There was a time when I couldn’t imagine myself without straight hair. Sunday afternoons were devoted to my flatiron, oil sheen, and the sizzle of my hair frying between two metal plates. I loved the movement of my straight hair, the deep dark shine of my strands, even with the inevitable heat damage I was causing. I could not see my natural texture the same way. It was stubbornly immobile and did not reflect light the same way my pressed hair did. A year after giving up my relaxer, I still could not accept my natural hair.
Then, I discovered natural hair vloggers on YouTube. Seeing these women inviting viewers into their living rooms or bathrooms to watch them learn about and slowly grow to love their natural hair pushed me to put down the flatiron and destroy the distortion in my internal mirror that only allowed me to see my straight hair as beautiful.
Falling in love with your natural hair may not happen immediately. Your hair might not have you feeling #hairgoals when you first begin transitioning. That’s ok. You’re forming a new relationship with your hair and sense of beauty.
If you are frustrated on your journey, try this:
1. Start slow. If your natural hairstyling skills aren’t up to the challenge of daily hair hassles, try a protective style like crochet braids, twists, or faux locs. The Protective Styles line will help you maintain the health of your hair while you transition.
2. Surround yourself with images of your own hair. It’s great to have hair inspiration, but part of your journey should be getting to know your strands. What products give you the most shine and movement? What style suits your texture best? Good days or bad days, take a picture and learn what natural look works for you.
3. Let this journey be a part of your daily TLC. Hair care shouldn’t be a chore. Products with lavender or peppermint like the Ditch the Itch Bamboo, Basil, and Peppermint Anti-Itch Serumare good for both your scalp and helping you destress.
Even with natural hair being more visible than ever, everyone’s journey is different. It’s ok if you don’t experience instant texture love. Take your time and regardless of how you choose to wear it, take care of your hair.
Tonesa Jones is an Atlanta-based freelance writer with a Masters of Fine Arts in Writing. She loves a good cup of tea and watching Bobby Flay throw down in a kitchen. Keep up with her on Instagram.