Lately, it seems that more women are natural than ever. It’s an awesome “trend” that looks like it is here to stay. But what if you don’t like your natural hair? You love natural hair on other women, but just not on you. You just don’t love the length, texture, curl pattern, insert another characteristic (here). It’s not easy to go against years of social conditioning that taught us that long, straight hair was the only acceptable ways to wear our hair.
So how do you fight this overwhelming pressure and learn to be comfortable with your own natural hair? It’s not a quick process, but by taking baby steps you can get there. Here are some tips that helped me. You can take the same steps to start loving your own natural hair in all its beautiful uniqueness and glory.
1) Start with healthy hair.
I think we can all agree that healthy hair looks better than damaged, dry, and dull hair, no matter the hair type, texture, or length. If you don’t have healthy hair, transitioning from damaged to healthy hair may be the “fix” you need to start loving your natural hair. Start following a basic hair care regimen that consists of washing, deep conditioning, and protective styling your hair once a week. Gradually cut off the damage until you are ready to do the big chop.
2) Find the right products.
The right products can make a huge difference in how shiny and manageable your hair is. Some products will make your curls more defined and frizz-free than others. Other products will enhance your natural curl pattern by stretching your curls. Experiment until you find your holy grail products that give you the slay you are looking for.
3) Wear hairstyles that allow you to temporarily commit to hairstyles you like without changing/damaging the integrity of your natural hair underneath.
You may have healthy hair and have found your go-to products, but you still just don’t love your hair. That’s ok! Loving your texture takes time. It’s hard to go against that feeling that tells you that no matter what, your hair just ain’t cute. If this is where you are at, wear protective styles that allow you to protect your hair underneath while rocking hairstyles you are more comfortable with. Break out the weaves and wigs. Put your hair in braids. Allow your hair to flourish underneath while you learn to love the hair you have.
4) Change your hair texture.
You may not love your natural hair, but you also don’t love weaves, wigs, or braids. They can be a lot of extra work and time commitment that you may not have. But you still don’t’ love your hair! In this case, change your hair texture. I’m not talking about relaxing or perming it. I’m talking about changing your hair texture via twist outs, braid outs, roller setting, etc. to temporarily change your hair texture. Experiment with different techniques until you find one that you love.
5) Visit a natural hairstylist.
My very first visit to a natural hairstylist was a game changer for me. I was completely clueless on how to do a “Wash & Go.” I didn’t know what products to use or the right technique. All of my “Wash & Go’s” were trash until I went to see a natural hairstylist. She helped me see my natural hair in a new light. It was bad. It was fierce. It was uniquely mine. Her cut enhanced my curls and gave them a shape that flattered my face. In addition, she gave me a regiment to follow along with the products that I should use.
I know it isn’t easy to love your natural hair when you just don’t. It takes time and changing your mindset. When it is, all said, and done, it boils down to confidence. Your natural hair is always acceptable and appropriate. You don’t have to convince anyone else that it is. You just have to convince yourself.