Dresscapades

Where will you start?

whenever I get questions and compliments about my hair it, quite honestly, boggles the mind. Not because my hair is in some irreparable state and not because it’s hidden under scarves and protective styles but because… I manage to put forth the least effort possible to achieve natural hair equanimity.

Some background: I’ve been natural a pretty long time…

hairjourney copyI started transitioning in 2006 with braids and a weave my freshman and sophomore years of college. If you’re wondering what happened in 2009 and 2010… well I got lost in “permatory”. I relaxed my hair on a whim the night before my 21st birthday for my sister’s wedding. In other words I gave up. During my short-lived natural lifestyle, the first time around, I never quite achieved what I’d wanted even after highlights and texturizing (at which point I was technically no longer natural). Nonetheless, my hair was done up lovely for my birthday/sister’s wedding and then after that, it pretty much went downhill. I tried the box braids-weave combo and lost a lot of hair. And then the lacefront wig which was pretty but it felt so artificial taking off and putting on a wig everyday. The day before graduation in 2010, I went into the bathroom in my dorm with scissors. I cut off my all my permed hair on a whim just like I’d permed it. I was starting from scratch. In 2012, I reached the nirvana of my natural hair life. The perfect length and texture. The curl pattern just right. And then it was gone…

haiiiiir

2012: Haven’t been able to achieve this effortless look since…

In my fervent pursuit of this beloved hairstyle, my self-esteem went haywire when I couldn’t get what I learned was a coveted look. I grew tired, frustrated, just plain green. Ladies, curl envy is real. And it’s this kind of dynamic that takes meaning away from the natural hair movement. But I digress…

The moral of my hairstory however is two-fold and quite contradictory so bear with me: 1. My hair has seen many moons and I’m still alive. Whenever it was not what I wanted, there were other options for me such as braids or weaves to either hide the problem or begin again. And now there are even hair units that resemble natural hair. So by all means, go and have your fun. Your hair will grow back. However 2. going on a wild goose chase after society set standards of the best curl patterns, you know”good hair” will more often than not land you unsatisfied and at ground zero: transitioning and/or big chop growing and growing; rinse and repeat…

This brings us to the number one and most essential tip for the low maintenance natural: Love what you’re working with and love it for what it is. When I started wearing my hair with nothing but Curl Enhancing Smoothie and Avocado Oil, I was stunned at how it was received! I’d done less to it than I ever had before. And that’s when it happened… I embraced this low maintenance lifestyle. Taking good care of my hair but loving it even in it’s rawest and most naked moments.

So I bring to you tips for the #lowmaintenancenatural. Through this series, I’ll share with you ideas, techniques, and styles that require little to no effort. But you must keep in mind that your hair can grow weary. Sometimes you’ll have to shake things up as I did recently with a color and these three changes. Also keep in mind that we must equip you with proper tools. Here’s what you’ll need in your…

 

LMN Supply

Basic Tools:

Spritzer Bottle

Detangling Comb

Wooden Handle Brush

Silk Bonnet

 

Hair Care and Maintenance:

For Co-Washing: Herbal Essence Hello Hydration

For Shampooing: Lush’s BIG Shampoo

For DC:  Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque

For Moisturizing: Avocado Oil

For Styling: Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie, Olive Oil Smooth-n-Hold PuddingOlive Oil ECOCO EcoStyler Styling Gel

For Detangling… We’ll get to that a little later… Hint: Everything you need to detangle is already here.

 

Styling Tools:

Bobby Pins

Banana Clip

Foam Bun

No-slip Grip Headbands

Decorative pieces (braided headbands, scarves, embellished bobby pins etc.)

Shop Hair Accessories from ModCloth, Target, Forever21, and Anthropologie

 

You’re free to add your own favorites to the list but careful! You don’t want to turn into a product junkie. Keep it stupid simple and try and swap out products a little at a time.

Every month, I’ll call out tools from the LMN repository that you’ll need for the tip! In the meantime feel free to add your own!

Follow me on Twitter

@Dresscapades

And tweet your own tips

#LowMaintenanceNatural

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