If you’re a natural, then caring for your hair should be easy and stress-free.
Those of us with natural afro-textured hair know all too well that finding the right products and techniques that actually work for our hair can be a challenge.
Couple that with the seemingly ever-present anxiety that comes along with never REALLY knowing if our natural hairstyle is going to come out as we hope, can make caring for our afro-textured hair seem intimidating.
But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!
In this blog post, we will discuss the best ways to take care of your natural kinks and coils.
From styling tips to product recommendations, this guide has everything you need to know! These 25 tips make it easy to maintain healthy locks with ease.
So, without further ado, let’s get started!
Tip #1: Use a natural-bristle brush on dry hair
One of the best ways to care for natural afro-textured hair is to use a natural-bristle brush.
These brushes are designed specifically for our type of hair and can help to detangle and smooth the hair without causing breakage.
The goal of using a boar bristle brush is to help evenly distribute the sebum onto the hair strands. Brushing our natural hair also helps to stimulate the scalp which promotes hair growth and sheen.
To use, simply brush your hair from root to tip on dry hair. You can do this daily or as needed.
Be sure that your hair is properly detangled prior to brushing to ensure that you will not be pulling on the hair.
Want to see how it’s done the right way? Wateronlyhairwash demonstrates this method step by step in this informative video:
Tip #2: Water Is Your Hair’s Life Preserver
Water is the key to healthy natural hair.
Drinking plenty of water helps to keep your entire body healthy, and that includes your hair.
Water helps to hydrate the scalp and strands, which can help to prevent dryness, itchiness, and flakes.
One of our most important requirements for maintaining great looking kinks and coils is staying hydrated and drinking eight glasses a day!
It’s also recommended that you apply water regularly to your natural hair so it can absorb into roots, mid-lengths as well as ends – this will help with moisture levels overall which means less dryness/brittleness (and more manageable coils!)
Another way to keep your hair looking good and feeling great is by using water during the detangling process.
Our kinky natural hair textures are more susceptible than other types, so when you try combing through dry or tangled locks it will probably hurt and you will also lose some hair!
Always soak coils with a spray bottle before detangling for an easier experience.
Believe it or not, there is a right and wrong way to apply water to your afro-texture hair.
Water temperature is key to properly washing your coils.
Hot water is great for opening the cuticles of your hair and pores of your scalp.
It can also help with removing any product build up that may be left behind, but can quickly become a disaster if you don’t know what to do with your hair next.
Hot water strips moisture away from our coils which causes dryness that could easily lead to breakage and brittle strands. I don’t know about you, but that’s a no for me, sis!
Also, washing hair with hot water will increase tangling and matting, especially if you are not using the correct technique when shampooing coils.
Need some help in knowing how to wash you afro-textured natural hair properly? Jenn Jackson has you covered in her detailed tutorial:
On the other hand, washing natural hair with cold water is not for the faint of heart.
I mean, have you ever had to take a cold shower (BRRRR!). I love taking hot showers and the idea of putting my head under a steady stream of cold water does not bring me joy.
Using cold water to wash your coils is said to be the best thing for your hair.
Cold water causes the pores on your scalp to close AND seals the cuticles. This is is a good thing because closing the cuticles will help seal in the moisture.
We coily girls know how hard maintaining a good moisture level can be so, anything that helps is a step in the right direction.
A good balance would be to wash your hair with lukewarm water. I usually do this when I am rinsing out my conditioner to seal in all of the nutrient and moisture goodness.
If you can’t stand to do this in the shower, try a cup of water over your strands when standing over a sink or basin.
You may have to experiment with different methods but you’ll find the one that works best for you.
There has also been some debate on using distilled water for washing natural hair.
Distilled water is a type of water that has been purified to remove salts and minerals from it. You can distill your own water by simply boiling it.
Distilled water is used in many hair products and I use it in my line of natural hair care products as well. It has a pH of about 4.5-5, which is close to the natural pH of our scalp and hair.
