Oh the ever dreaded topic of hair texture. You know that whole song and dance about embracing who you are and not trying to be like anyone else. It’s that moment in your journey when you wake up and realize that you in fact don’t have baby hairs like Chilli from TLC. And no, you will not have those beautiful curls like Taren Guy. That actually, there are more kinks and coils than curls and waves. I don’t know about you, but that final realization was anything less than a Zen moment. It was most similar to a two year old throwing a temper tantrum over not getting that cookie before dinner. All in all, it was epic. But with time, knowledge, and a lot of woo-sahs I finally came to terms with being a type 4 chick. Honestly, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here are just a few of the things that helped me along the way:
- Don’t Get Caught Up in the What If’s
I cannot tell you how many times I stumbled upon some beautiful type 3 girl with curls down her backside and have literally drooled. Which then lead me into the what if’s portion of my journey. What if my hair is like hers. Maybe it will be that thick, or that curly, I hope its that length. And my all time favorite “if my hair doesn’t look like hers I will no longer want to be natural”.
Getting wrapped up into other’s hair takes away from the beauty of the hair growing out of your scalp. By doing this, you have already created impossible standards which negatively impacts the way that you view your hair.
In order for me to get over the “what if” hurdle, I needed to understand the potential of my hair type. I saw all the wonderful things that type 3 naturals had to offer. Surely, type 4 was equally as beautiful. So I set out on my mission to discover women with a similar hair texture as mine. Thankfully, I was introduced to the wonderful Whitney also known as Naptural85 on YouTube. Not only is she incredibly creative and knowledgeable, but she also sported her type 4 hair with pride. With her help and my new obsession for all things natural hair, I was able to develop a better understanding of my hair.
- Find Your Go to Hair Style
In the beginning of my transitioning journey it was rough, rouggghhhh. I looked worse than Raggedy Anne and as you could imagine, that did absolutely nothing for my self-esteem. I tried twists, bantu knot outs, braid outs, buns, scarfs, and hats. You name it, I’ve probably tried it! Just as I thought all hope was lost, I decided to give the braid out one last try. Thank the stars, the moon, and the sky – it finally worked! Who knew that adding straws (yes straws) with gel to the ends of my hair would make a difference.
After discovering this style and finessing it a bit, I started to feel cute. My confidence sky rocketed and I was more open to trying new things.
- Document Your Journey
Creating my blog was one of the best things I could have ever done. Something that started off as a creative outlet turned out to be more therapeutic than anything. It was my space to be myself and let my natural hair flag hang high. But what I didn’t realize is it was also a way for me to track my journey. Not just with videos and images but also in experiences. I could see how I had grown and developed from the first time I ever washed my hair all the way up until my signature braid out. It wasn’t just my hair that had grown by I had grown in more ways than one. If you can take pics, jot down frustrations, create videos, and keep mementos, do it. Anything that will help you remember this wonderful time in your life.
- Develop a Hair Regimen
Looking back on the beginning portion of my journey, I know now that many of my frustrations with my texture were because I didn’t understand what my hair needed. Or why when I detangled my hair, it sounded like snap, crackle, pop. Or why my ends were so incredibly dry. It wasn’t until I discovered the right products and learned the proper techniques that things became easier and my hair truly began to flourish.
All in all when I finally took a step back and slowed it down I saw the beauty in every moment and every strand.
Was embracing your texture ever a challenge for you? How did you learn to overcome that hurdle?