Kinks and curls: Transitioning your hair

Gabrielle Tazewell | Staff Writer

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Flickr User Carl Welch

Natural hair in the black community has been pushed under the rug for years. Due to the media’s influence, many black people believe that straight hair is the only style that can be considered beautiful and accepted by society. What’s truly beautiful about the brown girl is the fact that she can rock all styles, shapes and looks without caring about what others think.

Although there is still more progress to be made, black women are feeling more confident in their skin and hair. It’s a confidence that has been hidden and is now emerging. The curly journey is one like nothing else. It’s empowering and liberating.

For starters, many people aren’t aware of what transitioning means in the world of hair care. When deciding to go natural, you’re making a decision to fully embrace your curls. This means doing away with straighteners and extreme heat. There are so many methods out there for you to use that will help you stray away from the heat, including twist-outs, braid-outs and flexi-rod sets.

Another method is diffusing. Diffusing your curls can get you a more voluminous look that won’t give you heat damage and will dry your hair more quickly on cold winter days. Watching tutorials is also helpful. It is inspiring to see others’ end results. Just remember that consistency is key.

While transitioning, your hair will need more nutrients and care. Deep conditioning and treatment masks provide these nutrients.

Yordanos Belina, a freshman broadcast journalism major from Maryland, said she “loves using Cantu, Africa’s Best and Deva Curl” for her curly hair routines. She feels empowered by her curls and believes Hampton brought her out of her shell for her to fully embrace her natural hair.

“If you’re thinking about transitioning, I’d say to just go for it,” Belina said. “I didn’t know anything about going natural because I never was able to…learn more about it. I always wore my hair straight. It’s definitely a risk that you have to take for better results, and [it] will definitely make you feel empowered once you get the hang of it.”

Going natural also means finding the right products for your hair. It’s important to research in regards to finding out your curl type, pattern and porosity levels, so that you can find the exact products that will work for you.

“My favorite curly hair products are Shea Moisture’s Strengthen and Restore Leave-In Conditioner and Shea Moisture’s Style Milk,” said Michala Lomax, a sophomore marketing major from St. Louis. “This will feel like a long journey, however, with the [proper] care, your hair will most definitely reap the benefits.”

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