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Natural Hair and the 9-5: How to Navigate the Job as a New Natural

Natural Hair and the 9-5: How to Navigate the Job as a New Natural


Transitioning to becoming natural can be a long, time consuming, and frustrating journey. Especially when trying to look professional for a job. Working a 9-5 means you do not have 8 hours to spare every week to do a natural hairstyle such as box braids or twists. We know that caring for your new natural is challenging. Here are a few tips and simple ways to make your hair journey doable, stress free, and beautiful.

How to Care for Your New Natural

The most important thing for new naturals is to keep your hair moisturized and hydrated. This prevents your hair from becoming dry and brittle. It also reduces breakage and promotes growth. Setting aside a "wash day" is essential to keep your tresses manageable. Your wash day can be one of your days off or every Friday. It ensures you keep your hair washed, conditioned, and moisturized.

The most recommended form of moisturizing or hydrating your hair is the LOC method. The LOC method begins by applying a liquid, such as water or a water-based leave-in conditioner to your hair.  Begin by parting your hair into 4 to 6 sections. Then apply the leave in conditioner to each section and comb it through. For comfort and to protect your hair, comb from tips to roots.

Next, apply an oil of your choice followed by a cream to ensure the moisture is sealed and set. Doing this protects your hair and keeps it hydrated at all times. As a new natural it may take a few weeks for your hair to become completely hydrated. If you still find that your hair is dry and brittle throughout the week, fill a travel sized spray bottle with water, conditioner, and oil to apply throughout the day. Or consider another moisturizer recipe.

Regular washing and moisturizing keeps your hair healthy throughout the day. It also enables you to touch up your hair as needed for a fresh and polished style that lasts at work.

Overnight Style Ideas

Experiment with these styles to see which creates the curl pattern that you like the most. Remember that these styles do not need to be small or neat, because they are going to be taken down in the morning.

Heatless Curls. As you transition your natural hair is going to undergo several shifts in texture. If your hair has an uneven curl pattern due to heat or relaxer damage, create heatless curls to last up to a week. To create heatless curls you braid, twist, or create bantu knots the day before you plan to wear the style.

With braids expect more of a wavy and controlled curl. For twists expect your curls to be voluminous and easy to puff. Bantu knots are ideal for creating tight curls that you want to rock for more than one day.

Braid Outs. Setting your hair with braids is one of the fastest ways to get defined and beautiful curls. With braid outs you only need a few braids. Cornrows give you the most defined curls. Big box braids are also reliable.

To do a proper braid out style begin by moisturizing your hair. Then braid your hair and allow it to dry overnight. In the morning remove the braids and separate the curls. You can re-braid as often as you need too. This method is the same for twists.

Bantu Knots. Bantu knots can be a bit more time consuming but are easily worn as a protective up-do style as well. Start by parting your hair into squares or triangles. The size of the sections can range from big to medium. After parting your hair take one section and twist your tresses until they form a rope like bond. Wrap the twist around into a small bun, then use a rubber band or bobby pin to hold your bun in place.

Quick Styles for Your Natural Hair

At times you may want to tame your tresses but do not have the time to let them dry overnight. In those moments consider a quick style that gives you confidence. Trendy up-do styles are versatile and easily worn for the entire week.

Hair Buns and Puffs. Buns are simple styles that only need a ponytail band. Wet your hair with a spray bottle mixture of leave-in-conditioner and water. Next, pull your hair into a ponytail with your fingers then use a brush to smooth your edges. Secure your ponytail. Then, twist or braid your loose hair and tuck into your ponytail band. Hair buns are simple styles that you can refresh every day by brushing up your edges with your spray bottle.

If you rather not tame your loose tresses leave them free for a pretty and feminine puff instead.

French Braids. If you are in the mood for a more detailed and trendy style explore with french braids. Braid your hair into a crown or create a double crown with two braids. Also consider one simple french braid down the center of your head. Avoid trying french braids on dry hair. French braids are much more manageable, safer, and painless when you hair is wet or immediately after a wash.

Wash-N-Go. We cannot always predict our lives. Juggling work, school, family, relationships, and other things gets pretty hectic. So if you do not want a style that requires any preparation you can always wash-n-go. Just wet or dampen your hair in the morning, quickly moisturize or spray it, and go.

The wash-n-go is the easiest and fastest method for you as a new natural. But, if you have damaged or straight ends consider a bun or overnight style until your hair is ready for its debut.  

Protective Styles. There are many style options to help you transition into your natural curls confidently. If you are not quite ready to rock your natural tresses consider other protective styles. Protective styles are low maintenance and easy to pull together for your work day as well. These styles include box braids, crotchet twists or braids, wigs, or even a sew-in.

Protective natural hairstyles can take hours to complete, but you will be able to wear most styles for at least a month. These styles help your hair transition without having to worry about heat damage.

No matter what style you choose it is important for your hair to be healthy. Keeping your hair moisturized is the first step in the battle against damage. As time goes forward your relaxed and damaged ends will begin to grow out. Trim them monthly to prevent split ends and maximize hair growth.

Transitioning is one of the most fulfilling journeys you will go on in your life. It is like advancing in your career, the hard work always pays off in the end.



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