I’ve been natural for almost 9 years now. I’ve been wearing my hair heat-free for over a year. I love it and so does my hair! There are some things I would like to tell all my coily and curly girls out there though.
1. It is in the nature of your hair to be dry. This is the most important realization to me. Dryness is a part of life with our kind of hair. There are no miracle cures to this problem. You will have to moisturize your hair very regularly if you want it to be healthy. Water is the best moisturizer known to man and if you seal that water in with oil or butter, you are on track to having gorgeous, healthy hair.
In the morning, after a fresh spritz and seal, my hair looks phenomenal. I swear I be killing it. When it’s time to hit the sack, though, my hair has a whole ‘nother personality. And it ain’t pretty. It’s a dry, frizzy mess. I have to remoisturize and seal before bed then cover my strands with a scarf. Then I start the process over in the morning. And that is okay! There is nothing wrong with my hair or the products I use, as evidenced by great length retention. But my hair is dry. That’s just how my hair is. Since I’ve come to accept that and learned to fix it, my hair has been on cloud nine.
2. Your hair is just that — YOUR hair. I’m sure you’ve heard people say that no two heads are alike. So stop comparing your hair to anyone else’s! Your hair is uniquely yours and just because someone else loves a product does not mean you will. Furthermore, stop wishing for your texture to be like someone else’s! There are pros and cons to every texture of hair. Once you learn to embrace and ADORE the pros that are specific to your tresses, life is so much easier.
3. Your hair does not have to be “perfect” all the time. So your hair looks a mess today. That’s okay! That’s no reason to give up on your natural journey. There will be days when your hair looks less than great. Even when I had a relaxer, I had plenty of bad hair days. Me and buns go way back, son. I still love me a good bun when my hair looks crazy or I just don’t feel like dealing with it. So what? You wanna fight about it? Why do I have to constantly be flawless? Why do my curls always have to be perfectly defined? Maybe I was going for the messy look! (Done right, it can be really sexy!) A little frizz never hurt a soul.
4. Natural hair is high maintenance. Once you get past those days of the TWA, natural hair requires constant maintenance. If you think being natural will make your hair less difficult to deal with, I believe that’s wrong. I think the hair routines for a relaxed girl and a natural girl are of similar “difficulty.” Since I’ve become natural, my hair routine has become more simple but not easier. I use less stuff in my hair and I don’t have to go get my hair done at the salon, but I still have to maintain moisture and strength with periodic treatments as well as everyday routines. I also have to contend with detangling, styling, trimming, and working against feelings of boredom with my hair. (In fact, I did a post about cutting my own hair when I was bored. Check it out here. I also plan on getting some braids soon to combat monotony–coming soon!)
5. Being natural is about freedom! This is the most important point to me. I became natural to free myself from chains of bondage, i.e. chemicals, slave to the salon. Okay, that’s a little dramatic but I really just wanted to be me, 100% me! I love the versatility of my hair now and that I am not conforming to standards of beauty that have nothing to do with me. Being natural has helped me realize that I am beautiful even though some of society might not agree. I get comments about my hair all the time. Students always ask me to wear it straight, people always want to know how long it “really” is, etc. but I don’t do my hair for others. I can honestly say that I do my hair for me. I share it with the world so that other women can see that they can also be themselves if they so choose. To me, my hair is an expression of myself but it is certainly not all that I am. Whether you’re natural, relaxed, transitioning, bald, wear a weave…it really doesn’t matter. All that matters is that you feel free. If you’re natural and you’re happy, keep it up! If you’re natural and you’re not happy, it’s time to change and there’s nothing wrong with that!
Are you natural? What should we add to this list of things to tell our sisters?