Curly Hair 101-
Starting your natural hair journey can be a daunting and sometimes overwhelming process to think about. With all of the products promising miracle results, natural hair gurus and your hair straightener calling your name it is hard to even know where to start. There is a lot to navigate so the tips below will provide you with my top 10 suggestions on how to start you on your own journey to healthy, beautiful curly hair.
1. Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize- Without a doubt this is the most important advice I could give. Curly hair is notoriously dry, especially at the ends. Concentrating on providing your hair as much moisture as possible within your entire routine will help you exponentially. Moisturizing helps eliminate frizz and perpetuates defined curls.
2. Do Not Be Afraid of the Big Chop- My natural hair journey started 3 years ago and I was so attached to my length. I was paying $100 to a DevaCurl specialist for a haircut and would only let her remove ½ an inch- silly! One day I decided to go for it and go for the scary Big Chop, which ended up being the best decision I could have made. Curly hair is very forgiving so even when cut short you can get a lot of volume. The best part is that your hair will grow back extremely fast. When I get my hair cut now, I tell the stylist to cut anything that is dead, straight or just weighing my hair down. You will leave satisfied every time knowing your hair is healthy. Short, healthy hair is much more desirable than long unhealthy hair.
3. Sulfates are Bad- As I am sure most of you who have an interest in natural hair care have heard, sulfates are not your friend. It’s essentially like rubbing soap all over your hair; drying it out and depleting that moisture we talked about earlier. Always check the ingredients label on your products before using them. There are many products out there so be picky, you deserve it.
4. Deep Condition- It’s relaxing and your hair will love you for it. Pick one day out of the week to really concentrate on repairing your hair and deep condition. There are many options in the natural hair care world but one of the most raved about is coconut oil. After showering, slather this all over your hair and sit under a dryer. Your hair will be shiny, strong and feel amazing.
5. Put Down the Heat- I had to hide my straightener from myself in order to follow through with avoiding heat- the struggle was real! The hard reality is that you won’t get the results you want applying heat to your hair all of the time. If going cold turkey is too much for you set goals for yourself like only applying heat once or twice a week and then keep extending your goal until it becomes second nature.
6. Drink Plenty of Water- Beauty on the outside starts with what you put inside your body. The benefits of drinking more water go way beyond just beautiful hair. You’ll see a difference in your energy levels, skin, eyes and hair- talk about a win!
7. Safely Detangle- Curly hair is fragile. Always detangle starting at the bottom using a product with some slip and use your fingers or a wide toothed comb. This will help keep the cuticle and curl pattern protected.
8. Sleep on a Silk Pillow Case- Apparently I’m a wild sleeper so when I try to wear a bonnet to bed I wake up with it on the floor- fail. I started using a silk pillowcase because it eliminates the hassle of actually putting the bonnet on, helps keep your hair from breaking and retains the moisture in your hair that a cotton pillowcase depletes.
9. Be Patient- We are the generation obsessed with instant gratification. Unfortunately, this is just one avenue where patience is key. There is no miracle product, pill or haircut that is going to give you that beautiful curly hair you desire over night or even over the next month. However, with patience and a lot of trial and error you will begin to see the results you want.
10. This is Your Journey- Not Your YouTube Gurus- Between watching the endless YouTube videos and curly hair Instagram posts of all the women who seem to have the perfect curls it is very easy to develop hair envy. I’ve had many moments of thinking “ WHY DOESN’T MY HAIR LOOK LIKE HERS?” In the end, the journey is different for everyone and everyone is at various stages in their journey. It is important to realize that all hair types are beautiful and sometimes that Guru’s curly hair pattern is simply just different from yours- and that’s okay!
Curly hair has never been more celebrated than it is now. The natural hair care journey is a very personal one and it is amazing to think that something as simple as hair can cause one to self reflect on who they are as an individual. What a wonderful thing to grow in your journey and feel more beautiful than ever as a woman embracing her curly crown.