What am I doing with this hair... and my hands? photo credit: Fran S

If you’re reading this article you’ve probably suffered from self-imposed psychological attacks such as curl envy, shrinkage criticism, and curl-bashing. You may even be suffering from these attacks as you read this. It’s okay to have these thoughts and feelings. They’re symptoms of being stuck in a natural hair journey rut.

It’s definitely happened to me in the past, but not so much anymore because I realized that… I’m doing something right!

Multiple things, in fact. One of the crucial things I've done thus far is... well, you'll see in the seven points below.

So if you’ve ever felt like giving up on your natural hair journey, please don’t - you’re actually on your way to curl acceptance, texture embracing, and fearlessly sharing your inherent beauty with the entire world.

Don’t believe me? Then continue reading this post to learn what you’re doing right on your natural hair journey (if you’re not doing these things, feel free to incorporate them into your repertoire).

7 Things You're Doing Right On Your Natural Hair Journey

1. Commitment

Yes, girl. You did it. You’ve committed to your natural hair journey even though you’re convinced that most days you look like Quasimodo. Phew - some days my curls look as though I slept on the sweeping end of a rake the night before. Whether you’ve recently big chopped or your curls have passed below your shoulders, being on this journey takes conscientious effort and the ability to laugh at your imperfect curls every once in a while.

2. Putting In The Work

If you've put eggs in your hair, you're putting in the work. Whether or not the eggs helped you achieve your desired end goal is left up to interpretation, but at least you put in the work!

That's why your personal and professional networks are in such awe of your curls, even on those days when you're soooo done with them. What your family members and friends don’t see are the countless hours of research you perform for the sake of maintaining your curls. From watching natural hairstyling tutorials to ingredients and product selection, the behind-the-scenes of your curl life are far from glamorous, but your results are healthy, beautiful coils, kinks, waves, and curls!

3. Wrangling Curl Envy

You’ve outgrown, or are at least willing to admit to having, a Green-Eyed Curl Envy Monster living inside you. Give yourself a good ol' fashioned pat on the back. Applaud your efforts because this is a tough monster to harness when your fellow curlies are rocking buoyant, bouncy curls and your hair looks like velcro strips glued to your forehead. Okay, so maybe you don't look that busted, but you get the idea. You’ve silenced the beast and trained it to accept your curly sisters as allies. Most importantly, you've taught the beast to be kinder to you on both good and bad curly days.

Congratulations! Now go compliment a curly and yourself!

4. Work It

The workplace is no longer an excuse to straighten your natural hair. This one is a big deal for me and thousands of professional curlies. Fellow editor and wavy girl Cristina reported:

Naturally Curly polled our community and 57% of you said you had experienced natural hair discrimination in the workplace. These incidents are far too common, and we’re here to say that if women are professionals, then their natural hair is professional too. [ source: 8 Hairstyles That Prove That Curly Hair Is Not Unprofessional ]

This statistic hasn’t gotten us curlies down, though. There are so many professional women wearing their curls with pride in the workplace. They’re also sharing style advice with members of this awesome community. Fellow editor Amanda definitely knows all about professional hairstyles. Get her recommended looks now by watching 3 Cute Professional Hairstyles for Type 4 Natural Hair! My recommended look is the Put a Hat (not a bird) On It.

Pensive Curly in a Black Hat, photo credit: Fran S
5. Sharing is Caring

You’re proud of your good curly hair days, and why not? You should flaunt it if you want to! When you’re eager to share milestones on your natural hair journey with other curlies and natural beauties, you’re not only sharing your happiness with others. You’re letting it shine through - and that’s one of the very best parts about being in the curly community! Fellow editor and curl influencer Devri Velázquez reminds us naturalistas that we must:

Keep the natural hair movement alive, and keep spreading love by embracing your true, raw, natural self in all its righteousness. [ source: How the Natural Hair Movement Helped Me Love Myself and My Community ]

6. Take Stock

Now that you’ve honed in on what steps to make on this natural-focused journey, you’re considering how your diet, lifestyle, and everything else can go natural as well. Writer and curl influencer Jenell Stewart reminds us naturals:

When it comes to healthy hair, what we put in our bodies is just as important as what we put on our hair. [ source: Healthy Hair Diet for Hair Growth ]

Indeed! Take good care of your body, heart, and soul by choosing to prepare and eat foods that not help only your hair growth, but also your overall wellbeing. Also, nobody's perfect: I'm still weening myself off of sugar-filled sodas and staying up past midnight watching episodes of The Office on Netflix.... Don't judge me!

7. Self Care

Among these seven things you’re doing right on your natural hair journey, this is one of the easiest to let fall by the wayside. With busy work schedules, family obligations, social functions, and everything in between, it’s important that you remember to shower yourself with the attention and care that you deserve. Do this on a regular basis. Yes, I'm talking about spa days with your bestie and long walks on the beach with your four-legged friend on a regular basis. Wherever your happy place is, go to it often. You deserve it so do it!

Smiley Face, photo credit: Fran S

No matter if you've hit these seven bullet points or not, it's important to know that I'm rooting for you, curly! Every step of the way!

Feel free to share what you're doing right on your natural hair journey in the comments section below, or find me bobbing and weaving through the traffic jams of Instagram to send me a direct message.

As ever, stay curly!