It truly is a defiant act of self love and confidence to wear your textured, coily, curly or, kinky hair in its natural state. Because historically, there has been a lack of love and appreciation for the hair that grows out of our heads, to the extent it has been demonized, politicized and criticized.
But, don’t think that you are alone in feeling hesitant about rocking your natural hair. For most of my life, I hated my hair and wished that it was silky and straight instead. But, I have come a long way and now, I am sharing the tips that have helped me rock my natural hair with unshakeable confidence.
How does hair affect confidence?
For black women, many of us have been taught from when we were children, that our hair is our “crowning glory”. And as soon as we were able, we entered into the black girl right of passage of removing the natural curl pattern with heat and chemicals.
I can remember how beautiful I felt after an hours long session in the kitchen while my mom straightened my hair using the hot comb that was warmed on the stove. I thought I looked so beautiful with hair that was a close as I could get to the white girls at school and on tv.
The heroine or the princess in the movies always has long flowy locks. But, the awkward nerd or side kick has the curly hair. Thank goodness times are changing but, all my life, I’ve seen the long and straight uplifted as the golden standard. So, that sends a strong message to me – you either get with the standard or get left behind.
And for a very long time, I could never imagine being able to feel confident with my hair looking any other way.
My Big Chop #2
I recently big chopped by hair for the second time. I was suffering from severe thinning as a result from having Covid over the summer. I lost over half the volume of my hair and it was devastating. It was so thin and frail that I could no longer hide it and I had no choice but to cut it.
Imagine me, the girl who would be in tears about getting her hair trimmed, willingly chopping my hair off?!
How can I be confident with natural hair?
1. It starts with acceptance
It begins by accepting your hair just as it is. Loving what God gave you and knowing that it is unique and was handpicked and handcrafted by God especially for you. No matter how much or little you have on your head.
Stop trying to brush, twist, silk press or relax it into submission by forcing it into a state that it doesn’t want to be in.
2. Follow influencers with hair that looks similar to yours
A few years ago, I had to do a Instagram feed and YouTube cleanse. I was constantly seeing women on my feed with hair that looked nothing like mine. I mean they had curly hair of course, but their texture was silkier, with a much looser curl pattern. I had to admit that there was a part of me that watched and envied what they had. Constantly exposing myself to these images and feeling the way that I did was harmful to the acceptance and enjoyment that I wanted to have with my own hair.
And why was I following the suggestions and routines of these women and then wondering why it wasn’t working for me? Ha! Girl, there is no shampoo, conditioner or gel that’s going to make your hair look like exactly like anyone else’s.
After being so frustrated and dissatisfied with my hair, I finally experienced a breakthrough when I changed the channel and tuned into women whose hair was similar to mine. Then I saw realistic possibilities of what my own hair could look like and I was inspired.
Here are two of my favorite type 4b/4c natural hair YouTubers – fellow island girl SheRae Del Sol and Baltimore native Tresses of Alexis. They are fun to watch and their recommendations are always spot on for me.
3. Find products and a routine that works for your hair and your lifestyle
Finding a routine that works for you is so much easier when you’re following the advice of women with hair like yours. It is still a trial and error process, but it won’t last as long. A majority of stress and anxiety with natural hair comes from not knowing what to do or how to care for it properly. It’s difficult to love something that constantly frustrates you.
Take the time to find the products and the routine that make your hair feel soft and hydrated. Understanding what gives you the best results is key to rocking your natural hair with confidence!
Where does lasting confidence come from?
I cannot end without saying that ultimate confidence could never be found with your hair. It comes from knowing who you are, whose you are and that you were uniquely created for a purpose on this earth.
Ready to rock your natural hair?
There is freedom, joy and fun to be had when you are able to wear your natural hair with pride