Natural hair is fabulous, embracing your natural roots can be a very empowering journey. Simply learning how to maintain your natural locks has been a means of appreciating everything that makes me unique as a black woman.
One thing it is not, is a simple process.
Everyone has a different experience, whether you choose to transition, or do the big chop (something I have yet to be able to do) Personally natural hair has been challenging for me, because I rarely have the time to dedicate to my hair and when I do have enough time on my hands that is the last thing that I want to do.
Even with a work from home business, presentation is very important to me. I spend hours during the week on Skype or Hangouts speaking with my clients, and the way I present myself is a reflection of my business, which means that I have had to find ways to simplify natural hair care.
1. Understand Moisture
It took me a long time to understand how to moisturize my natural hair, really, because there is so much advice out there that it can all get confusing. It really was a trial and error learning process for me, and I have combined so many oils together and tried so many brands that my hubby is still sore about the containers of natural hair products that sit unopened in the bathroom.
Mistakes I made:
- Apply oil on wet hair, the point of the oil is to seal the moisture in.
- If you are going to try different oil combinations to see what works for you, start small, don’t mix all of your oils together only to realize it does not work for you.
- Don’t overdo it with the oils and moisturizers, a little goes a long way, and the last thing you want to do is create buildup.
2. Cover Your Hair at Night
After a long work day, juggling between career or business, family, and home, sometimes all you want to do is jump into bed and pray that your alarm malfunctions so that you can have an excuse not to get up early. If you need to simplify your morning routine, you should probably suck it up.
I make sure that my scarf is hanging on a hook by the sink, as soon as I finish brushing my teeth, take a few minutes to wrap my hair and cover it up.
Those few minutes will save you a lot of time the next morning, and will simplify styling your hair for your work day.
“Braid It or Band It: Do you have long and/or natural hair? If so, try pulling hair back into a single braid and secure the end with an elastic band. You can also try banding, where you pull hair back and loosely hold with an elastic band and place a few other bands down the length of the ponytail. Make sure and keep the elastics loose. Undoing the braid in the morning can result in waves for days, while banding can reduce the volume in natural curls somewhat.
How easy is that? With just a few minutes spent on nighttime care, you cut out all the flat-ironing and hot curling to get some body and bumped ends in the morning. Less heat = healthier hair, and who doesn’t want that?”
3. Find Styles That Come Easy to You
Youtube made me want to go natural, long before I knew about the benefits, natural hair gurus had me coveting the natural look. They looked fabulous and the video tutorials looked so simple, I was sure that the moment I decided to transition, I would look A-mazing from the very first day, because if they could do it, then of course, so could I.
Obviously we all know that is not the case. To this day, I stay away from flat twists, because although I can easily do them on my daughters’ hair, I cannot for the life of me get them right on my head. That is one style that I will just have to spend a little money to rock, which is fine, because I am comfortable with roll sets, twists, and braid outs.
I avoid trying to master new hair styles during the work week, because the last thing you want is to wake up the next morning and find yourself with a natural hair crisis, especially if you have short hair, trust me on that one! Instead, practice during the weekends, or other days off and figure out the styles that come easy to you.
Great go to styles:
4. Protective Styles Rule!
7 to 8 months out of the year, you will find me with a protective style. Usually, either box braids or crochet braids, because they are styles that I have mastered and can do on my own, and second because they are so easy to maintain while still giving me the flexibility to change it up a bit.
Protective styles aren’t just great during the winter, but are great throughout the year, because they prevent over-manipulation of your hair. They are easy to maintain for the woman on the go.
Interested in learning how to braid or crochet your own hair? A few simple tutorials that I love!