I’ve always had a complicated relationship with my hair. When I first transitioned from a perm to my natural hair, I second-guessed almost every step of the process. Even though my ends were damaged and eventually looked as if I had taken clippers to them (YIKES, right?), I knew what to expect with my semi-permed hair. The journey was terrifying although I knew I needed to make that clean break for healthy, nourished, and strong hair. I learned a lot about myself when I went natural.
In this way, quarantine has taken me on another natural hair journey.
These past few months in lockdown haven’t been easy for anyone. Sometimes, it feels impossible to find the space to just…process. I pack this on every day, in the way that we all do.
Since April, my world has been a series of endings and beginnings. I suffered a major loss, and it impacted every single avenue of my life. I was in an in-between state. Before quarantine, I took pride in keeping up with my natural hair because it made me feel confident, empowered, self-sufficient. Before quarantine, I never would’ve made the correlation between my mental state and my hair.
But after quarantine, I stopped washing my hair as frequently and would wait weeks before attempting the detangling process.
I stopped caring about my appearance and hid behind clothes that didn’t make me feel good. My inattentiveness gave me a false sense of control. I would hold steadfast to the decisions about my hair by not taking care of it at all. I found solace in headwraps, and proceeded to wrap my hair up for the entire summer.
Wrapping up my hair gave me confidence, but eventually became a crutch and an excuse to skip wash day because no one would see my hair anyway.
Recently, I realized that my relationship with my hair was an indicator that I wasn’t coping well with all of the changes that were happening so quickly. So, I made a conscious effort to rid myself of that toxic mentality. (I am still making that effort today.) I created a schedule for my natural hair care so I would be more likely to follow through. Then, I noticed that it still took a lot of effort to comb out or had serious product build up. I decided to try a new routine and spent weeks researching and testing out black-owned and cruelty free hair care lines.
Actively deciding to use black hair care products made a difference.
One of my favorites was a black-owned and vegan company, Wonder Curl. I gave founder Scarlett Rocourt a snippet of my hair issues and she sent me detailed recommendations on how to problem solve. Her Detoxifying Clay Cleanser and Sealing Hair Butter reshaped the way that I see and treat my natural hair.
The cleanser turned a 10-step shampoo and conditioning process into one. Applying the sealing butter after my first go at a co-wash contained most of my frizz. This process worked for me because I used a small amount of each product and still got big results. This experience gave me the push I needed to put more time, energy and intent into caring for my hair again.
And the Curl Control Styling Lotion made day four of my braid-out feel like day one.
This never happens to me. By day four of a braid-out, I am usually either fluffing out my afro or throwing my hair into a top knot bun.
At the beginning of quarantine, I had gone so long between washing my hair that it became a tangled mess that I actively avoided. Once I actually started to infuse consistency, love and care back into my hair, I gained back the confidence I don’t remember losing.
I have been natural for 10 years, and have had a series of ups and downs since then. I am proud of where I am in my journey, and am committing to giving my hair the love and attention it deserves. That I deserve.
*Wonder Curl hair products gifted by Wonder Curl, but review is entirely my own. If you’d like to learn more hair care tips, check out the virtual Healthy Hair Summit on September 25th – 27th!