Yara Shahidi's Hairstylist Shares 5 Tips for Going Natural
"Giving reverence to your body and your decisions can be such a beautiful send-off for the hair that no longer serves you."
If you’re a curly girl like me, you know and understand the hardships that we naturalistas have endured over the last few months. Prior to COVID-19, I was comfortable with my usual wash day schedule, my usual protective styles (wigs or braids), and my usual visits to my local natural hair salon for a curly cut or in-person consultation. At that point, life was good, and my curls were flourishing. I never thought I’d see the day that salon closures would take away the comfort I felt in the chair, and I never dreamed that it would prompt me to restart my natural-hair journey at home.
After a month and a half of quarantine, I lost my motivation to keep up with my curl routine. Instead, I'd wear my bonnet or hair scarf all day or put my hair in a messy up-do to rid myself of the responsibilities of keeping up with my curls. However, I realized that my lack of motivation would only harm my curls, so I made it my mission to find new ways to embrace them at home.
One of my biggest curl inspirations during this time has been celebrity stylist Christin Brown. You may know her for her amazing work with Yara Shahidi and Tamera Mawrey or even for her influential "Texture Talk Tuesday" IG Live segments. Brown, a Deva-certified curl specialist, creates and inspires the most beautiful curly hair looks and takes to social media to share tips on self-love, embracing curls, and keeping natural texture feeling healthy.
For the curly girls out there who have lost their mojo or are starting out on their hair journey from home, here are Brown's tips on maintaining your curls and embracing your natural hair journey. Trust me, they worked wonders for me.
HelloGiggles: What are some of the most common questions or concerns that curly girls have about starting their hair journey from home?
Christin Brown: They've mainly been about how to maintain moisture, prep hair for future sessions, and keep the ends healthy. My recommendation? Use deep conditioners, hair crèmes, and hair masks to keep hair as healthy as possible. Try Olaplex No. 3 Hair Perfector for curl restoration and Olaplex No.6 Bond Smoother Reparative Styling Creme to keep your curls flourishing.
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HG: What should we know before starting our natural hair journey at home?
CB: First, I want you to consider how long you've been thinking about going natural. I say that with big-sister vibes because being at home can make people anxious enough to chop off their hair. What I find helps is creating a ritual around your decision: Maybe light some candles, burn some incense, and even journal about what this new chapter would mean to you. Giving reverence to your body and your decisions can be such a beautiful send-off for the hair that no longer serves you.
HG: What advice would you share for a curly girl who is at the beginning of her natural hair journey?
CB: Try and remain in the present moment with your new look and style. When I first did my big chop, I was so focused on getting my hair to be long that I didn't truly appreciate the simplicity, ease, and beauty of it being so short. This is the time when you truly get to focus on the "new you." There will be a future when you look back on all of your beginning pictures and you won't believe how far you've come. It may be hard to imagine or rough at first, but you have to appreciate yourself at that moment to truly embody who you aim to be in your future.
HG: What products would you suggest for anyone starting out on their hair journey?
CB: Start with botanical, sulfate-free, paraben-free, and silicone-free products for healthy hair. Then, choose a cleanser that doesn't lather, since those can strip your hair of its natural oils. And a deep conditioner will quickly become your best friend, so be sure to invest in a good one that contains healthy ingredients. Lastly, use a cream-based styling product to make your curls soft. Although I'm a major gel girl, creams like DevaCurl’s Styling Cream tend to be softer in the hair, easier to work with, and very forgiving.
Shop it! $28, sephora.com
HG: Where can curly girls learn more about their curls online?