Have you ever struggled with accepting your naturally curly hair? It's ok to admit; many of us have! Until recently women with naturally curly hair have been encouraged to straighten their locks in an effort to conform to society's expectations. However, a recent uptick in natural curls being accepted has made more women interested in embracing their natural curls. Blogger Sheila Ndina recently shared some of her own tips and tricks to learning to love her own naturally curly hair.
Sheila began the process of embracing her natural curls approximately three years ago. Her efforts to straighten her curls had led her hair to become extremely unhealthy. Her scalp had serious burns from overuse of chemical products, her hair was thin and become prone to breakage. In what she describes as “one of the best decisions she ever made,” Sheila opted to cut off her relaxed ends and begin moving towards her natural curls.
As she began to care for her natural hair, Sheila wanted to encourage other women to feel confident with their curls, which led to the creation of her blog, African Tresses and Treats. Her goal is to “inspire women to embrace their true selves” and find courage and confidence in their curls.
For those of you who are beginining the transition from straightened or relaxed hair to natural curls, Sheila recommends stopping chemical treatments. Once treatments are stopped, consider cutting off the relaxed ends to allow your curls to grow out naturally. This is a process you will want to do slowly, allowing your natural curls to grow in. Some women will opt to utilize a protective style during this time, such as braids or twists. In order to allow your curls to grow in a healthy way, Sheila recommends only minimally touching your curls. You can do this by tucking fragile or delicate ends away. It will also be important to take special care of your “line of demarcation” (the line between your natural and relaxed hair) to protect it from further breakage.
To take care of your natural curls, Sheila suggests picking up a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner. A moisturizing shampoo will cleanse your scalp without stripping it of essential oils, while a good conditioner will replenish much needed moisture to fragile ends. Olive or coconut oils are natural and easy to use products that will penetrate the curl shaft, keeping curls moist and supple. To seal in moisture and prevent drying, pick up a shea butter or cream to use on those curls!