Learning to wear our hair confidently is 97.5% a part of our natural hair journey. It is no lie at all! I have and still do struggle with this aspect of my haircare from time to time, so I thought I’d share a few tips that have helped me feel and look fly as a naturalista (as well as some photos of the Flagstaff Gardens! Just glean all that flora! **squeal of delight**!!).
But before I bear all, Let’s start by clearing the air at first, and getting to the heart of matter!
Get this: when I started my journey 4 years ago, I thought that having long hair would be the cure for all my insecurities! Well, I’m still here learning to rock my curls. So let’s just begin by agreeing that the issue at hand here is not length or texture. Right? Right.
The struggle at hand is a mental one!! Ask, me, I’ve been natural for 4 years and I’m STILL learning to embrace my coils and curls on the daily. My hair has grown from ear length to waist length, but my confidence in rocking my natural curls has grown a lot slower! Trust me long natural hair is not a ticket to natural hair confidence! In hindsight, my confidence in wearing out my natural hair grew because I chose time and time again to opt to wear it out rather than to hide it under a wig or weave 24/7, 365!
Which leads me to my first pointer on how to confidently wear out your natural hair!
1. Wear it out!!
There’s no other way! Ever heard of the phrase practice makes perfect? Well, this is one of those situations in which we can ‘t simply hope to grow in confidence! We must continually put ourselves out there and rock our curls. Day 1 might be difficult – you might feel that the entire world is staring at your hair, but with time, you’ll realize the power of just doing you boo…! Aaaandd the beauty that is your natural hair!
2. Learn what works for you!
Now some naturals are absolutely fine with rocking their hair in a fro everyday! Go them! I tell ya, I have this one friend, Yanda, who is always rocking her fro out beautifully. She slays. As in slllaayyys! Yes girl, get it!
I digress though – learning what works for you, is part of learning to love yourself as a young woman. Some naturalistas can rock a set of fierce cornrows from January to December! Others yet, can rock those faux locs like a real rasta! Others still, are safe as houses weerrkking their TWA’s and high cheek bones. Each style works for each woman and her personality differently. To be confident in rocking your curls, experiment a little.
Find out which style works best for your face shape and then rock it!!
3. Think about your aesthetics.
To me, this means, your whole look. Head to toe. Now this one is an entire post, maybe even blog of its own. Natural hair is intrinsically controversial and political. Your aesthetics – skin tone, hair type, body shape (especially for those of us in the diaspora) is constantly under the glare of Western Media. Our diversity is unfathomable because it cannot be boxed in! Our hair is soooo versatile, that we can literally wear it out in 1000 different ways.
Let me tell you a story: When I first wore my hair out in a fro, one of my male house mates said to me, “you look really groovy”. Groovy. As in. Groovy. I was perplexed. Think Tina Turner, think groovy. *slowly rolling eyes* "No", I thought to myself, "natural hair that’s worn out in a fro is NOT a “musical statement” it is literally how our hair grows out of our scalps!" *slowly rolling eyes again!!* Haha!
That said, learning to wear your hair out confidently is ALL about learning to work with what works for you.
Are you sporty? Are you girlie? Are you a corporate diva? Are you down to earth and simple? Well, choose what styles best represent your aesthetic. Trust me, this has gone a long way in helping me feel like my hair is not “out of place.” Learning what hairstyles work for you really does boost your confidence!
4. Fill in your physical package.
Oh goodness me, that sounded extremely chauvinistic! But let me explain what I mean. “Package” as in your physical appearance, as in think about what clothes and accessories make you feel most comfortable and confident. Do you love heels? Rock them! Are you the queen of flats, chuck them on! Throw on those earrings, maybe even a little lipstick. I know this might come across as superficial, but trust me, adding simple accessories to your look adds sophistication to your entire fit!
The better you feel about your whole look, the more confidently you’ll carry yourself!!
Remember that physical beauty is, afterall, a chasing after the wind. There will ALWAYS be someone to envy, and someone who envies you. Someone who thinks your natural hair is absolutely stunning and yet another who can’t be bothered!
The most important aspect to growing in confidence, is to focus on your inner sense of self worth.
Build your character, learn to give, support a friend, volunteer at a shelter. Many times when I’m feeling insufficient in my physical beauty, it’s because I’m spending too much time focusing my energies on how I think others perceive me! When I turn my outlook inwards, I find that my inner qualities are truly what make me beautiful and whole! Do what you can to look your greatest, but let it in no way consume you! You are enough. You are absolutely gorgeous just the way you are. Now believe it, and shine forth!
Sunshine & Love!