Fostering Confidence and Love for Your Natural Hair

Fostering Confidence and Love for Your Natural Hair

Loving your natural curls can be a difficult journey. It's like a rollercoaster with high highs and low lows. Most Black women with tight curls have been taught to dislike their natural appearance by society and even our family. Our curls have been demonized and frowned upon for hundreds of years because they do not fit Eurocentric beauty standards. To put it simply, our hair was an easy way to further ostracize us in society.

During slavery, women's hair was cut off to dehumanize and humiliate slaves while tearing them away from their culture. As time went on and slavery was abolished, there were still laws—both official and unspoken—that impacted those with tight curls. Today, the issues range from discrimination in the workforce and schools to negative stigmas reinforced in the home. It's only natural that many of us who choose to embrace our natural hair have to work through difficult, complicated feelings surrounding our curls.

You must understand and accept that finding love and confidence in your natural hair takes time and effort. That's okay. You have to undo years of subconscious programming that has reinforced damaging ideas about the hair growing naturally from your head. Always remember that your hair is not inherently undesirable or inappropriate simply because it's curly. The best thing you can do for your hair is destigmatize it! Below, you'll find a few ways to start fostering confidence and love for your natural hair. These steps are beneficial for both curly-headed people and those with children who have curls.

Adopt a Tight-Curl-Friendly Regimen

Start with the basics. You must understand how your curls behave and why they behave the way they do. Once you understand your curls, learn how to cleanse, detangle, and style them properly. There are specific techniques that can significantly reduce unnecessary tangling and shrinkage while you cleanse. Tight curls benefit greatly from frequent and routine cleansing. We recommend washing your hair about once a week for optimal hair health. Clean hair also maintains and holds styles better. You should also consider ditching raw oils and hair grease for healthier, hydrated hair. You can learn how those products can prevent your hair from thriving here. Our founder, Carmen, shows and teaches you exactly how to do this in her Home Hair Care Academy

Use the Correct Natural Hair Products at the Right Time

Depending on your hair regimen and the style you want to achieve, you should be using different products. You wouldn't use the same combination of products for a twist-out as you would a wash-n-go. While your hair may still turn out well, your style may lack hold or have lots of frizz because the right products weren't used. That's why it's important to learn how different types of products work and when to use them. You can learn about products in our free Hair Product Guide so you're confident about the effectiveness of each product you reach for.

Protect Your Hair at Night

A part of fostering love is showing love. To love is to protect and want the best for something. Properly covering your hair at night is a way to consistently show up for your hair. Even if it's in a "protective style" like knotless braids. Using a satin scarf with a bonnet or a hair tube will secure your hair in place at night. Securing your hair while you sleep also increases the longevity and appearance of your style. When done correctly, it can help your loose styles look gorgeous for longer than a week (though we recommend washing once a week.) Covering your hair protects it from tangling, frizz, breakage, and loss of definition.

Positive Affirmations

They're popular for a reason! Similar to the term "fake it til you make it," telling yourself good things about your hair is an excellent way to foster confidence. Affirmations are a wonderful way to stop negative thinking about your hair at that moment. Let's say you're looking into the mirror and you're upset that the hairstyle you worked so hard on doesn't look anything like the video you diligently followed. That disappointment quickly turns inward and then towards your hair. Instead of ruminating, repeat positive affirmations about your curls. You should still have love and joy for your hair even when it isn't looking its greatest or failed your expectations. Eventually, these affirmations will become second nature to you. Here are a few examples of positive tight curl affirmations:

  1. "My hair is beautiful and unique."
  2. "I love my hair the way it is."
  3. "I appreciate and respect my hair."

Accept Compliments Wholeheartedly

Don't downplay compliments about your hair when you receive them. A lot of us tend to talk down about ourselves after receiving a compliment from somewhere. If someone says something nice about your hair, just say thank you and that you appreciate it. There's no need to point out the "flaws" of your hairstyle as a response. Accepting a compliment doesn't make you conceited. You're allowed to take compliments to heart and enjoy them without toning them down or humbling yourself.

Ignore the Negativity

Ignore negative comments about your hair. The thing is, people have to unlearn negative emotions associated with natural hair just like you. Rude and passive-aggressive comments about your hair shouldn't be dwelled on. Previous generations within the Black community likely faced heavy discrimination, teasing, and trauma surrounding their curls. Believe it or not, sometimes those hurtful comments that they say may be their way of "protecting" you from dealing with the same situation. Or they feel that natural hair isn't attractive and shouldn't be worn by anyone unless they have loose curls, so they're trying to perpetuate those beliefs onto you.

Wear Styles that Show Off Your Curls

Putting it bluntly, if you're insecure about your curls then wearing styles that hide or tuck them away won't help you. Going outside of your comfort zone is key. You'll grow more confident and self-assured about your hair as you continue to wear these styles. Don't worry if you aren't sure how to achieve certain styles. Practice makes perfect, so don't shy away from trying and rocking them. If you need tutorials, you can find step-by-step video guides in our community's Hairstyle Library. Twists and wash-n-gos are great options for those who want to embrace their curls. Not only do these styles help you achieve and maintain hair health but they are gorgeous on everyone.

Explore Your Hair to Enjoy Your Hair

Embrace the versatility of your hair. Try different natural hairstyles, explore different products, and don't idolize hair that you see on social media. It's easy to box yourself into an unchanging routine. Sometimes, subconsciously, we feel like we find one or two styles that "work" with our hair and don't try anything else. Doing all the things mentioned will help you accept your hair. You'll also find new looks that are flattering and match your desired aesthetic. Remember, we always recommend that you become your own hair goals.

Surround Yourself with a Supportive Community

Have a strong community to lean on. Surround yourself with like-minded individuals when it comes to natural hair. That may be difficult depending on where you live and where you work but luckily that's what the internet can help you with. One of its biggest advantages is being able to reach and connect with others no matter the distance. You can join online forums and pages that center on embracing your natural hair. You can join our online community, Tight Curlfriends, if you'd like to connect with fellow naturals while learning how to better take care of your hair. We provide training and encouragement throughout your hair journey. Our members also interact with one another by answering questions, uplifting one another, and sharing hair care tips.

Are You Ready to Love Your Hair?

Are you excited to have confidence and love for your natural hair? You can start today. You can try positive affirmations, community building, or exploring new regimens right now. If you want to begin understanding your natural hair and how it behaves, please attend our free Natural Hair webinar. It'll help you start your journey of destigmatizing and learning about your natural hair.

Always remember that healing from hair trauma and internalized negative feelings isn't linear. The emotionally and physically painful experiences you may have experienced are valid, and they can leave mental scars. Similarly to the scars on our skin, it takes time and nourishing to help them fade away. Be patient with yourself. Understand that some days you'll struggle and some days you'll thrive.

We hope that Brown Skin Women can be a resource that you can return to again and again regardless if you're thriving or feeling low about your natural hair. See you soon!

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.