“Hard water”, or water with minerals, toxins and salts in it, can be brutal to afro-textured hair.
When you wash your coils with hard water, the minerals deposit on the strands and cause build up or residue to accumulate.
This residue keeps moisture, from the water and your products, from penetrating the hair strands causing hair to be dry, brittle and just… a mess.
I had this happen to me when I first became natural and moved to Texas where the water is hard.
My hair became so unmanageable that much of it just fell out after a few months (this was also due to not understanding how to care for my hair and the improper use of chemical relaxers),
Once I understood how distilled water could improve the condition of my hair, I never looked back.
I live in Georgia now, where the water is “soft” and no longer need to shampoo or re-hydrate my curls with distilled water, but that is one of the things that saved my hair.
Did you know that I was a natural hair YouTube OG? See how my hair looked when I started my journey and what my regimen was like in 2011:
Tip #3: Use natural shampoos and conditioners
When it comes to shampooing and conditioning natural afro-textured hair, it is best to stick to products that are specifically designed for our hair type.
Natural shampoos and conditioners are formulated to gently cleanse and moisturize afro-textured hair without stripping away the natural oils that our hair needs to stay healthy.
There are plenty of great options for natural hair products out there, but you have to do your research.
Just like you would with your food (I hope!), it’s important that you read the ingredients to know what you are putting in your hair.
It’s not just about knowing the ingredients lists, but understanding what certain ingredients do for your hair, and which ones to avoid.
Does silicone in your natural hair products make it feel dry and brittle? Do your strands love products with coconut oil?
Try products one at a time, for at least 3-4 weeks, to make a good assessment on how your coils react.
You may be tempted to switch products after 1 wash or add products from different hair care line, but, unless it is really damaging your hair, I don’t recommend doing this.
Black hair care product manufacturers typically formulate their products to work well with each other.
This means that the shampoos and conditioners are specifically made to be ph-balanced and complement each other.
The natural pH of our hair and scalp is slightly acidic and falls between 4.5-5.5. At this level, the cuticles of the hair are tightly closed with a healthy shine and feel.
Cuticles are the outermost layer of your hair strands. They are made up of dead cells and look like shingles on a roof, or scales of a fish, under microscope.
Tightly sealed cuticles prevent outside elements from damaging hair strands.
The correct pH also keeps the scalp healthy by helping sebum, our scalp’s natural oil, keep bacteria at bay.
Chemicals and mechanical manipulation can cause these cuticles to lift, or even be removed, leaving the sensitive inner portion of the hair strands exposed.
If you use a natural hair product that is too alkaline (meaning it has a pH of 7.1 or more), you can open/lift the cuticles which could cause frizz, breakage and difficulty styling the hair.
Using a product that is too acidic (1-6.9) and the cuticles of your afro-textured hair will contract (shrink) and swell.
If the hair and cuticles are repeatedly contracting and swelling, opening and closing, this can lead to a condition of the hair called Hygral Fatigue.
Naturals with high porosity hair, a state where the cuticles are continuously open or missing, are most at risk of getting Hygral Fatigue.
Hygral Fatigue can cause tangling, frizz, brittleness, breakage and a weird “gummy” feeling to the hair.
Lifting the hair cuticle can be a good thing, if done with the right intentions.
To lift hair cuticles, shampoos for natural black hair should be more acidic than the hair strands themselves.
Products made for natural hair should have pH ranges between 4.0-7.0. Avoid any products below 4.0, as these would be too acidic, and products above 7.0 which would be too alkaline.
Just for reference, Hydrochloric acid found in the stomach, has a pH of 1.0 and liquid drain cleaner has a pH of 13 (the same as chemical relaxers!)
A balanced pH of your hair products will allow moisture and nutrients to enter the hair shaft without damaging your hair.
How often black hair should be conditioned is dependent on the amount of times you shampoo per week/month and how dry/damaged your hair is.
Typically, you should look at conditioning your afro hair every 1-2 weeks, coinciding with wash days.
