Natural-hair devotees tend to be a little, well, obsessive. Get a few in a room, and you’ll overhear, “What’s your curl type? 3B? 4A?” (Yes, curls have categories). Or, perhaps you’ll stumble into a heated debate on the merits of the “big chop,” where relaxed locks are cut off in one fell swoop, leaving a one- to two-inch curly halo.
Naturals are always on the hunt for just the right products, like conditioners — but not just any old smear-on, rinse-out variety. They need leave-ins and oils and masks (oh my!). And then there’s the styling process — twists, coils, and braids all done to perfection using a carefully selected mix of gels, mousses, and creams. Transitioning from a chemically straightened mane to hair au naturel is certainly a process, but we’ve started to wonder if it has to be a complicated one. After all, transitioning is, at most basic, just letting your hair…be. Your strands are doing their own thing; your job is to simply support them along the way.
To get some insight, we approached three girls who, just like you, are on the hunt for the best routine for their natural locks. We discovered their curly-girl ups and downs, plus their tips and tricks for bringing out the best in chemical-free hair. Read on for the scoop. You won’t walk away with a curly-care anxiety, we promise!
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Photographed by Chantal Adair