Updated: Apr 4
Your natural is unique and beautiful and you know that, but if you are just going natural or just beginning to wear your natural hair out, it can feel a bit awkward. Even if you are an OG natural, you may still sometimes struggle with being confident with your natural hair...
Here are some tips to help you embrace your beautiful crown with confidence!
I have always and will always be natural, but up until college, my natural hair was straightened the majority of the time. I felt more comfortable that way. It made me feel odd and unattractive to wear my hair in its natural state, and I am writing this article because I am sure that many women out there can relate. It wasn't until after my big chop that I begin to fall in love with my natural hair. I realized that my hair is not my identity, but it is only an extension of who I truly am. I realized that no matter what state, length or hairstyle my hair is in, it flourishes when I make the decision to love it as it is and not let it define me.
Here are some things that helped to become more confident in my natural hair journey.
Find Some Inspiration
Find styles and routines from people with your similar hair type and length via YouTube, Instagram or Pinterest, and when you have some free time, try them out.
I used to be so frustrated with maintaining my natural hair. In my first attempt to wear my hair natural, there were so many days that I was tempted to cut it all off, and three years ago, I did. As my hair grew back, one thing that helped me to embrace my hair in its current state was seeing other women with similar hair types embracing theirs. Some of my natural hair muses were Face Over Matter, Kimberly Cherrell, Naptural85 and Joy-el. I thought to myself if these women have been rocking their hair natural for years, and they have found methods and products that work for them then the same is possible for me. That is not to say that everything they have done has worked for my hair, but it inspired me to find out what does.
The natural community is growing. There is an influx of natural hair influencers and YouTubers, so although caring for natural hair can be a major learning process, you do not have to start from scratch. Follow some great influencers. Make a board on Pinterest with natural styles you like. Find your hair goals or your fabulous hair twin and do not get discouraged in your hair journey. Believe or not, by embracing your own natural, you might become another woman's inspiration.
Practice Makes Perfect
Just like learning a new language or sport, learning how to care for your natural hair takes time. It is a learning process. You will have some failed styles or bad hair days, but do not let that discourage you. Let the failures encourage you to continue to learn more about natural hair care and to continue to practice new styles. The more you try, the more you find methods that work best for your hair.
Pick a few simple styles that you like and practice perfecting them. After you have mastered those styles, continue trying new styles you like in your free time, regardless of how complicated they may seem. That way even if you fail at a new hairstyle, you will always have a few styles you like to fall back on.
This slick low ponytail was and still is one of my favorite go-to styles. When I first tried this style, my hair was a frizzy mess and my high-density hair would not cooperate, but the more I tried to accomplish it, the better it came out. I found the best way, tools and products that would help my hair to achieve the desired look. Now when in doubt, I smooth my kinky strands back into a low bun.
I have experienced many failed twist-outs and wash 'n go's before I found out what worked best for my hair. Thankfully, I had this simple style to fall back on while I faced many disappointments and severed many failed attempts in practicing the styles I aimed to achieve.
Natural hair is so versatile that it can be difficult to decide how to style it some days. Having a few go-to styles can help. Taking care of your natural hair can seem overwhelming, but I promise you it is a process that gets easier over time the more you put in the work and learn more about your hair.
Forget the Haters
There is a lot of negativities surrounding natural hair, especially type 4 natural hair. For a long time, it was a rare sight to see a woman embracing her kinky tresses, but today it is becoming more common.
Many don’t understand natural hair, and they aren’t used to it and for people who were conditioned to believe the European standard of beauty is the only standard of beauty, natural hair triggers their insecurities and challenges their belief system. They label natural hair as “wild,” “nappy,” or “unprofessional.”
In the mid-1960’s, the Afro became popular. It was a sign of rebellion against a society that conditioned Black people to hate their own hair, to believe that everything white was superior down to the strands of their hair. There are people today who hold that conditioned mindset, but do not let those people convince you of denying your own natural beauty.