There is a quote that speaks to me whenever I think of my natural hair, or whenever I want to tell a friend that they should embrace their natural hair:
I love my hair because it’s a reflection of my soul. It’s dense, it’s kinky, it’s soft, it’s textured, it’s difficult, it’s easy and it’s fun. That’s why I love my hair.
~Tracee Ellis Ross
- Leave your hair open for a while, you will learn a lot about it 😉
I recently challenged myself to keep my natural hair open for at least six months. I wanted to learn more about my hair; it’s texture, it’s versatility, what works and what does not; different ways of styling. I needed to prove wrong the misconception that natural hair is hard to maintain. To be honest, I have enjoyed flaunting my natural hair, trying out different styles for different occasions. I have learnt what products work well with my hair and which ones do not. Furthermore, leaving my hair open has really contributed towards the holistic growth of my hair in terms of my hair line, volume of my hair and strength of my strands.
2. Try different styles with your open hair.
When I cut my hair, I used to hide behind protective styles like braiding and twisting. I had not built my confidence yet and protective styles helped me “hide” that fact. Most new naturals hide behind protective styles because they are not face the new look after doing the big chop. I am not against protective hair styles; they are very vital in the natural hair journey. However, in embracing your natural hair journey, you need to accept and embrace your new look. Confidence comes from within. To build up your confidence, try out different natural hair styles from Bantu knots (as seen below and here), to twist outs to three strand twists.
Having a TWA was one fun stage for me in the natural hair journey and what better way to add life and colour than to use accessories at your disposal. From colorful side bows, to flower crowns, to colourful scarves; you can always find an amazing way to rock your natural hair. I rocked the side bows (still do) for a very long time. I would like to do a series where I show you the different types of accessories you can use so please do subscribe to my blog to be updates on this and follow me on instagram where I will share most of the photos.
4. Keep it simple
When I started my natural hair journey, I kept it really simple in terms of the products I used. I chose a product after reading about its benefits. Because my hair was short, I was addicted to washing it every single day (gasp). I chose to use conditioners only and to be honest this had an impact on my texture as the hair grew. Conditioners soften your hair strands by infusing a lot of moisture. I avoided shampoos and it was only after my hair grew to a certain length that I decided to incorporate my shampoo into my regimen because my hair needed intense washing to avoid dirt accumulation (since I was not washing it everyday anymore). I stuck to a simple regimen at the beginning i.e. used coconut oil, castor oil, water and olive oil. My advise to you who is starting the journey is that you keep it simple. Don’t get caught up in all the product reviews we bloggers do ;-). Just know what works for you.
5. Be patient.
This is to all length-chasers! Natural hair can take a while to grow. I stopped focusing on length and decided to take it easy, enjoy the journey and seek to have healthy hair. I only straightened two days ago in preparation for my oral exams and I was shocked to see the length improvement. It takes a while guys. If you wake up and measure everyday, you will definitely give up soon.
Your primary goal should be your hair’s health. Length is a secondary objective in this journey.
6. Surround yourself with positive energy.
Not everyone around you will be happy with your new look. There are those who will openly tell you that you just made the worst mistake of your life by cutting your hair; and there are those who will cheer you on. I had to deal with negativity as well when I cut my hair but with time I learnt how to deal with it. Don’t let negative energy bring you down; what consumes your mind, controls your life. On the brighter side, very many people loved my look even before I had wholly embraced it. These included my sisters, some friends, my soulmate and even strangers I randomly came across. It really does help to have a good support system. Thank God these days the there are many natural hair online forums where people encourage each other. On that note, I hope to meet y’all at the Afro Hair Fest on Saturday at Jacaranda Hotel 🙂
7. Its all in you
How we perceive ourselves really matters. If you think you are beautiful, you absolutely are.
What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it is supposed to be.
Learn to admire someone else’s beauty without questioning your own 🙂 Your journey is yours, and yours alone.
Thank you for stopping by and I hope you truly embrace and enjoy the natural hair journey. You are too fab for anyone’s negativity.
Hair Style: Bantu Knots
Products Used: Marini Curling Butter
Red Poncho: Kendras Fashion House