I did it for my daughter.
I wore weave for years. I felt beautiful with my long hair. I lived and breathed by two statements: “Big hair. Don’t care.” Or, “Long hair. Don’t care.”
Then, my daughter came. She took my hair…all of it BOTH DURING AND AFTER pregnancy. Even after the doctor pinpointed my relaxer as the root of my problem (after numerous tests and blood work I might add), I still considered sticking to my short, sassy, straight hair.”
It was only after my sister mentioned in passing that maybe it was meant for me to embrace my curls for that little girl that calls me mom that it all sank in.
Devastatedly, I put in my last set of weave because I could not be one of “those girls” who chopped it all off and started over.
I had seen their journeys, and they were not always pretty. For anyone who has ever needed pretty, here are five things you need to know – five small truths that hold the key to unlocking the super in your natural.
1. Understand that it is a process. Everything in life is a process. You do not wake up one day with all the answers. You do it. You learn something. You mess it up. You learn something. You see something someone else does. You like it. You try it. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it does not. You learn something. I thought I could just grow my hair out under some weave, then take it out and voila! Beautiful curls that I only had to learn to tame.
Imagine when the stylist told me, she would still have to chop most of it. As I watched what was left of my “beautiful hair” fall to the ground, I started my process. I accepted my journey for what it was…not always perfect…more like a constant work in progress.
2. Ask the experts. I knew plenty of people who had hair I loved to admire, but few I trusted with my own hair or who lived close enough to guide me on said journey – only one actually. She was the wife of my cousin. She was natural before being natural was a thing. I sent her a text and asked who could style my 4C hair…I thought “C” stood for coarse. I needed a miracle worker to pull out any hope of a curl in my pattern so I went straight to the top and picked the brain of Paula – founder/owner of the love of people.* While you may not have a Paula, you do have an expert. You have someone who understands your “process” and knows how to help you. Find that person. Use that person. And then, once you unleash the super in your natural, BE that person.
3. Accept the girl in the mirror. You will not always believe she is pretty. Some days you will want to return to your long weave and flat irons (and you can temporarily although I have not yet). You will look, and you will wonder if this is it. You will stare and stare and stare and play with the curls, try to rearrange the style, and then you will get stuck. And you will have to accept that this is how you look. Take it or leave it…Take it.
I remember the first few weeks of my new hair. It was not a love at first sight situation. One of my favorite co-workers approached me (after ranting praises for days) again to tell me how much she loved it. She said she had finally figured it out – it being why she liked my hair so much. She said out of all the hairstyles in all of the world, if she had to pick out hair for me, this was it. This was the hair she would pick. God makes no mistakes. You will have days when you will LOVE your hair. You will have mixed feelings about the entire journey, but the quicker you accept that the girl in the mirror is a reflection of who you are and who you were always meant to be, the sooner you find the super in your natural.
4. Develop a routine that works for you. Now the fun begins. As much as I wold love to say that you have hours a day just to play in your hair we all know that is not the truth. With a 6, 5, and 3-year old, my alarm clock is usually children in the morning on my off days. During the work week, I operate on coffee and Coca-Cola because mornings are early and evenings are late so I needed a “go-to” routine. What I do – the 10 million dollar question I am asked multiple times a day…
- Pick out a wash day. Mine happens about every 4 to 5 days, but I can stretch it to one week.
- On wash day
- Leave-in conditioner.
- Lock-in moisture with castor oil.
- Single strand twist/shingle/clump my hair using a combination of a styling gel and the Love of People’s Whip It.
- Use Bounce Back to wet hair while clumping. (My hair dries super fast without stying gel.)
- When dry, apply Heaven Scent.
- Use Bounce Back as a daily refresher, Whip It as needed for extra moisture and styling gel to redefine my curls up top as they are a little looser than the rest of my hair.
That’s my routine. My hair takes less than 5 minutes on non-wash days. No I do NOT do any item except for the last one daily. I tend to stick with what I know so at month three, I have done little experimenting outside of a few side twists, and a front twist/pull back. YouTube is my friend. Make it yours. I follow my hair crushes on Instagram. You are going to get a lot of advice from a lot of people about which products work and which do not. You will hate some. You will fall in love with others. The bottom line is always the same. DO YOU!
5. Process your praise. Yesterday I was making a purchase at one of my favorite establishments. Of course, I noticed and smiled at one of the newest cashiers. She greeted me with the warmest smile in return. I placed my order. She took my card. She said nothing. I thought for a second that maybe she could not speak because the warmth of her smile did not indicate rudeness. I mean she had not even given me the total. She handed over my purchase, and I left her with one last smile from the soul. Her response, “It’s beautiful.” I was take aback from what seemed like an eternity of silence and confused, I responded in confusion, “What?”
“The hair. The earrings…” as if she could not put it into words, she fumbled. “All of it. It’s all beautiful.” I beamed, and I left, and for the rest of the day, I remembered that girl. I processed her praise.
People will stop you just to compliment, just to tell you that you are beautiful. They will love you. They will see you as you are, not as you used to be, and they love it. They will love ALL OF IT. The key to the super in your natural is you. Just you. Plain and simple. Your smile. Your eyes. Your hair. Your personality. Your inner being. Your vibe. It’s you. You are the SUPER to your NATURAL.
How about you? What do you do to unleash the SUPER in your NATURAL? How do you encourage others to do the same?
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