Deep conditioning is also important for coils as it is an extra layer of security that our strands will get the water and nutrients from our natural hair products.
Tip #4: Create a Wash Day Schedule
Our unique coily hair textures have some advantages.
We don’t have to wash it as frequently as other hair types, but we still have to have a solid wash day routine to maintain our hair in the best possible way.
Shampooing the hair is actually good for it and, doing this on a regular schedule will keep your strands in tip-top shape.
Look at a wash-day schedule that occurs at least every 1-2 weeks.
As mentioned in tip#3, use natural hair products specifically formulated for your hair type and needs.
I’ve created a routine that is not only good for my hair, but relaxing and enjoyable. Put on your favorite soothing music, some aromatherapy and use your wash days as opportunities to pamper yourself and your coils!
Interested in my wash day routine? Check out this video for details:
Tip #5: Use natural oils to seal in moisture.
Many naturals swear by the efficacy of natural oils for sealing in moisture and keeping their strands healthy and hydrated.
There are a few different types of natural oils that work well for this purpose, including coconut oil, olive oil, and jojoba oil.
Fellow Nurse and Naturalista, Mercy Gono BSN,RN is one of my favorite natural hair You Tubers. She goes into detail on how using oils for healthy natural hair growth really works:
Tip #5: Re-hydrate afro hair often
Look. The facts are what they are.
Our afro hair NEEDS moisture and lots of it.
For most of us, wash days are just not going to be enough to keep our locks luscious throughout the week. Re-hydrating often is an important part of the natural hair care routine.
There a couple of ways that you can achieve a proper hair moisture balance.
One quick and easy way is to spritz your coils every day or so with water. A little bit of water daily can do wonders for your hair.
Another option is to increase the amount of ‘wash days’ you have in a week. You don’t need to use shampoo and conditioner each time. Just let the water run through your hair and that’s it!
Looking for ideas on how to re-hydrate your coils? The Gloved Natural shows us exactly how:
Tip#6: Protective styles help retain length
It’s no secret in the natural hair community that protective styling is good for natural hair.
Our hair tends to be naturally dry and tangles easily. This can lead to excess breakage and not seeing length when we’ve been at it for a long time.
Keeping coils covered, and ends safely tucked away, can promote moisture and length retention. There are many different ways that you can achieve this, but the idea is to always make sure to maintain your hair at all times during the process.
If wearing weaves or braids, it is imperative that you don’t apply tension on your strands. Traction Alopecia is a real thing and you will be hustling backwards if you protective style but tear your hair out in the process.
Check out Naya Nzeka who shares some great options for cute protective styles on 4c hair:
Tip#7: Sulfate-free shampoos are best (but Sulfates are not bad)
There has been a lot of debate on the issue of sulfates in natural hair products.
Sulfates have also gotten a bad rap as it pertains to safety and hair benefits. But is it all true? And what exactly are they?
Sulfates are are a type of chemicals, called surfactants, that are used as a foaming agent in many natural hair products like shampoos and cleansers.
They help to create lather in shampoos and aid is removing dirt and build up from the surface of the hair. This lathering ability makes it possible to cover a larger surface area when you shampoo. A little can go a long way.
Sodium Laurel Sulfate and Sodium Laureth Sulfate are common sulfates found in hair products.
Although there are some downsides to using natural hair products with sulfates, the fact is that they carry a very small risk of being harmful to health.
There are scientific studies that definitively say that the bad rap sulfates has received over the years may be due to consumer misinterpretation, rather than scientific evidence.
As a matter of fact, not all of the ingredients we have been told are ‘bad’ truly are. Do your research and know the facts before making decisions on your hair care product regimen.
Gabriella Bernard shares her take on sulfate vs. sulfate-free shampoos. If you’re looking for a naturalista’s view, her video is gold:
Tip#8: Apply herbal essential oils to scalp for health and hair growth
Herbs and essential oils have been used for centuries for their many health and beauty benefits.
