As a black woman, embracing natural hair can be a rollercoaster of emotions. On one hand, it’s a way to celebrate the unique and beautiful texture that sets our hair apart and to challenge Eurocentric beauty standards. On the other hand, it’s a source of frustration, a constant battle against tangles, shrinkage, and breakage. But, no matter the challenges, natural hair is a journey that's worth taking.
Growing up, I was never taught the beauty of natural hair. The only images of black women I saw in the media were of sleek, chemically relaxed hair, or long, straight hair that looked nothing like mine. The words “nappy,” “unmanageable,” and “unprofessional” were used to describe my hair, and I was told that the only way to make it presentable was to straighten it with heat, relax it with chemicals, or cover it up with weaves and wigs.
It wasn’t until I became an adult that I began to see the world of natural hair differently. I started to educate myself, and I discovered a whole community of black women who were embracing their natural hair and celebrating its beauty. I learned that natural hair was an expression of strength, pride, and cultural heritage, and I decided to join the movement.
The journey was a bumpy ride, to say the least. My hair was damaged from years of chemical relaxers, heat damage, and hair extensions, and it took a lot of TLC to get it back to a healthy state. But, as I learned more about natural hair care, I also learned to love and appreciate my hair in a way that I never thought was possible.
Now, I’m proud to be a naturalista and to show off my kinky, curly, coily hair with confidence. I’ve discovered a whole new world of styles and products that cater to natural hair, and I’ve made friends with like-minded women who understand the ups and downs of the journey.
The natural hair journey is not for the faint of heart, but it’s worth it. So, for those of you just starting your journey or for the seasoned naturalistas, here are a few tips to keep in mind:
Love your hair type and texture. Every head of natural hair is unique and there’s no such thing as “good” or “bad” hair. Embrace your hair and find products and styles that work for you.
Have patience. Transitioning to natural hair can be a slow process, and it’s important to not compare your hair to others. Remember, every head of hair grows at its own pace.
Treat yo' self to good hair products. Investing in high-quality products will make a huge difference in the health and appearance of your hair. Look for products that are sulfate-free, paraben-free, and contain natural ingredients.
Join the squad. Whether online or in person, finding a supportive community of like-minded naturalistas will make the journey much more enjoyable. These women will become your hair heroes, your cheerleaders, and your confidants. So, there you have it, the natural hair journey from a black woman's perspective, with a touch of sass. Embrace your hair, love your hair, and rock your hair with confidence, because at the end of the day, your hair is a reflection of your unique beauty and identity. And that is something worth celebrating.