It’s 2019 and women are rocking and owning their naturally curly, coily and kinky hair. Embracing your natural hair and all of it’s big voluminous glory is great.
But what do you say when another woman approaches you and asks the question?
You know the question.
Perhaps you’ve asked the question. Or maybe you’re still asking the question.
Well what’s the question?
How do you make your hair curly like that?
I have been wearing my hair natural since 2014. For the most part, I wear my hair in the, natural, hairstyle commonly known as the wash and go.
Unfortunately, the wash and go is not quite as simple as it’s given name. I’ve written a post on how to achieve the wash and go primarily for type 4 coily hair. Give it a read to learn about my regimen.
Read How to Achieve an Incredible Wash and Go
Although the wash and go is not exactly a “clean your hair and then hop out of the shower and go about your day” kind of style; it is a style--that for the most part--allows your true curl pattern to shine.
Throughout the years of wearing my hair in this style, I inevitably am stopped and asked the question.
I have been stopped in the subway station, while rushing to make a train, in women’s restrooms, at the mall, while going through fast food drive thrus, and while waiting in line to board a plane.
If you think about it you may have been asked in any of these places too.
**This post contains affiliate links to products I recommend and use. If you make a purchase, with no additional costs to you, using the links you help support my blog so that I may continue my dream of empowering others**
The Real Question
The question that is asked can be asked in various iterations, such as how do you make your hair curly like that or what products do you use to make your hair curly like that.
No matter how the question is phrased what is said is not, in truth, the real question.
In my experience, as someone who has also asked the question, the real question is how do I make my hair look like yours.
When I consult with ladies who have asked me the question, I am always conscious of the real question.
So, I begin with understanding.
Understanding Your Naturally Curly or Coily Hair
If you find yourself asking the question or being asked it, start with understanding curly, coily and kinky hair.
Our hair is naturally curly. We don’t make it curly. Our curls, coils and kinks come in all shapes, sizes, textures, densities and lengths.
Yes, there are things you can do to enhance your curl and coil definition, but your curls are your curls.
Our naturally curly, naturally coily and naturally kinky hair is awesome.
Your natural hair is awesome.
Understanding your hair and loving it is how you make your hair look like mine or any other curl crush that you may have.
When your hair is healthy and taken care of your kinks and curls will speak for themselves and have people asking you the question.
Maintaining Healthy Hair
Now as a natural, you can use a number of different methods to manipulate your curls from their natural pattern. But before you get there you need to prioritize healthy hair.
Maintain a consistent hair care regimen, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly are the solutions.
I know those solutions are what you have heard before, but that’s because they are true. It’s up to you if you are willing to take the necessary steps to enact the solutions.
When I began to stop caring as much about the food I was putting into my body I almost immediately noticed changes in my skin, hair and nails. If I’m drinking at least 100 ounces of water a day I don’t struggle as much with breakage of my hair or my nails.
Having a consistent hair regimen is important too. Your hair begins to get used to how you treat it. If you’re inconsistent with cleansing it and are constantly manipulating it then it will respond accordingly.
Once you have incorporated the above mentioned solutions your hair will begin to thrive and your curls and coils will thank you.
It's All about the Natural Hair Product...Or Is It?
Products are not always the answer.
You may feel as if products are the answer, but they really aren’t.
I have been told by a respected natural hair professional that all we really need is some water, a shampoo, conditioner and some oil, and our hair would be just fine if we focused on maintaining its health.
Yes understanding (there’s that word again) what products your hair likes and doesn’t like plays an important role in maintaining healthy hair. But recognizing this takes time and effort.
Becoming a product junkie shouldn’t be a solution for you. Focus on how ingredients affect your hair and look for those ingredients in your products. This will vastly aid your efforts in finding the right products without spending too much money.
Remember styling products are used to enhance and define your curls, kinks, and coils. But they are not the final solution.
When answering the question, I do share the products I use in my hair and my recommended gels that define my curls and give me great hold like the Xtreme Wet Line Gel, or the Curls BlueBerry Bliss Twist-n-Shout Cream.
The gel will help me keep a wash and go style for up to 8 days, and the twisting cream gives me a moisturized twistout for 4 days before needing to re-twist.
Hairstyles to Manipulate Your Curls
Not every natural prefers to wear her hair in a wash and go. You may be one of them. Nevertheless, the question is still just as pervasive.
If you sport a fabulous twistout you probably have been asked the question .
Bantu knot outs yield beautiful curls and waves and beg about which to be inquired. (They were one of my go to styles while I was transitioning.)
Finger coils, rod sets, braidouts, 3 strand twistouts are all styles that can manipulate your hair and give you a different curl pattern without using heat. Most of these styles can set and give you manipulated curls overnight.
The key is to train your hair in whatever style you want to consistently wear. I’m working on a post on this very topic of how to train your hair. Be sure to subscribe to the newsletter so you don't miss it.
After my big chop, I only wore 2 strand twistouts, but as my hair got longer I began wearing flat twistouts. I loved the shape of my curls with these styles.
However, when I hit shoulder length these styles just weren’t working in my hair any longer. I liked that my hair would stand straight up prior to hitting shoulder length.
Upon hitting that milestone my hair no longer defied gravity.
Consequently, I had to train my hair for the wash and go, and it has been the style I wear most consistently.
Whatever the state of your hair resist the urge to judge your hair against another’s. Also don’t be so hard on yourself and your hair.
A statement I hear from a number of ladies is, “I don’t like my hair, it doesn’t look like ________” fill in the blank.
If that’s you, let me encourage you to accept, embrace and learn your hair. Have realistic expectations about your hair and then activate your growth mindset. Your hair can and will get better.
My hair is not perfect. I’ve grown it to waist length and then had to cut it. I’m almost one year removed from my last cut, and have finally made it past bra-strap length again.
The back of my hair is my problem area. It’s low density and always has been.
As my hair gets longer the back begins to show the uneven density and the shape of my hair looks awful. As a result, I cut it to have some sort of shape. I’ve been trying different things to help thicken my hair back there.
Even if none of my actions give me the result I’m looking for, I still work with my hair to keep it healthy and my curls and coils happy.
The next time you are stopped and asked the question or you find yourself looking at natural hair gurus and asking it respond with this… “What are you doing to your hair that you like and that you don’t like?”
This response will lead to a productive conversation that will help inform, inspire and empower someone even if that someone is you.
That's Cynthia's Mindset on Why You're Thinking about Your Naturally Curly, Coily or Kinky Hair All Wrong.
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