But our hair THRIVES on the combination of these. Using an herbal oil application, after proper cleansing and moisturizing, can deliver results that you’ll absolutely love.
I make my own herbal hair oil and my coils really come to life. You can apply to your scalp as well to help with dryness or itching (be sure to consult with a doctor before doing this to make sure the issue is not caused by a medical condition).
Selina Zinchuk shares her DIY recipe for an amazing herbal hair oil you can do at home:
Tip#9: You are what you eat (and so is your hair)
It can’t be emphasized enough that good hair (and skin) start with a healthy diet.
Making sure your body gets proper nutrition is a must, but your coils also reap the benefits. Keeping hair healthy and strong requires a nutritious and balanced diet.
All hair, but especially natural hair, thrives on diets with the right amount of essential fatty acids like omega-3s.
Foods like salmon, tuna, mackerel, walnuts, tofu, soybeans (hello, Boba!), broccoli, cauliflower, and chia seeds are some just to name a few.
If you’re vegan or vegetarian, like me, we don’t get enough of the B vitamins and folic acid as our meat-eating counterparts, so we have to be extra diligent about getting those for hair health.
Bananas, potatoes and spinach are good sources of B6. Fish and dairy will help deliver necessary vitamin B12. I’ve heard the expression to “eat the rainbow” and it doesn’t just mean Skittles.
Aim for having a ‘colorful’ plate, full of vegetables, fruits and greens and you will be well on your way to lustrous and lengthy locks.
In this video, I share how I keep my hair (and body) healthy using my favorite meal delivery service:
Tip#10: Protect coils with satin bonnets at bedtime
I know I’m not the only one who has skipped the bonnet at bedtime only to wake up to a matted, tangled mess of pain in the morning.
Our natural hair zigs and zags and doesn’t need any help in doing the tango around their coily-stranded neighbors.
That’s why you need to keep them calm and quiet with a satin head wrap or bonnet when it’s time to go night-night.
Not only does this make morning detangling and styling a whole lot easier, but covering your curls at night helps to retain moisture, allowing for longer wear of your twist and braid styles.
Kimberly Cherrell blesses us with a beginner-friendly video tutorial on how she maintains her beautiful coils at bedtime:
Tip#11: Cool it down and ditch the heat
Heat is not always natural hair friendly and so, if you can achieve a cute style without applying hot plates to your hair, I’m here for it.
Using heat on your afro hair does not always have to mean damage but, if you could avoid it altogether, your hair would be happier for it.
Contrary to what many may think, using a blow dryer on natural coils doesn’t always cause heat damage. Heat alters the keratin bonds of hair, allowing to change the “shape” of hair.
Repeatedly exposing the hair to temperatures above 300 degrees can eventually weaken the hair and cause it to lose elasticity become more damage-prone.
Avoid using a hair dryer, or hot tool, at high temperatures to be sure not to cause unnecessary damage.
The natural oils (sebum) are also stripped from the hair whenever heat is applied (think of what happens when you put cooking oil into a hot pan).
Our hair does not need any help with being dry, so eliminating heat from your hair care regimen only stands to improve the health of your strands.
I love watching Princess Jay. She delivers natural hair care with fun and humor. In this video, she shows us how to style natural hair without heat:
Tip #12: Let your natural hair reach for the sun
Your scalp is a living organism, just like the skin all over your body, and needs to breathe.
Keeping your hair and scalp hidden away under wigs, weaves, hats or bonnets all the time can cause them to become unhealthy.
It is recommended that you wear your hair out often to take advantage of fresh air circulating through your strands.
Switch up your styles and put rocking your natural coils in the rotation to see the most benefit.
Tip #13: Coils love deep conditioning
This one deserves it’s own article because it is soooo important to us type 4 coilies.
Deep conditioning your hair means applying a conditioner with penetrating ingredients to add extra moisture and nutrients.
Deep conditioners are specially formulated to get deep into the cuticle layer of the hair, delivering it’s conditioning properties into the part of the hair where it’s needed most.
Deep conditioning is not something you want to do every wash day.
