Just because you don’t have to stress over schoolwork this winter break doesn’t mean you should be stressing over your natural hair. Winter break is a perfect time to experiment with new hairstyles and products that will make your natural hair much more manageable. Whether you’ve been natural your whole life (like myself), or just did your “big chop,” these tips will be sure to give you the healthy hair you crave:
- If you haven’t already, learn to wash/dry your hair.
I know that I had a family member wash my hair back in high school whenever I had the chance. When I went away to college, however, I was completely caught off guard! Use this break wisely and start washing your hair yourself. Not only is it way better than depending on a student or salon to do it for you, but it will get you in better touch with your hair. By washing your hair, you’re getting to know your curl pattern, hair length, and what you have to work on, whether it be hydrating your hair or becoming better at detangling. Here are some good tutorials for washing short, medium, or long natural hair.
2. Learn new protective styles.
It’s pretty easy to get caught up in the bantu-knot/twist-out rotation during the school year. However, putting your hair in protective styles is good for both your hair and your grades. Doing bantu-knots or redoing twists each night can be highly time-consuming, especially when you have class the following morning. Utilize this winter break to learn hairstyles that will ensure that you don’t have to touch your hair for as long as a week! Flat twists are a great protective style for naturals, in that they are not as complicated to create as cornrows and are very versatile. Use this tutorial to create a flat-twist updo or use this tutorial to create a flat twist crown.
3. Switch up your shampoo/conditioner.
School can get pretty redundant, and so can your hair care routine! Use this break to experiment with products that you think will truly work for your hair. Those who have just gone natural can find themselves frazzled during the school year, using whatever products they can find since there isn’t enough time in the day to watch 20-minute product reviews. There could be better products out there for your hair and you don’t even realize it. For example, I used Herbal Essences’s “Hello Hydration” shampoo and conditioner for several years (with no complaints), but found myself shocked by the hydrating impact Shea Moisture’s “Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention” shampoo and conditioner had on my hair! (And even better, it contains no sulfates!) It all takes experimentation. You may think you have the “perfect” shampoo or conditioner but in actuality, you may be keeping yourself from finding products that work even better.
4. Strengthen your bun game.
We all know that it’s every natural’s dream to get the perfect bun. However, it’s important to remember that one person’s perfect bun may not be your perfect bun. To obtain the signature bun, you have to take note of the things signature to your hair. One thing I always have to take note of when trying to create a top-bun is that I have flyaway hairs on the back of my head that must be pinned down using bobby pins. Similarly, when creating your top bun, you may have to personalize it to the characteristics of your hair. Some naturals, for example, may find doing a “puff” more preferable than the bun, since it makes hair appear thicker (here’s a tutorial for the puff for short, medium, and long natural hair). When in-between styles this break, try to get in touch with your hair through the bun or the puff. They are both simple styles that go with any look.
5. Stock up on products.
Lastly, if you’re a natural with a lot of must-haves, grab them while they’re on sale! Spring semester isn’t going to call for too many sales until at least Presidents’ Week, so grab everything you need while the holiday spirit is still in the air! Here is a list of my natural hair must-haves:
- Shea Moisture “Raw Shea Butter Moisture Retention” Shampoo & Conditioner
- Design Essentials HCO Leave-In Conditioner & Blowdrying Lotion
- Allways Natural Castor Oil Conditioning Hair Dress (check local beauty supply)
- Hollywood Beauty SuperGro