The decision to wear your hair in its natural texture is a personal and exciting journey. If you are like most African American women you were relaxed at a very young age and had little to no memory of what your natural hair texture was like before going natural. However, once your hair's full identity was revealed, you became amazed at the creativity of God, and begin to understand that He did not make a mistake when he created Kinks, Coils, and tight curls. We soon become confident, and proud of who we really are, but for many, holding on to that confidence can be somewhat challenging.
Here are some of the most common challenges reported by naturals, and tips on how you can keep the confidence while on your Natural Hair Journey:
People’s reactions to your natural hair
Others will not always share your same enthusiasm for natural afro textured hair. Be prepared for mix comments and reactions to your hair. Many will love it, and some will hate it, and others will have no comment! Just remember, that no matter what the response this is “your journey.” People are entitled to their opinion, but in the end, it’s your head. Do what makes you feel good about your hair, and stand by your decision. People will soon admire your strength and courage, and some of your biggest naysayers will become admirers.
Kinky, Coily, Curly hair needs more moisture than relaxed hair. Because our hair is tightly coiled or kinky, natural oils take longer to travel down the hair strands, leaving our hair dry. This is why we have to add moisture back into our hair. Remember that water is your best friend. Co-wash or Hydrate your hair at least 3 times a week to keep it moisturized. Avoid using sulfate shampoos, and make sure all of your moisturizing hair products are water based. Hair that is well moisturized is easier to manage, and it retains length.
Styling for some naturals can be challenging depending on the texture and thickness of our hair. Also lack of styling skills can be a factor. All naturals run into up’s and downs when it comes to styling their hair. Whether you’re out of styling ideas or just down right tired of dealing with your hair, there is always a healthy remedy. You don’t have to look to chemicals to bail you out, patience and practice will yield results. Never give up on your styling goals. Visit websites like You Tube and fotki.com for natural hair styling ideas. Also remember it’s okay to take a break, wear protective styles like braids and twists, this will also help you retain longer lengths of hair.
Washing, Detangling and Deep conditioning, it all takes more time with natural hair, so be patient. Invest in a good detangling comb or brush, and always wash and detangle in sections. Realize that your afro textured hair is delicate and should be treated like silk. Give yourself enough time in your sessions to care for your hair. Also find styles that you can put in that will last a few days; such as twists, twist outs, braid outs, even wash n go’s can be refreshed for easy get up and go hair!
How many times have you longed to have hair like someone else? Hair that is fuller, shiner, curlier, thicker, wavier, anything but what is growing out of your own scalp? Hair Envy can be very detrimental to your natural hair journey, and your overall self esteem. You will never be able to appreciate the uniqueness of your hair, if you are constantly comparing it to every natural head of hair you see. Understand that no two textures are alike, and that everyone has their own unique set of challenges that come with their hair texture. Learn your hair, know what makes your hair fabulous, and hold your head up high.
Love your hair, and your selves, may God bless you richly.