Being a natural can sometimes feel exhausting, but with the added pressure of school, it can suddenly become overwhelming, unaccessible and unaffordable.
However, all is not lost. In fact, with a new school term comes the perfect opportunity to rework and revamp your natural hair routine, including some easy back to school hairstyles that are stylish, fun and best of all, affordable.
Here are the most important natural hair tips for back to school.
Protective styling is a natural’s best friend. Who has time to do assignments, study for finals, and maintain fresh curls every day?
Some of the best and easy back to school natural hairstyles involve keeping your hair protected from the elements.
When you’re rushing to classes, studying for finals and trying to maintain an active social life, the last you want to think about is detangling.
Some easy and cute hairstyles for back to school include:
- Flat twists or plaits;
- Crochet or knotless braids;
- Bantu knots;
- Head wraps or scarves;
Just make sure that your hair is properly moisturized underneath whatever style you choose.
Keep Your Wash Day Short
Contrary to popular belief, your wash day doesn’t have take all day.
Use a clarifying yet moisturizing shampoo on a weekly basis that contains enough slip to detangle, without causing any breakage. Wash off with cool water to reduce frizz and follow it up with a deep conditioner. Leave on for 15 minutes and throw on a plastic cap while you continue your shower.
Wash off with cool water and apply a moisturizing leave-in conditioner, followed up with a styler of choice, and voila!
Camille Rose Sweet Ginger Cleansing Rinse
Best for TYPE 3-4
This shampoo is incredibly gentle and non-stripping, but contains enough surfactants to thoroughly cleanse your hair and remove buildup. Ginger root oil – the second ingredient in the formula – is antiseptic, boosting overall scalp health. A great, gentle shampoo for weekly use.
Mielle Babassu & Mint Deep Conditioner
Best for TYPE 4
One of Mielle’s most popular products, the active ingredient in this mask is babassu seed oil, a significant source of Vitamin E and fatty lipids. The protein source in this formula, amino acids, are small enough to penetrate into your hair strands and fortify your cortex. This is a great weekly treatment for high porosity naturals.
Camille Rose Curl Love Moisture Milk
Best for TYPE 3-4
Mielle always holds it down for the Type 4 naturals, and this product is no exception. Containing 70% organic ingredients, this product applies more like a cream and less like a gel. Great for high porosity naturals because of the coconut high in the ingredient list.
TGIN Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer
Best for TYPE 4
No other moisturizer exists on the market quite like this one – not only does it have amazing slip, but it’s rich formula with shea butter and vitamin E will help flatten your cuticles and promote hydration all week long. Great for naturals in need of some extra conditioning.
Kinky Curly Curling Custard
Best for TYPE 3-4
This gel is a cult classic. Long before the plethora of hair gels for natural hair, this gel was holding it down for the curls. Jam packed with film-forming plant extracts such as marshmallow root and aloe vera will keep your coils hydrated and ensure every coil is defined. A fan fave to moisturize and condition curly-coily hair!
Eat Your Way to Healthy Hair
There’s nothing more important than a healthy lifestyle.
Eating your way to long, healthy natural hair is possible this school year. If possible, try to eat more fruits, vegetables and healthy fats.
Remember: our body prioritizes our vital organs over our hair, so support your hair by eating the right amounts of foods for your specific needs. This is one of the easiest natural hair tips for back to school, plus it will keep your energy high for your schoolwork!
Water should also be your best friend. Not only does it prevent dehydration, it ensures that all vital organs in your body are well functioned. That includes your metabolism, which is responsible for allocating nutrients to your hair.
Use Silk/Satin at Night
After a long day at school, it’s so easy to climb into bed without using a hair bonnet, and let your hair rest against your cotton pillowcase.
Trust me, you’ll regret it the next day. Your hair will be crunchy, unmanageable, and tangled AF. And no pineapple or high bun will be able to hide it.
To have flawless second day curls (or third or fourth during midterm season), use a silk or satin bonnet on your hair before sleeping. Ensure it’s tied tight so it doesn’t fall off.
Trim At Home
Going to the salon can be expensive, especially as a student.
Dead ends are a simple fact of natural hair life: racist rhetoric has taught us that Afrocentric hair is “kinky and hard’, when that’s further from the truth.
Our coils are fragile AF – the bends and curls of our hair are areas of weakness and fragility, and most breakage happens where at this points.
This means that the coilier your hair (i.e. Type 4 naturals), the increased likelihood that your ends will break.
This is a primary reason why we need to give ourselves trims every so often. But you can save yourself some money and learn how to do it at home.
Be sure to use stainless, shear scissors (never use household or school scissors!!). Detangle your hair thoroughly (or blow dry straight) and look for a demarcation line where your ends look the most sparse. That’s where you cut!
Final Thoughts on Natural Hair Tips for Back to School
Being a student is exhausting, and often we neglect our self-care when we’re busy or stressed. But fundamentally, taking care of your hair is self-care, and it doesn’t have to be complicated.
By keeping your wash day short, protective styling, eating as clean as possible and keeping up with at-home trims, your natural hair will thrive.