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Hair can impact your self-image and confidence. This is because it can drastically change the way you look. However, there can be some challenges to feeling confident with yourself if your hair doesn’t always fit the ‘norm’ or the usual standard.

Beauty Standards And Discrimination

Although beauty standards can make many people feel othered, it’s good to understand what and why these are the set ideals. Understand this for the purpose of sociological effects and their effects on you. For instance, in the United States, body figures, lips, and eyes are the main signifiers of beauty. This is why many lip fillers, eye lifts, and butt implants have become popular in the last decade. But often, hair has to be relaxed to be viewed as beautiful. Just check hair care commercials, and listen to the words, such as ‘shiny’ and ‘smooth’.

This leaves people with naturally textured hair feeling like they were born with unattractive features. And because this is the social standard, most people will also start to view people who have textured hair as ‘unkempt’ or that they don’t care for themselves. Because of this, some laws had to be passed to counter the discrimination. For instance, Colorado was the fifth state to pass the CROWN Act so people who have textured hair can be protected from prejudice and bullying.

Embrace Your Natural Hair

The first thing you can do if you want to feel confident with your natural hair is to embrace it. Once you realize that beauty standards are based on prejudice, it becomes easier to appreciate yourself, your body, facial features, and hair, even more. 

Some people say that ‘It’s just hair,’ but it’s more than that. It’s a journey of self-love, one hair strand at a time. And with self-love comes confidence and a difference in how you stand, speak, and take your space in your community. 

Avoid Damaging Your Hair

Once you’ve accepted and embraced your hair, it’s time to find ways to care for it properly. Many products and hair care routines people grew up with might not even be fit for textured hair. For instance, brushing your hair when it’s completely dry can disrupt the natural curl pattern. Moreover, some shampoos are extremely stripping and can cause textured hair to become extremely dry. Some even suggest washing hair daily and just using shampoo and conditioner while only using treatments or serums once every two weeks.  

While these can be helpful to more relaxed or straight hair, they could damage textured hair. Keeping natural hair moisturized is a top priority since it can get extremely dry. This is why washing hair daily isn’t great advice if you want to retain moisture.  

Take Care Of Your Hair

The best thing you can do is to go on the internet and look for other people with a similar hair texture to yours. This is because there are different kinds of curls, waves, and kinks—everyone is unique. And this also means that there will be different needs, products, and hair rituals that could help!

The curly girl method is one of the most popular ways of caring for curly hair. In time, many have sworn by it and showed the difference in how their natural hair looks. However, there are different variations on how to do this because of how different hair textures can react. Do some trial and error because some products and steps might not work for some. That said, it might take time to figure out a unique hair care routine that you can swear by. 

Do Not Forget To Have Fun With It

Natural hair is gorgeous and a lot of fun to play around with. You can do all kinds of hairstyles, and you might even discover new techniques to style your hair. Sometimes, you might want to try a new look if you feel bored, like temporarily straightening, coloring, or even wearing a wig. And this is completely fine to do as long as you properly care for your natural hair, too!  

Help Your Hair Community

More people are starting to embrace and love their natural hair. This community is growing so much that more hair care companies are noticing and are featuring models with textured hair in their ads.

Some people with textured hair might be struggling or feeling othered, too. It’s good to show support, acceptance, and pride to help more people and dethrone these discriminatory beauty standards.

Conclusion

Beauty standards, especially that of hair, can be detrimental to many people. Unfortunately, some youngsters can grow up and develop self-image issues. This makes it hard to be confident with your natural hair, but not impossible! Caring for it properly, finding people with textured hair, and understanding that the core of beauty standards is prejudicial can change how you and the world view beauty and hair—giving you confidence in wearing your beautiful, natural hair.  

Published by HOLR Magazine.