I remember the exact day that I decided to stop getting relaxers and embrace my curls. It was during spring break of 2013, I had planned a trip to Disney World and decided that that would be my last relaxer. And I haven’t looked back since. It was the best decision that I ever made for myself. My scalp was extremely unhealthy, and my hair was lifeless. I knew that I needed to change.
I hadn’t seen what my curls looked like since I was eight and was super excited to experience them again. Knowing that it would be hard for me to get through the tiny winy Afro stage, I started my journey by wearing wigs and braids. I then started wearing my hair out and fell in love with how versatile my hair was. Now, I can’t imagine going back to relaxers. Falling in love with my curls has given me way more confidence.
Over the last seven years, I’ve learned so much about embracing my natural hair and want to share 5 natural hair lessons I’ve learned with you all!
While you’re here, also check out:
5 Natural Hair Lessons I’ve Learned
Patience Is A Virtue
I learned very quickly that my haircare routine would be completely different than my relaxed hair. Not only would it be different, but it would take time to figure out what works and doesn’t work. I’ve tried almost every natural hair brand out there before I found products that I love. And the same products that worked in the beginning no longer work on my hair now.
Another tip is I always pick a day when I have nothing planned to do for my wash day. Having a specific wash day stops me from rushing my wash day routine. I take my time washing, detangling, deep conditioning, and styling my hair. I put on all the shows I missed during the week and went through the entire process. My wash day no longer feels like a task. I’m doing it while I’m doing something I was already going to do.
Moisture is Key
I thought that I had the worst curl pattern ever when I first started wearing my hair out. I had no curl pattern at all, and the frizz was unbelievable. I thought it was the products I was using, which was partially right. I was using the right products in the wrong way. I hadn’t figured out how to retain moisture yet. Once I figured it out, my hair changed for the better. My hair has so much bounce, and my styles last at least a week now.
The first thing I started doing was I stopped rinsing out my hair with cold water. Why seal my strands before applying all my moisturizing products? This was a game-changer. And I am focusing on deep conditioning as well. I also wash my hair once a week because water equals moisture.
Deep Conditioner is Different From Conditioner
I’ve been in a crunch where I’ve tried to use products, not for their intended purpose. At times it works, but I have had it backfire on me. I take my deep conditioners seriously. Its the one thing that makes my thick hair manageable. I find products that are specifically marketed as deep conditioners. They make my hair feel completely different, especially in combination with heat.
You’re Not Her
What works for her curls will not always work for your curls. Your curls are not her curls. There are different textures, densities, and curl patterns! Everyone thinks that they will have these loose, spiral curls when they stop getting relaxers. And when they don’t, they immediately become sad and frustrated with the curls that they have. People see Youtubers slap some gel on their hair and go and can’t figure out why it didn’t work for me. Just like they took the time out to figure out what’s best for their hair, you should as well. And while you’re on your journey, do not compare your length, curl pattern or density to your curly hair sister. It’s not fair to you.
You’re not a professional
I know my limits, and when it comes to my hair, I have a lot of them. I know when I need to consult a professional to deal with specific tasks. I tried trimming my ends myself in the first few years, and it didn’t work. I soon found a stylist that cuts my ends regularly. I also never flat iron my hair. I don’t have the energy or will to do it myself. And I know for a fact that I would give myself heat damage.
What are some lessons that you’ve learned while being on your natural hair journey?
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