Kinky Hair Love

May 03, 2010

By Katrice 


"So, is your new style going to be Afrocentric?" That was the first question I got about my newly kinky hair in 2008. My reply: 'Nope. I'm still going to be pretty much the same Katrice that I've always been ... minus the permed hair.' I'd be lying if I said I wasn't annoyed by the initial response to my having an afro. But, almost two years later, I am prepared for just about any commentary in reference to it because I'm resolved.

Natural is sometimes a state of mind. But, not always. Sometimes the decision is about trend and other times about rejuvenation. No matter what takes a natural woman down the road to kinky, some degree of reconciliation with her self and the hair on her head is a must. And to be clear, it is just about her and her hair. My afro doesn't make me any more enlightened than the next woman except about me and my perceptions of beauty. That's all. So, if you're at a (natural hair) crossroads and need some encouragement, I've found that a healthy dose of my kinky hair love can make your transition a lot easier.

1. Be patient with yourself.
We all grow our hair natural for different reasons. There's no right or wrong about someone's choice. But, there is one thing that many of us have in common -- it's not easy. Prepare yourself for the unexpected and for plenty of introspection, and you will get through the process with much less stress. 

2. Be patient with your hair.
I say all the time, 'natural doesn't equal curly.' Styling products are meant to enhance what you have, not miraculously change it. If you decide to grow the straightness out of your hair, it is important that you spend some time coming to terms with your grade of hair. Pay attention to how it is wet, dry, first thing in the morning ... on your best day and everything in between. Getting to know your un-straightened hair is not an overnight process, so don't give up when what you want to know about it isn't immediately evident. 

3. Be adventurous (with your styles). 
There are more websites, products and forums than I can begin to tell you about. So, take the time to explore and see what works for you. I spent the first year of my natural wondering where to begin with actually styling my afro, and then one day a friend gave me a few tips on her routine. And literally overnight, I had the look I had been seeking. (Thanks Tawanna!) Tip: If you don't know where to begin, choose as specific a style phrase as you can conceive and select Google images. 

4. Resist being lazy with your hair.
Even though our hair appears stronger because it's, in many cases, thick and kinky ... it still requires mindful care. Regiment, regiment, regiment!

5. Moisturize and hydrate.
Many women give up on natural hair because it is dry and brittle. Don't! Starlecha's tipYou can take shea butter and whip it with oil and make your own buttercreme. Just use whatever type of carrier oil (virgin coconut oil, grape seed oil, almond oil, sweet almond oil) mixed with just a FEW drops of essential oil ( rosemary, peppermint, clove, lemon) and whip it with a hand mixer. Whip it a bit, let it cool in the fridge and then take it out and whip it again. It nourishes the scalp,stops dandruff, and MAKES YOU HAIR GROW!! Natural hair LOVES oils. (There was a reason our mothers coated our scalps real well with Blue Magic!)

6. Don't over-wash or under-condition.
Natural hair can be dried out by too-frequent washing and seem lifeless from lack of or an under-nourishing conditioner. It's essential that you find a conditioner that your hair responds well to and even consider a interim co-wash (wash with just conditioner) in between your shampoo cycle. Tip: My hair has responded wonderfully to leave-in conditioner in its natural state.

7. Natural hair can still be damaged.
Just because your hair is natural doesn't mean that it can't be damaged by color. Unless you're putting a semi-permanent rinse in your hair (and even then), consult with a coloring professional about what's best. Kinky doesn't equal invincible. 

8. Don't be intimidated. 
A lot of women go natural, but never get up the nerve to experience what they're natural hair is like because of feedback from friends/family or responses from co-workers, or even because natural hair can be just plain overwhelming. You're not alone. But, consider spending some of your weekend (or time off) playing in your hair. It's the perfect opportunity to try new products and styles, and to get more comfortable with your kinky/curly self. 

9. Just Ask.
If you see someone in passing who has the style or look you want, ask what they're using or even for styling tips. The worst they can do is withhold their secrets ... at least you'll be near enough to study their coif up close. 

10. Love your hair up.
The best advice my mom ever gave me is that my hair will respond to my emotions and attitude. It's funny even to me, but when I have a big event coming up, I literally get my mind right so that my hair can look it's best. With that, I am careful to pay as much attention to my hair as it needs to achieve what I expect of it. And even when it's not my best hair day, I have learned to take it all in stride. Healthy is the new lovely.

You Might Also Like

2 comments

  1. Great post - thanks for the tips. You'd think that after so many years (I think this is my 4th time around), I'd have a routine but each time its something different. Really trying to find my hair's spot ~ I'll keep you posted :-).

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a lot of the same stuff I keep telling people about going natural. It is not easy, but worth it. Great article.

    ReplyDelete

Like us on Facebook

Featured Post