There was very little (if any) encouragement to embrace your natural hair while I was growing up. My hair is very curly and as a result of the media at the time and not being shown the beauty of natural hair, it wasn’t until much later that I started to appreciate my mane of curls. Now, however, things are different and as a result of having so many natural hair advocates and a change in the narrative around curly hair, so many more girls and women are just leaving their hair as is. If you’re keen to do the same, here are five tips that will help you when caring for your natural hair.
- Test out various products
It took a long time for me to settle on a brand of products. I had been using so many over the course of the last few years in the quest to find one that helped me maintain healthy looking curls. There are a lot of products on the market for curly hair and it can feel overwhelming at first. Try a new one every month and see which one works best for you. You might find it on the first try, you might find it on the seventh one, but it will be worth it in the end.
- Go to a professional
If you can afford to visit a hair salon, find one that specialises in curly hair or whatever your natural hair type is. A trim every now and then is always good for the health of your hair, but on top of that, they would be able to recommend the type of products you should use or you could do a hair treatment there to add some nutrients back into your hair.
- Don’t use too much heat
You might often hear that you should avoid heat if you have curly hair, but it’s not entirely accurate. If your hair isn’t strong enough, then yes, avoid heat until you are able to get your hair healthy again. But if you have healthy hair that can easily bounce back from the heat, then using a hairdryer or a flat iron on your hair every once in a while isn’t going to set your curls back too much. Just don’t do it every day because then your curls will get damaged.
- Deep condition
By far one of the best things I do for my hair is use a deep conditioner. Deep conditioning your hair helps add moisture into your locks and will go a long way in protecting your hair in the long run. I deep condition on every wash, but you can start with once a week and take it from there.
- Follow curly hair and natural hair advocates
This was probably the biggest help in shifting how I felt about my hair – I started following Instagram accounts that advocated for keeping your hair natural. To see others embrace their hair and to watch them style it in fun ways really helped boost my confidence around my hair. Some of my favourite accounts include Nikita Maharaj (@sa_curl_girl) and Ms Paula Bee (@mspaulabee).
For more of our thoughts on embracing your natural hair, have a listen to our podcast on this topic here.