Hilary shares beautiful insights from going natural

It’s been six months since I did the BC and, boy, have I learned a lot! There is so much to be gained by being a curly girl. Here’s what I discovered...

You become more confident

Post-BC, I had 1 inch of hair so confidence was key for me. Not only was I going against the grain, my face was exposed for all to see. I’d been wearing bangs before so having my face exposed in that way was a huge adjustment. For me that meant that third eye I get at certain times of the month and the occasional jacked eyebrow wax is on full display. I’ve learned to keep my head up and keep it moving no matter what…or don a cute hat (with a brim) then keep it moving.

You become more educated

Since my BC, I’ve become a product-label-reading fool. I don’t buy anything without checking ingredients. Thanks to my natural sisters and sites like NaturallyCurly.com, curlynikki.com as well as youtube.com, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge on how to care for my hair and how to find the best products for my hair type.

You become a mad chemist

One of the advantages of my PJism is that I’ve learned how to mix and layer products to get my desired look. Of course, after much trial and error and watching numerous YouTube tutorials, I’ve figured out how to get the defined curl that I like. An equal mix of curl activator gel and Eco Styler mixed in my hand first then worked through my hair seems to be the ticket for now. As we all know, what’s working now may not work in a couple of months so I continue to experiment and try new product combinations.

You have styling options for days on end

I’m still in the TWA phase but I’ve found that there are so many things I can do with my little 4 inches of hair. I’m a wash-and-go girl at heart but I’ve flat-ironed, twisted, coiled, slicked my hair straight back, donned headbands, scarves and hats on different occasions as well. Of course, braids are a staple as well when I need a break from it all—like now!

You become more creative

See above!

You discover a whole new world

Not only do you have unending styling options, you have new LIFE options as well. I love to work up a crazy sweat at the gym. Yes, sweat! When my son is in his swim class, I swim too. Yes, I get in the pool! And when it’s raining outside, I don’t have to break my neck trying to find shelter.

You learn who your real supporters are

I’ve been lucky to have friends and family who’ve been supportive of my decision to go natural. I suppose they’re used to my constant style changes. However, not everyone is so lucky. I’ve read some sad and disturbing testimonials on the blogs and message boards posted by some of our natural sisters who don’t have that support. Fortunately, we have a strong online community to turn to when there is nothing else.

The biggest and most important lesson in all of this has been to embrace my natural hair regardless of what it’s doing or not doing, what it is and what it isn’t. My texture is 4A so there is no use trying to get 2B ringlets…it’s just not what comes out of my scalp. On the days that I get frustrated with my hair, I take a break and wear braids for a few weeks. When I go back to my hair, I treat it to a new product and welcome it back in with open arms. It’s what God intended...I get that now.