Beauty by Bailey: Five tips for embracing natural hair

Ever see one of those commercials with the “before” and “after” picture of someone with damaged hair? For years, I was that before picture, in all my frizzy, voluminous and split-end glory. I was convinced that I could change my seemingly unmanageable hair into something it wasn’t by straightening, dyeing and using various hair treatments.

Spoiler: it didn’t work.

I have since embraced the beauty of my hair by figuring out how to manage it with all-natural remedies.

SHAMPOO: Don’t shampoo your hair every day. If your reaction to this was a frown and/or the thought “that’s disgusting” ran through your head, I understand. Let me elaborate. Your hair contains natural oils that build up and protect it. By shampooing every day, you strip your scalp of those oils and prevent your hair from helping itself. Try limiting shampooing to every other day or even less. Your scalp and hair will appreciate it!

CUT IT OUT: I like to think of split ends as the root of all evil. They can make braiding hair a nightmare and can ruin the most fabulous up-dos. If you’re trying to grow out your hair, one would logically let it grow out naturally. I have found that by once in a while trimming those pesky split ends, hair grows faster and healthier.

ARGAN OIL: This stuff is probably my favorite haircare product besides coconut oil. It smells delicious, makes my hair soft and smooth and the best part – you only have to use a tiny amount. Argan oil has made an appearance in many hair products all over the place and I’m totally in support of it. Its natural ingredients help promote healthy hair growth as well as restore the natural sheen to your hair. If you enjoy your hair feeling and looking like straw, then this is not the product for you. Price – $11.76 at Target.

(DON’T) FEEL THE BURN: Everyone knows that straightening your hair can be damaging. It can cause hair loss, fries your hair and makes it thinner and more brittle. Try as you might to counteract that with protective sprays, the damage is still inevitable when you take a flat iron to your hair day after day. Limit how much you curl or flat iron your hair. That’s not to say you should never straighten your hair, because there will always be times where straight hair better suits your outfit. Example – graduation. Attempting to wrangle my curly hair into an acceptable puff underneath the cap simply was not feasible.

EMBRACE IT: Part of having healthy hair is embracing its natural beauty. Everyone has bad hair days, even the people you see advertising a “life-changing” hair product for three payments of a price equivalent to your annual college tuition. Beautiful hair isn’t just straight or curly. I made the mistake of dyeing, straightening, crimping – yikes, I know – and trying to force my hair to be something it wasn’t. Style your hair however you want but remember that natural hair is beautiful too!