When I was a young girl, I, like most Black girls, spent hours having my mane tamed by my mom, auntie or favorite older cousin. As we get older, Black women place an increasingly high level of importance on keeping their hair looking just right. But lately I’ve begun to wonder if keeping your hair fresh is that important, why can’t more women do their own hair?
I have many friends that dedicate Saturday’s to sitting in the hair salon waiting for that perfect color and blowout. I have heard endless discussions on what financial sacrifices need to be made to have enough money for a new weave and have even witnessed people cancelling their social plans because they didn’t have enough money for a trip to the salon.
From the moment my mother gave me the creative control, I have always styled my own hair, which is long, textured and thick. It took me a long time to learn what products and techniques worked best with my hair. I have watched many Youtube videos, read dozens of hair articles and have had numerous conversations with other women with natural hair to discover what works best for them. In addition to ongoing research, I often test different hair products and styling tools.
Before I really understood the best way to do my hair, I was not conditioning it properly and I didn’t know that combing my hair while damp prevents breakage. Through my personal hair journey, I have learned to apply leave-in conditioner faithfully. I’ve also learned to that it’s better to straighten my hair during fall and winter months. It’s also healthier to allow my hair to air-dry before blow-drying it straight.
Styling my natural hair is not easy, but after years of practice I’ve learned how to successfully tame my mane. This is to not say I have never been to a salon for a blowout or color, but I do not have to rely on a hairstylist to keep me looking beautiful. I believe anyone can do the same no matter the texture or length, it will just take time.
Ladies, do not be afraid. You can comb your hair without adding tracks, you can wash and blow-dry it without going to the salon, and you can save $60 a month or more if you spend Saturday’s home studying your tresses. In the same way you’ve learned to wear weaves, maintain a perm, or hunt down the fancy and expensive hair stylist; I challenge you to learn, love and care for your own tresses!