By Mumbi, of Naturaz.com
How many of you struggle with your curly or coily hair? The fact is that black women for years have been disconnected from their hair, swayed by our inner beliefs and external influences about what a beautiful head of hair should look like.
Although I’m a life-long natural, I have to admit that there are many times that I almost threw my hands up in the air and gave up on it (by the way, that picture above is of me back in the day). My hair was thick and had a fine, coily texture that tangled a whole lot. It would take me up to two hours or more to detangle it!! In fact, I looked forward to long road trips during which I’d finally work on detangling and re-braiding my hair because I had nothing else to do but stare at long stretches of black tar. I was doing twists, twist outs, bantu knot outs, buns before those styles became popular. I had to listen to others advising that I perm my hair so that it would look neater and more mainstream or so that I’d get the awesome corporate job. I didn’t perm it and I did get awesome job opportunities with my natural hair!
I would be turned away from salons because stylists weren’t familiar with styling my hair, others would dry it out first before detangling it – I obviously never went back to those! Quite a few of them would comment that my hair was “too virgin” under their breath as they tried to comb and detangle. I remember when my shoulders would ache from detangling too! Without the right products, tools and techniques, it really was a night mare and you can imagine the frustration that I sometimes would feel. If you identify with any of the above today, you are lucky in many ways because there’s so much great information on hair care. I don’t know where this journey would be for most of us without the internet, books and sisters sharing at events, at home on the streets and everywhere that there is an opportunity! There are also products made for curly, coily hair types that work WAY better than what we’ve had in the past. Now that we’re reconnecting with our coils, curls and kinks, we’re all on a journey of discovery and there’s so much ahead of us!
I had the pleasure to meet Kim Coles some time back and she shared her journey and challenges with her natural hair. Our conversation was pretty much a reflection on her words in this article and I really like her statements below because they resonate with most if not all of us.
“So I haven’t combed my own hair in years, and it is time, it is time and with all the education that I’ve gotten from you girls on all the different products, if I had known that if I moisturized my hair, my natural curls and waves and coils would come out, I might have done this a long time ago.” (Kim Coles)
Kim Coles on one of her you tube videos goes on to say later, “the bottom line is that it’s all about self love, it’s all about being really comfortable with who you are and the way you are and I’m moving into that place in my life where I want to love myself as well as I can, I want to be as healthy as I can…I want to be my authentic self…you might as well see the whole real me, curly and kinky and all!” You go girl!
Have you done the big chop or the big switch from processed to natural? Are you struggling with what to do with your hair? Or your child’s hair? It strikes me that many curlies or coilies deal with dryness of hair, breakage, tangles and overall perils of styling hair. Most people new to the natural curly, coily journey go into a panic when they wake up on the morning after the big chop and wonder what to do with their new unfamiliar hair. The texture, the look! They wonder what people will think. Is it too kinky? Is it too wild? How do I get it to look professional in 5 minutes? How will my coworkers receive this new look? They may even struggle with some comments from family members or close friends about their new look. That is why there is such a strong virtual community of support. Black women globally who choose to, or who prefer the natural look, are going through a journey of self discovery. They are giving themselves a chance to work with, learn about their hair, express and accept themselves just as they are, with their curls and coils. My message to those of you still struggling with your hair is to take heart. Remember that your curly, coily hair:
- Loves moisture. Lots of it! Oblige it so that it can surprise you. Naturaz hair care products are made to infuse and sustain moisture in your hair. Start with the Naturaz Moisture Blast System and get on your way to soft and manageable hair.
- Will always spring back towards your scalp. Shrinkage will be a huge part of your natural hair life!! Especially for wash and go styles. Accept your curls or coils and find styles that suit both your face and body type.
- Loves protection from the elements. If you are in hot dry or cold dry locations, pay more attention to moisturizing and protective styling. Avoid styles that could break or make you lose your hair.
- It takes time to familiarize yourself with your hair. It’s not going to be perfect from the get go as you figure out your texture and the level of moisture it needs most. Explore highly moisturizing products with no build up like the Naturaz Rehydrating Mist & Detangler to keep your hair soft and help you detangle when you need to. It takes time, trial and error so be patient and use protective styling on crazy hair days. One you get the hang of it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
In Kim Coles words, “It is a choice to live powerfully…..being authentic is the only way to live, you are amazing just as you are.”
This Valentine’s week, love your hair just as it is and above all, yourself. Then share and carry on the love for the rest of the year. It’s worth it.
By Mumbi Dunjwa, www.naturaz.com
Kim Coles YoutubeChannel: