Hey, NaturallyCurly World! Some of you may already know, I have an autoimmune disease called Takayasu's Vasculitis.

This is also considered a "chronic illness," as I will have it for the rest of my life. It is invisible; most of my symptoms are only felt and not seen to the public. If you'd like to know more about my health and hair journey, I've written about my diagnosis, my symptoms, and self esteem at length here on NaturallyCurly. You may have a family member, friend, classmate, or coworker who has a chronic illness. Especially in the natural hair community, it can be tough trying to fake the funk on those days that you just do not feel like getting all cute for the public.  

With autoimmune diseases it is common to deal with chronic exhaustion and many days you may not have the energy to go through the entire process of cleansing, conditioning and styling the hair. As a result, I have come up with techniques and styles over the years that help me keep my cute curls poppin' even on my worst days.

Refresh on second day hair

Moisture is always important, no matter what. If I don't have the energy to cleanse and condition my curly hair, I nearly douse my hair with a water-based, all natural refresher. Refreshers are meant to reactivate the products you used the day before. One of my trusty Holy Grails has been Zenzele Leave-In  Conditioning Milk, which contains aloe juice, cetearyl alcohol, and castor oil as its first three ingredients.

Build a headwrap and hat collection

Before getting sick and going natural in 2011, I hardly wore anything on my head. Since then, however, I've learned that a pretty headwrap or hat can accessorize my look and be fun. Best of all, nobody will notice that I didn't wash or style my hair that day.

Rock a simple protective updo

I'll let you in on a little secret. Although Marley twisting hair is super cheap, I hold on to it (as long as it's still in good condition after I uninstall my style) and reuse! The one in my video literally took me two minutes. Again, no one can tell that I haven't conditioned my hair in a few days with this updo. It tucks my dingy ends away under the twisting hair--which doubles as a creative way to hide split ends in between a trim.

Get a good haircut

Every six months or less, I get a trim to help me maintain my hair at a workable length. Of course, this also keeps my curls in tip-top shape and prevents further split ends or breakage. (Long hair isn't always the ultimate goal, especially for chronic illness naturals!)

Watch my video

Are you a natural with a chronic illness? Leave a comment and let us know!