As a black woman, you can probably remember a point in time where having straight hair was “the thing” to have. Whether you put the “creamy crack” (a perm) in your hair or suffered through getting your edges and ears burnt with a hot comb, there was no measure we wouldn’t take to achieve bone-straight hair. The way most of us knew our hair was straight was when you could hear the grease popping as the extreme heat of the hot comb brushed through our kinks and tangles.
So what exactly made straight hair the ideal image of beauty? Well, natural hair had such a negative connotation behind it exemplifying unkempt and nappy. To be considered polished, and even professional, black women had to either straighten their hair or even wear extensions.
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Did you know that the word “nappy” has been used to describe natural hair as far back as the days of slavery? It was used in a derogatory way to describe the difference in textures between natural hair and European hair. Today, black women are taking pride in the word and identifying themselves as being “happy to be nappy.”
Hair: Our Crowning Glory
For black women, our hair is a detrimental part of our body image. It has social, aesthetic, and cultural significance to our daily lives, and the way our hair looks is a direct reflection of how we take care of it. Now, in the spirit of taking care of natural hair, it does require work. If you are a woman who has natural hair and maintains it, then you know the struggle, but it’s totally worth it when your curls are popping.
As you learn more about your hair and black hair in general, you’ll soon find out that our hair comes in multiple different textures. You don’t have to be bi-racial or blended with multiple races to be considered having curly hair. Naturally, curly hair comes in many different curly types ranging from tight coils to barely-there waves.
Whatever curl type you have, the care you provide to your hair is what’s important. Take a look at these ways to care for your hair to give you well-defined curls.
Exercise! It’s Good for Your Hair
In the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, a study was conducted on African American women comparing their hair care regimens with health barriers. Did you know that 45% of women stated that they don’t exercise or engage in physical activity because they didn’t want to “mess up” their hair!
As a woman rocking natural hair, it’s common to have a love-hate relationship with exercising. You’ve spent time and money on your hair and the last thing you want to do is sweat your time and product out! For those women who avoid exercising due to not wanting to mess up their hair, consider this aspect of exercise… it’s good for your hair.
Exercise is not only great for preventing heart disease and achieving a healthy weight, but it’s also great for your hair too. What women don’t realize is that the overall health of your body is a direct reflection of the health of your hair too. So exercise, drink plenty of water, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier life and healthier hair!
Detangle While Your Hair is Wet
One of the worst things you can do to your naturally curly hair is to detangle it in a dry state. That’s the quickest way to pull your hair out. If it’s a wash day, then you want to apply conditioner to your hair to detangle it first.
To make your detangling process go even smoother would be to part your hair in sections when detangling as well. A good rule of thumb is to part your hair into 4 sections, add your conditioner, and detangle each section while wet.
Let Your Hair Air Dry and Avoid Heat Whenever Possible
Being the busy queen that you are, you may not always have time to let your hair air dry, but every chance you get to let it air dry, do it… heat can really damage your curls. The key with curly hair is to maintain moisture, and the more moisture your hair retains, the healthier your curls will be.
Leave Your Hair Alone After Products Have Been Applied
Once your hair has been washed, sectioned, and detangled, apply your products and style your hair, then leave it alone! The more you comb and work through your hair, the more your curls will frizz. So if possible, style your hair while it’s wet and let it air dry so your products can be thoroughly absorbed by your hair and scalp.
Keep Your Hair Moisturized
To make sure your curls are well defined, be sure to keep your hair moisturized. Jojoba, olive, and coconut oils are great moisturizers for natural hair. A great moisturizing routine to have is to part your hair into sections (at least 4) and wet your hair with a spray bottle and add either of those oils to your hair and Bantu knot it up before bed. Be sure you wear your satin bonnet to protect your hair while you sleep.
You might be a natural hair care expert, so your curls will always pop, but what about the black women who are new to the world of natural? As a black woman, we have to uplift each other and what better way to do that than to share your hair care tips with other queens such as yourself, by way of creating your own hair care blog.
With your blog, you’d be able to give reviews on different products, share protective styles that have worked for the growth of your hair, and post tutorials on hair care routines. When you have your own blog, you have the freedom to express yourself however you choose to, and with your self-expression will come more followers.
So with that being said, you want to make sure that you’re active on your blog, being available to respond to comments and answer questions. This will definitely increase your following and can potentially boost your blog to become an authoritative site for women to turn to for natural hair care advice.