My thick coarse hair means hours of doing any protective style. But on the flip side, I can go many weeks--at least three or four--before my hair ever gets to the point when I need to wash it.

I am a coarse haired natural and I love it. Do I ever get frustrated? Heck yeah.

But after five years, I’ve figured out how to take the good with the bad. Here’s my story.

I went natural after a short transition a little over five years ago; I had recently given birth to my daughter and I began to realize that loving myself as I naturally am is the best way to ensure she does the same. So I went natural. I did all the research and the YouTube bingeing you could imagine and it did help. Still, being natural has taught me many lessons. One of those lessons is that there’s nothing that prepares you for your texture like dealing with it. There’s no substitute for the experience of caring for your own unique hair.

I am a type 4 natural with a mix of unyielding coils, curls and kinks. But that’s not the important part.

At least not in my eyes. What matters is that my hair is coarse, thick, and full. Unless using a stretching technique, it’s nearly impossible for me to get it into a relatively smooth ponytail because I can’t get it all to fit in my hands. But I love that--I think it’s a good problem to have. My thick coarse hair means hours of doing any protective style. But on the flip side, I can go many weeks--at least three or four--before my hair ever gets to the point when I need to wash it.

I learned to love my hair by thinking about all the positives.

I have a full head of thick hair. My hair never seems to get weighed down by any product--I love that I can pretty much use a bucket load of castor oil, my number one favorite hair product of all time--and my hair drinks it up instead of becoming limp and greasy.

Coarse hair like mine is the driest of all hair types. The natural sebum produced by the scalp takes a longer time to travel the length of the hair and this is the reason we can extend the length of time between washes. The longer your hair is, the longer you can extend this time as well.

Not shampooing my hair does not mean I neglect my scalp.

I keep my scalp clean by focusing products on the length of my hair especially the ends when I moisturize. I also make my own DIY moisture mist with lots of great essential oils for keeping scalp feeling, smelling and looking clean. My favorite essential oils to use are rosemary, lavender, tea tree and peppermint. I add a few drops of each to water (with or without a bit of leave in conditioner) and I’m good to go.

If you have coarse hair like mine, thick and creamy water based products are the way to go.

You want to use products loaded with moisturizing alcohols, humectants and emollients to help hair become and remain moisturized. I like to use products that include ingredients such as honey, castor oil, aloe vera, cetyl alcohol, and glycerin.

I keep my hairstyling regimen simple and low maintenance.

I love mini twists and crochet braids as protective styles and my go to everyday (quick)style is two large flat twists going down to the back of my head. Sometimes, I part my hair in the middle and at other times I do a left side part. I can usually get three days or more from this style.

My regimen is a no fuss one. I keep my ends protected, handle my hair as little as possible and would be quite miserable if I had to go without my must have products for coarse hair, which are: Castor Oil, SheaMoisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, and Oyin Handmade Hair Dew.  

Do you embrace your coarse natural hair?