With social media today, it’s so easy to find someone, somewhere in the world, that embodies everything that we consider #goals. Much like you found and follow someone with flawless skin, hoping that she’ll share the step-by-step breakdown of what she does to achieve the perfect glow, or that each double-tap on your go-to fitspiration account will get you one step closer to her abs of steel, you’ve found someone who totally captures exactly what you wish your natural hair could – and would – be.
Let’s be real though, especially for those who usually rock a wig, discovering your natural hair texture comes with somewhat of a learning curve. And even when we find someone who might have the exact same type of hair as us, it somehow never looks the same. Because everybody’s hair is different – and the climate is different, and the products affect people differently. But regardless of your hair type, your hair is yours and yours only. So it makes sense to embrace and love it, the same way you would with your skin and your body. And while it’s alright to crush on someone else’s hair, we want you to feel that same way about your natural hair too!
STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO PEOPLE YOU SEE ONLINE:
Ok, so even though we said that it’s natural to find someone online who embodies just about everything we want to be – seriously, how does she have a banging body, the best clothes and somehow has time to raise her perfect children with her perfect man?? – sometimes we fall into a trap of comparing ourselves to the picture-perfect moments we see on social media. While admiring someone’s hair isn’t the same as wanting their life, it’s easy to think that our hair needs to look like theirs at every second of the day, when the reality is that theirs probably doesn’t look perfect all the time. Remember that they’re only sharing snippets of their days with us, and photos might even be a throwback to the last time their hair was done up and looking nice – I mean, no one’s hair looks perfect all the time.
DO YOUR RESEARCH:
The first step is truly figuring out what kind of hair type you have. From there, go wild! YouTube and Instagram are full of beauty blogs, especially those willing to share their secrets, tips and tricks. While everything that someone else does might not necessarily work for you, something might. It’s a trial and error process, especially if choosing to embrace your natural hair is new for you, but utilising all of the tools we have available at our fingertips, you’re sure to be armed with a few new tricks in no time.
FIND PRODUCTS THAT WORK FOR YOU:
Through your research, you’d have come across countless different products, and while some may work for your favourite beauty blogger in New York, they might not work best with our Caribbean climate, or even with your hair. Luckily, the number of natural hair companies that exist is growing rapidly, and there’s a product available for almost every concern you may have – so if you look hard enough, you’re sure to find something that works perfectly just for you.
SEE A PROFESSIONAL:
Sometimes we just need to call in the professionals! If you find yourself really struggling, but you’re adamant about learning how to handle your hair texture, visit a professional stylist, who can not only show you how to properly take care of your curls, but help you learn how to style it on your own. Spending a little money now by visiting a professional will save you a headache and lots of frustration in the long run. Plus, you’ll always have a go-to hair guru to answer all of your questions, especially in the beginning.
EXPERIMENT AND THEN EXPERIMENT SOME MORE:
Especially in the beginning when you’re trying to figure out exactly what works (and doesn’t!) for your hair texture, you’re going to want to try just about everything! Instead of rocking the same boring hairstyle every single day, try to change up your look. Not only will this make the process more fun for you, but it’ll also make you more comfortable with your hair, and more knowledgable on how to manage and handle it, making it a lot easier for you day by day.
KEEP IT HYDRATED:
If your hair is brittle and dry, you’ll never feel confident, no matter the type or texture. So learning how to keep your hair moisturised is one of the most important things about rocking your natural hairstyle. Hydrated hair breaks less, looks healthier and all-round styles easier. Try washing your hair at least once a week to give your hair some much needed H2O. When washing, ensure you’re using the same product line so that the shampoo and conditioner complement each other (there’s so much more than goes into it than just how good it smells!), and add a deep condition into your weekly routine. Taking care of natural hair requires its fair share of moisturiser as well as oil. Using a natural oil (like coconut, avocado or castor oil) and a proper moisturiser (meaning, not petroleum jelly!), ensure you’re applying your moisturiser before you apply any oils to your hair. Oil and water do not mix, so adding your oil after you’ve already moisturised your hair will lock in moisture and keep your hair the most hydrated.
BE PATIENT, IT’S A LONG PROCESS:
While we’d love to remove our wigs and be in love with our hair overnight, we know that’s just not how it goes. It’s a long journey – a marathon, not a sprint, they say – and it’s one that’s certainly worth it if you ever make it to the finish line. Especially when your hair is short and now starting to grow out, it can feel like it’s a never-ending battle, but it’s important to take your time, take care of your hair and enjoy the fact that you’re growing hair that’s healthy and loved – even if it’s shorter than you’d like. The important thing to focus on is your hair’s health, not your hair length. Working hard at taking care of your hair will not only give you the hair of your dreams, but it’ll develop your love for your natural hair ten-fold, and you’ll be a naturalista before you even know it!
CREATE A ROUTINE YOU’LL ACTUALLY STICK TO:
So you’ve seen the professional, done all of your research and tried a million and one products until you’ve found the ones that finally, actually, totally work. Great! But the issue is.. you’ve created a twelve-step nightly routine that you realistically know you’ll keep up for all of three weeks. There’s your problem! While there is certainly a lot of work (and a lot of steps) that goes into treating your natural hair with care, you need to be honest with yourself and really assess your level of commitment. If you know you’re not going to spend half hour applying five different products in the morning, go back to the drawing board and see if you can find ways to simplify your routine, while still giving your hair the nourishment you need. Opt for products you can apply less often – like every other night or twice a week, rather than every single day – so you aren’t sacrificing your beauty for your time, and vice versa.
FIND AN EASY, GO-TO STYLE, ESPECIALLY AT THE BEGINNING:
Like most good things, discovering and truly embracing your natural hair type and texture takes time. But we’re busy women, with crazy schedules, social lives and to be frank, tight budgets. We can’t afford to go to the hairdresser once a week, and we certainly can’t afford to skip functions – or even worse, go out looking like a hot mess! So, we’re going to have to get creative. With your professional stylist, or even a friend or family member with similar hair texture to you (bonus points if their natural hair is always looking on point!), work out an easy, go-to hairstyle for you to use in a jam. This will help you to look put-together every day, without having you running back to the hairdresser ready to sew a wig back on before every single fete. Especially in the early stages when you’re still figuring things out, find the hairdo that’ll make your transition just as natural as your hair.