1-2 times a month is ideal as these products typically contain emollients (oils and fatty acids) that can make hair unmanageable and dry if used too much.
There are many types of deep conditioners on the market. Some are used as protein treatments, and others to improve moisture content and/or strengthen strands.
It’s vital that you understand what your hair needs before using any old deep conditioner.
Using protein on hair that doesn’t need it can be very damaging, so take some time to learn what your hair needs and which ingredients work best.
If you’re unsure about how to properly deep condition your natural hair, NappyFu TV does a proper job of explaining it. Check out her video about deep conditioning for us 4c’s out’chere:
Tip #14: Pre-poo for added (moisture and detangling) benefit
Pre-pooing hair is another option towards getting your curls to a healthier state.
Applying oils to natural hair before shampooing can give your strands an added moisture boost, as well as aid in detangling.
I use my own herbal oil blend by applying to my hair overnight and covering with a plastic cap.
The mix of Avocado, Jojoba and Coconut oils, along with the special herbs, makes my hair feel so soft and luxurious the next day. Most times, I don’t even want to wash it out, it looks and feels so good.
You can try the pre-poo method and see if your hair likes it. Not everyone will have the same results so, don’t be discouraged if your hair snubs it.
Caring for our natural hair often requires trial and error. It’s okay if something doesn’t work and you need to move on to the next thing.
Tip #15: Extensions are not the devil
I know. I know.
There are some of you out there that will want to fight me on this one but… it’s the truth.
Wearing wigs, extensions and/or braids CAN be good ways to retain your length.
I’m not one of those natural hair Nazi’s out here trying to shame anyone into only rocking their afros or TWAs.
I think it’s great if you do, but I also think it’s fine if you wear wigs, weaves…whatever. As long as the goal is to protect your kinks and promote hair retention, I’m all for it.
Now, if your reason is because you hate your natural hair texture, or you’re ashamed of it, then I don’t agree with using extensions/wigs for that (just my opinion).
If you choose to protective style with weaves and braids, it’s so important that you prepare your hair prior to installation and not neglect it once you’ve gotten the style you want.
I will be writing another article on how to do this the right way soon, so stay tuned.
In the meantime, CrownOfGlory delivers the tea on maximizing natural hair growth through protective styling with wigs and extensions:
Tip #16: Keep coils twisted or ‘pineapple’ at night
This goes back to tip #10. When we’re sleeping, our hair can become tangled if it’s not kept in a controlled state.
This is because when your hair is loose, it can rub against your pillow and become tangled. However, if you twist it up or pineapple it, your hair will be protected from this friction.
Wearing satin bonnets or head scarves can help but, if you truly want to make the most of your night-time hair routine, twisting up or ‘pineappling’ your strands is going to offer the most benefits.
A good night-time hair routine can help your strands stay healthy and strong.
One of the best things you can do is twist up or pineapple your hair.
This will help keep them from becoming frizzy or matted while you sleep and can also help preserve your hairstyle.
If you have spent time curling or styling your hair, you will want to make sure that it stays in place while you sleep.
To pineapple your coils, simply pull them up into a high puff and wrap with your fave satin head scarve.
This accomplishes the same result and your coils will thank you for it!
Tip #17: Get Regular Trims
This is probably the most important natural hair care tip of all – get regular trims!
I don’t know anyone who gets excited to go to the salon and get a hair cut, but it’s so important for the health of our natural afro-textured tresses.
When our ends are split, it means that the tips of our hair are no longer getting the same amount of moisture as the rest of our strands.
This can lead to all sorts of problems, like tangles, knots, and frizz. Regular trims will help keep your hair healthy and prevent these issues from happening.
When our ends are split or damaged, they can cause our hair to become dry, brittle, and more prone to breakage. That’s why it’s important to get a trim every eight weeks or so.
This time frame isn’t a hard and fast rule.
I personally only trim my ends a couple of times a year and I’ve heard some naturals say that they never trim and their hair flourishes.
