The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Hair is life, and there is so much history behind it, especially as a black woman.
As someone who has been natural for 7 years, I have learned a lot of negative and positive things. Let’s start with the basics, first you need to find a product that works for you. So most products can make your hair very flaky, like eco gel, cantu, and shea moisture (for me). After a year of testing different products, I have found that curly creme of nature works well for me. After wearing the products and still putting more products in my hair, it is moisturized, and not flaky at all.
Next, PROTECTIVE STYLES ARE KEY. Getting braids, wigs, twists, and more, makes your hair grow and keeps it healthy. If you have heat damage, this is the way to go because your hair is very overworked and just needs a break. Sometimes your hair needs a break or you just get tired of hair.
Some benefits of wearing protective styles:
- Encourage length
- Reduces tangles and knots
- A break from pulling, combing and tugging
- Saves time to get ready (big one)
Embrace your natural hair
Accepting your natural hair is the best thing ever. Being able to embrace the transitioning phase, being able to love your hair, and wear it out is just so liberating. Once you go natural, you make a commitment to have healthier hair. Once you start to take care of your hair, and use the products that fit you, you feel very empowered and confident, allowing your hair texture to change. This allows you to love yourself in your natural state, and a boost in self confidence.
As there are many different textures, just know that every strand of hair is unique. Your hair has kinks, coils and curls, unique patterns and shapes. There is also a perk of having natural hair is the versatility you get when it comes to your hair style. You can straighten it, do twists outs, shape your curls, wash n gos; there are so many different styles you can do. Trust the process! It takes time to love your hair, but wearing it out can allow you to have more love for it.
Black women’s natural hair has been hated on for years, due to the history of slavery in America, white people used to bash Black women.
Black hair was removed, for abuse and humiliation, They shaved their hair but now it’s empowering. Having short hair gives women the most confidence they’ve ever felt. Next, Head Wraps in 1786, women were prohibited from wearing their hair uncovered, black women created scarves, prints and wrap patterns, it is now part of black culture. Another one is wearing a fro, now the history behind this is the black power movement of the 60s and 70s, and now its back and never been better. Self-love and afro-centrism are preached by black leaders. Can’t leave out the dreadlocks/locs, now locs have had cultural and religious significance to many communities along the African diaspora. Lastly, Cornrows were popularized in the 1970s, they have been around for centuries and still are around, they are commonly worn in public.
Let me talk about my journey:
When I was younger I struggled with loving my hair, I was around only white people and I wanted my hair to look like there I wanted to look just like them, so I straightened my hair all the time, my mom wouldn’t let me get a perm, so when I sweat which was every day because I played a sport, my hair would go back to curly but damaged. This made me feel out of place and ugly. After transferring school because of how out of place I was, I found people who were honest to me and understood that I wasn’t that good with my natural hair, they helped me find love. I started wearing my natural hair all the time, although it was damaged I watched videos, tried new products and I kept learning more, in the first few years of natural, I struggled a bit but I learned how to cornrow, braid, twist, flat twist and after 2 years of being at that new school, I learned how to do really cute styles. I started to get compliments and that allowed me to gain confidence in my hair, my curls were coming back they weren’t straight anymore. My freshman year of college, I decided I wanted a change so I dyed my hair with highlights, and my hair type changed. The curls were looser but still very healthy, I still continued to learn new styles and now as a sophomore, I am in love with my hair more than ever. My main advice is to trust the process, in due time you will have the hair that you always wanted.
Love your hair! It’s yours and it can allow you to gain confidence, self love, and much more.