Natural hair is something to be worn with pride, cherished and tended to with love and care. Depending on one’s hair type, it is essential to have a specific routine that will fit the needs of your hair in an efficient style that moisturizes and protects it from external environments.
For some, this may look like protective styles like knotless braids, passion twists or faux locs, and for others it may be mini twists, bantu knots, and many other hairstyles that retain moisture and prevent breakage.
Excalibur had the chance to interview Black students from the York student body on their experience with their natural hair and how they manage to take care of it on a daily basis in this two-part hair care series. They also explain their experience with their natural hair and how they are perceived in the professional settings of the world that they navigate.
Here are some tips to protect your natural hair and keep it healthy as told by these students.
Taking care of your natural hair is not just about finding protective yet stylish hairstyles that you can wear on any occasion — it is about maintaining the health of your hair and making sure that it is retaining all the moisture that it needs. Abigail Madlela, a second-year urban studies student, agrees that it is very important to keep the scalp of your hair moisturized and nourished.
She explains how she maintains her natural hair and the different products that she uses: “I basically use shampoo and conditioner. I’ll try to use oils at night like Jamaican Black castor oil and I’ll try to make my own oils, or I’ll do hair treatments. I’ve tried many different things, but I feel like less is more.”
Madlela believes that minimalism, when it comes to your hair, is the best route to take. When Black girls grow up, they’re “pressured to have long hair and full edges” to look respectable and assimilate to unrealistic Eurocentric standards in society.
In short, Madlela enthusiastically states that “you should let your hair do its thing!” Some of Madlela’s favourite go-to protective hairstyles are faux locs, twists, and a style called thread and needle.
Rebecca Solomon, a second-year science student, expresses the same sentiments about her hair regimen and the importance of her natural hair.
Solomon feels a sense of pride when discussing the meaning of her natural hair journey. Her favourite products to use are Shea Moisture, Mane Tail, and Aunt Jackie’s Curling custard for a nice leave-out hairstyle when she’s in the mood. Her favourite protective styles are twists, knotless braids or cornrows, but for now she is still experimenting with other styles as well.
“My natural hair is an expression. It represents who I am, it represents my family and where I come from.”
The kink in my hair: Part II coming later this week will explore the importance of hair texture and accepting and wearing your hair with pride.