Like everything else, its really going to depend on your individual curls.
While it may seem counterintuitive, trimming your natural hair is a good way of minimizing split ends from traveling up the hair shaft and causing more damage.
Contrary to some opinions, once a hair is split it can no longer be repaired. The only way to deal with split ends is to cut them at a point higher than where the split is.
Tip #18: A good night’s sleep=beautiful coils
I think we all know that our body repairs itself while we sleep but that also means big benefits for our hair.
if you’re noticing that you’re losing more hair than usual, it might be time to take a look at your sleep habits.
Are you getting enough rest? Is your sleep quality good?
If not, it could be the culprit to why your not achieving your hair goals.
When we sleep, our body produces melatonin, a hormone that helps us regulate our sleep patterns.
It also gives our immune system a boost, helps treat inflammation, and protects our cardiovascular system.
But some studies have show that it also protects hair follicles and stimulate hair cell growth.
That makes for another good reason why getting enough sleep is vital for, not only overall health and function, but your curls!
Tip# 19: Protect strands from the elements
If your coils are like mine, they spend every day just looking for ways to break off. Any little disruption, and they are ready to say “we outta here, sis”.
So, to remind them that I’m in charge, I make it a good practice to keep them protected from elements that will entice them to head for the hills.
Living in climates where the weather gets cold and dry can wreak havoc on coils. Wearing satin-lined hats or scarves outside will keep the winter hair worries away.
Hotter temperatures can also be problematic. Make sure to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize to give your strands a fighting chance against harmful UV rays.
Also, consider not going out when the sun is hottest so that your natural hair stays protected.
Rainy days can do a doozy on type 4 hair.
The frizz, chile.
On one hand, water is our hair’s best friend but, on the other, it will have our hair looking a birdy-birds nest.
Common sense will prevail in this instance.
Using an umbrella will keep those drops away and a good anti-frizz or detangler can come in handy when Mother Nature decides to rearrange your ‘do.
Tip #20: Detangle first to prevent breakage
This may seem obvious, but you’ll be surprised to know that many coily-haired gals do not know how to properly detangle their natural hair.
As a matter of fact, I’ve been to braiders who literally tried to rake a comb through my dry afro before braiding. You wanna talk about ready to fight?
So, I knew I had to include this one on the list.
Ladies, detangling your hair before doing anything is one of the best things you can do for your strands and your scalp.
Because of the intricate twists and turns in our strands, knots and tangles are an ever-present reality. Always detangle from the tips of your strands to your roots and be gentle.
Our hair is nothing like other hair types so, immediately dismiss any ideas from your mind that you’re going to brush through your hair like you see them do in the commercials.
There is a right and wrong way to detangle. Putting this into practice will certainly yield good results and your head will be thankful that you did.
Watch this video from Bubs Bee to see how to propperly detangle type 4 natural coils:
Tip # 21: Wide is best (and less painful)
Piggybacking on tip #20, you need the right tools to detangle afro-textured natural hair.
The go-to for most of us will be a wide-toothed comb. There are so many on the market, you can have your pick (no pun intended) of the ones that will work best for you.
Some Naturals swear by the Tangle Teaser. Others live for their shower detanglers.
I personally LOVE my Breezelike Sandalwood Hair Comb. It is a sturdy wooden comb that feels so good in my hands.
It is made from green sandalwood and it glides through my coily coils so nicely that it makes combing a breeze (just like the name).
Whichever one you choose, just be sure that the teeth are nice and smooth so as to prevent any tension from snagging when combing through your curls.
Another tip that seems obvious, but I thinks still deserves mentioning is to avoid sharing combs and brushes. These tools can harbor microscopic fungi and bacteria that could be transferred from one head to another.
Keep your hair safe by cleaning tools well (and regularly) as well as not making them community property.
Tip #22: Your scalp needs love too
It’s easy to focus on our strands while forgetting about the fact that your scalp needs love too.
Your scalp needs the same level of TLC that your natural strands do and neglecting it could lead to big problems.
