Feeling comfortable in your own skin and hair is a notion some black women and non-black women of color struggle with. But after centuries of Eurocentric beauty standards that spread its reach into the far corners of every society, more and more black women are embracing their natural beauty.
Many women have become fed up constantly relaxing their hair, putting extreme heat on it to fit the standard of beauty that dominates our culture. Transitioning from chemically treated or relaxed hair to all-natural hair is a process but many who make this change find it so rewarding.
Paris Miles, owner and master stylist of Salon One By Paris, has made it her mission to help women feel beautiful every day with the hair they have. As a hair professional that does predominantly natural hair and protective styles, she has some tips for women who want to start transitioning to a more natural hairstyle:
- Finding the right product for your hair is a process. Don’t be fooled with the fancy advertisements because everything will not work on everyone.
- The process of finding the right product can be somewhat of a trial and error and can get costly. However, it can be a lot less expensive if you consult with a hair professional who is experienced in caring for natural hair.
- The big chop is liberating but it isn’t necessary. Protective styles and various sets can help aid with the transition process.
- Moisture is a key component when transitioning to an-all natural state. Always, always, always keep your hair moisturized.
- Choose products that absorb into the hair strands and improve the elasticity.
- Heavy oils are a NO, unless otherwise using them as sealants and be sure to use them after moisturizing. Only apply oil to your hair when it's dry (oil and water don’t mix).
- Keeping your ends clipped is still a must. However, depending on the condition of your hair, some women can go longer than others. Paris typically trims it every eight weeks if needed.
- Improve your diet and take a multivitamin. Drink a lot of water for faster absorbency of the nutrients. Yes, this matters, not just for your hair but for your overall health. Your hair is just an export for all the things you put in your body.
- Foods rich in iron, protein and Omega 3, 6, 9 fatty acids are always good!
- Hair supplements containing Biotin & Collagen are great as well. Remember to drink plenty of water when taking hair supplements. They work better & reduce the chance of breakouts.
- Try to avoid lots of heat. It can compromise your curl pattern. If you go to the salon for flat ironing or silk press services, don’t touch up in between. Just style it differently. Get creative!
Worried about how to style natural hair? Utilize your hair stylist, Pinterest, Instagram, your friends to get creative with your hair! Don't think of it as a future hassle but as an adventure or an exploration, a big step in your hair journey. Don't settle to look like someone else, find what works for you and your hair.