My curls are such a huge part of my identity, and essentially, my current career. The difficulties I faced over the years have led me to start the natural hair journey and within that process, I fell back in love with the internet, social media, and blogging. There are many reasons why I love, and can hate, my curls too! I have a feeling others will relate to my story too.
I grew up hating my hair as it didn't look like most of the girls around me at school and in my family. Media didn't portray curls as beautiful and I dreamed of the day I would be able to straighten them. It wasn't until I had abused my curls so much (to the point of no return) that I started to yern for them to come back. Now I take full advantage and love my natural hair at all costs! With that being said, here are some of my pro's and con's of having natural hair; I am sure you'll relate to them all.
1. It's a conversation starter
This is something that I love about my hair! It stands out and is always complimented by strangers which gives you a real confidence boost. Having curls also makes you notice and want to start conversations with any other curly haired women in the room -- I have made so many friends this way. I also find that I can gain certain opportunities all due to the look of my hair, #winning
2. It's empowering
Having natural hair is very empowering as you have accepted your natural self and natural beauty. As women of color, we often feel like outsiders when it comes to what is portrayed in the media. Here in the UK, we have hardly any black female lead roles in television or film and the ones we do aren't natural. Being comfortable to do so in a world where it isn't quite the norm is hugely empowering and the internet has helped to lift us all up as women!
3. It's versatile
It is so versatile: you can wet it, diffuse it, stretch it, create different curl patterns (without heat) and numerous hairstyles that a person with fine straight hair couldn't do. I love that I can switch up my look, it also means bae can't decide he wants to see other people, I mean I am other people.
4. It can be high maintenance
Along with the versatility of naturally curly hair also comes the annoyance of maintenance. Changing up your look is fun but it often isn't as easy as it looks; as naturals, we can spend hours, sometimes an entire night, on a style.
5. Holidays can ruin it
Pool, ocean, sand, heat can cause problems for those of us with curly hair. We cannot just step out on a holiday like everyone else does without prepping our hair for one of these issues. Humidity can cause frizz and dryness for natural hair so it is important that we take extra care before and after sun (which kind of defeats the point of being on holiday and having a break!).
6. It is costly
Black women (and naturals in particular) spend the most amount of money on hair! Your typical natural product can cost anything up to £20! We use more than 3 different types of products so you can only imagine how much that can drain your pockets!
My product must-haves
- SheaMoisture Jamaican Black Castor Oil Leave-In is my go-to leave-in conditioner as it always provides softness and moisture, allowing me to style my hair or have a defined wash and go.
- ECO Styler Gel is my favorite for updo's and buns to style without the dryness and flaking.
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner is perfect for sealing in moisture whilst repairing your hair and a great treatment for the scalp.
Learning to love your hair is a process and, like most things in life, won't just happen overnight.
I tell my followers who are transitioning that it is important to surround yourself with others that have natural hair with a positive outlook towards it. When you are around family or friends who make negative comments about your hair, it won't help the process. I noticed that those who used to say bad things about my hair now want to follow in my footsteps as I walk with confidence.
I hope this helps to those who hate their natural hair and gives you the inspiration to push through with the journey!