Photo by Craving Yellow

Learning to wear our hair confidently is a significant aspect of our natural hair journey. Even though I’ve been natural for almost five years, I still struggle with this reality of my hair care from time to time. When I started my hair journey, I thought having long, curly hair would be the cure to all my insecurities, but I’ve come to learn that the issue at hand is not length or texture but rather a mental process of learning to love and accept our kinks and coils just as they are. 

These are five tips I found helpful as I learned to confidently wear out my natural hair:

Wear it out

There’s no other way to get better at something than by practice. Ever heard of the phrase practice makes perfect? Well, this is one of those situations in which we can‘t simply hope to grow in confidence! We must continually put ourselves out there and rock our curls. Day 1 might be difficult. You might feel like the entire world is staring at your hair, but with time, you will realize the power of self-confidence. Our kinks and coils are beautiful, so go ahead and rock them proudly. The world will adjust. 

Learn what works for you

Now some naturalistas are absolutely fine with rocking their hair in a ‘fro everyday. I have a friend, Yanda, who is always rocking her ‘fro out beautifully. She slays! Learning what works for you is part of learning to love yourself. Some naturalistas can rock a set of fierce cornrows from January to December. Others can rock those faux locs. Others still are safe as houses working their TWA’s and high cheekbones. Each style works for each woman and her personality differently. To be confident in rocking your curls, experiment a little and find what works best for you.

Think about your aesthetics

And I do not mean this in any demeaning way. To me aesthetics is your whole look. Head to toe. Now this topic can be an article of its own, but natural hair is intrinsically controversial and political, regardless of an individual’s intentions. As women of color our aesthetics – skin tone, hair type, and body shape are constantly under the glare of a non-consenting media. However, I’ve come to learn to wear my hair out despite this reality. If anything, going natural is a way of expressing and taking pride in our rich cultural diversity.

Fill in your physical package

Oh goodness me, that sounded extremely chauvinistic, but let me explain what I mean. “Package” means your complete physical appearance. Think about what clothes and accessories make you feel most comfortable and confident. Do you love heels? Rock them! Are you the queen of flats? Chuck them on! Throw on that shirt you love or a little lipstick that makes you feel confident. I know this might come across as superficial, but trust me, adding simple accessories to your look add sophistication to your entire fit. I have found that the better I feel about my whole look, the more confident I feel in wearing my natural hair.

And lastly, if not most importantly…

Remember that physical beauty is, after all, a chasing after the wind. There will always be someone to envy and someone who envies you. Someone who thinks your natural hair is absolutely stunning and yet another who cannot be bothered. I have found that the most important aspect of growing in confidence is to focus on your inner sense of self-worth. Build your character, learn to give, support a friend, volunteer at a shelter. Many times when I’m feeling insufficient in my physical beauty, it is because I am spending too much time focusing my energies on how I think others perceive me. When I turn my outlook inwards, I find that my inner qualities are truly what make me beautiful and whole. Do what you can to look your greatest, but do not allow it to consume you. You are enough. You are absolutely gorgeous just the way you are. Now believe it and beam it!

Tabitha Tongoi

I’m a sunshine seeker and color lover! I write about my type 4, coily, waist-length hair journey and my experiences living as a young African woman abroad. I’m all over the Internet, feel free to come say hi!

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