Some tips to keep your scalp happy include the following:
- Avoid products with harsh chemicals or detergents. Black hair care products with alcohols, fragrances and dyes can irritate a sensitive scalp.
- Use the tips of your fingers to massage the scalp, in and out of wash days. Just like any other part of our bodies, our scalp feels invigorated with a good massage. Avoid using your fingernails as they may make microscopic abrasions on your scalp and damage hair strands.
- Brush hair with a soft natural bristle brush to stimulate circulation and wake up sleepy follicles
- Use herbal hot oil treatments with scalp massages to bump stimulation up a notch
Tip #23: Co-Wash for added hydration
Co-washing seems to have gone in and out of favor the last few years.
Some naturalistas swear by it while others think it’s a waste of time. I’ve tried co-washing several times and it just doesn’t seem to work for me.
My scalp felt itchy after a day or two, and I would have to go in and do a complete shampoo again, but I know it does work well for some.
If you have really dry strands, especially after wash days, you may benefit from co-washing instead.
Co-washing is essentially washing your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo.
Earlier in the article, we talked about how shampoos and conditioners work well together because of the pH balance.
Conditioners actually can remove dirt and oil from the hair and scalp like shampoos do.
The difference is that conditioners don’t dry out the hair since they don’t contain the lathering or sudsing agents typically found in shampoos (remember surfactants?).
Although they can function in a similar fashion, they aren’t really designed for this purpose and are, therefore not the most efficient at cleansing the hair thoroughly.
You can get the most benefit from co-washing by adding it to your wash day regimen once in a while or when your hair feels particularly dry between shampoos.
You can also try different conditioners for natural hair to see which ones your coils like the most.
In this tutorial, LiviawithDfro shows us how to co-wash natural 4c hair:
Tip #24: Stay inspired
Embracing your natural afro-texture can seem like a daunting task when being constantly bombarded by messaging that it is not beautiful.
Learning to love your kinks and coils is a process and takes some work and mindful intention.
You have to undo years (sometimes decades) of conditioning that has told you that your hair should be covered and out of sight.
Or changed completely.
Think about it. If 4c hair was the standard of beauty, women with straight or curly hair would go through the same emotions that black women go through to make their hair fit “the standard”.
The key to overcoming this self-defeating mentality is to stop trying to fit in with eurocentric beauty standards.
It also helps to find a community of coil-friends to share and provide encouragement.
YouTube is a great platform for this and you can spend hours watching other Naturalistas share their own journeys, trials and triumphs.
You are not alone and your hair is not the problem!
“learning to love my 4c hair again” is one young lady’s awesome self-reflection on staying inspired through her own natural hair journey ( by Kelsia’s Diary):
Tip #25: Patience is a (natural hair growth) virtue
I think it’s safe to say that most of us want long, healthy natural coils.
We want the option to style our hair many different ways and for our hair to feel soft and luxurious.
This is not impossible to achieve, but it does take time and commitment.
Just like getting our bodies in shape, the damage done to our hair didn’t happen overnight. It took years of neglect, chemicals, tension, whatever (insert your bad hair behaviour here) for it to be unhealthy.
You wouldn’t expect to lose weight overnight, if you gained it over a period of weeks or months, and your hair is no different.
Understand that having healthy natural hair takes a commitment to learning what your individual strands need and being consistent in the regimen that works best for you.
The natural hair movement has been amazing at awakening us to the beauty and diversity of afro-textured hair but it can also create anxiety and disappointment when we see how far other Naturals have come.
Don’t beat yourself up by comparing yourself to others. This will only discourage you and make you want to quit the process.
Take a deep breath and tell yourself that Rome wasn’t built in a day and your hair isn’t going be bra-strap length overnight.
Just dig in and keep pushing. Before you realize it, your coils will be long, strong and luscious!
I hope you enjoyed the article and learned a lot from it. If you did, why not drop a comment and let me know!
Until next time.
Your favorite Kurlie Girlie,