my hair natural and am thrilled with the love. But the coverage is unbalanced.

      • Jsajsa28

        It needs to be unbalanced, just walk outside and you will see 75% of women with relaxers, there has just been in influx of information and products for people with natural hair.

    •  I agree…someone with relaxed hair needs to step to the plate tho.

    • sam

      Ummm, that’s like saying we need more “White History Month”. The vast majority of everything is geared towards straight, processed hair because the STANDARD for Black women (unfortunately) is to straighten their hair. I’ve been natural for 6 years, and I get questions like “How did you get your hair like that?” from Black people as much as white people. Even our own people have forgotten what African hair looks like LOL!

      • Mrsadkiah

        I agree with almost everything you said. For one MN DOES have articles with tips for relaxed hair, it’s just never titled like “tips for relaxed hair”. They’re the same type of articles we’ve been seeing for years it’s just that now that natural hair has become a trend there are more and more articles about it. I like the “White History Month” analogy.

    • sam

      Ummm, that’s like saying we need more “White History Month”. The vast majority of everything is geared towards straight, processed hair because the STANDARD for Black women (unfortunately) is to straighten their hair. I’ve been natural for 6 years, and I get questions like “How did you get your hair like that?” from Black people as much as white people. Even our own people have forgotten what African hair looks like LOL!

  • Neecee401

    Don’t psych yourself out. Women who go natural (usually the ones who have had their hair relaxed for so long they don’t know or don’t remember what their natural hair looks like) usually come up with some idea of they WANT their natural hair to look like. Not realizing that’s probably not what you’re gonna get. You most likely won’t end up with curls like Alicia Keys. And you most likely won’t end up with curls or coils that grow out of your head all perfect, shiny and not frizzy. It takes work and getting to know your hair to get it to behave. Just strive for healthy hair. And everything else will fall into place.