If you’re attending college right now you are no doubt just coming off of a much needed holiday break and are preparing to confront finals week. With a packed class schedule and all nighters , having anytime for your hair seems impossible. I didn’t go natural until my junior year and trying to keep my hair healthy while keeping up with my studies was a challenge. Here are a couple of tips that can help make your life a little easier.
Keep it simple
Protective styles are great, quick and simple. Picking a select two or three that are your go to styles can really save you some time. Styles like flat twist or braids with a middle or side part, or a tuck and pin style of your own creation are some great options. The last thing you need is to be late for an exam because you were rushing to remove your twist out.
It is important to use breaks in the year to stock up on your favorite products, especially if you don’t attend school in a big city. It helps to get it all in one shot over the summer to last you until winter break when you can stock up again. Two to three bottles of your chosen cleansing product, three bottles of leave in, and one to two containers of your go to deep conditioner should last you until Thanksgiving or Christmas break. If you do happen to run out before then check out your local CVS or Walgreen’s to see what is available. Amazon and other online stores are also a great option for purchasing your favorite products and you can sometimes even order them in bulk.
Don’t Splurge on Products
There are so many products on the shelves now that cater to natural hair. So while you’re stocking up during your winter break take the month to check out some other less expensive options. Beautiful Textures is a great product line that keeps your hair moisturized with some great natural ingredients all for the price of $6.99. You can also use all natural products like ACV(apple cider vinegar), olive oil, coconut oil and many other natural products that are great for your hair that are inexpensive.
Explaining to your Room/Suite mate(s)
When I decided to go natural I was lucky enough to have no roommates but we can’t all get the living arrangement we hope for sometimes. If your roommate is another natural, they will understand and they can be a huge source of support, but more likely than not you could have a roommate of a different ethnicity. You might have to explain to them why you might take longer in the shower or why you’ll need some advanced notice before you two make plans or they bring someone over. Chances are they will be curious and have some questions but nothing to worry about.
Create a Schedule
Develop a hair regimen that fits into your packed schedule. Mark down when exams and projects are so you don’t end up skipping a wash day to meet a deadline. Pick the least busy day in your schedule and designate it as your wash day. For me it was Thursdays, but sometimes I would have to push it to Saturday if necessary. Missing a day or two is okay but a week or two might leave your hair extremely dry and prone to breakage. However, sometimes life happens, so make sure to follow up with a full deep conditioning treatment after your usual wash routine to help put some moisture back into your hair.
Beware of Strong Smells
I didn’t frequent too many parties in college but there was always someone smoking somewhere on campus. Whether I was stuck behind them on my walk to class or having to walk through a cloud of smoke in order to enter a building it was almost unavoidable and the smell would nestle itself into my fro and linger. Even staying too long in one of my favorite restaurants would leave my hair smelling like their kitchen. Natural hair attracts every scent and holds on to it, and it can take hours, sometimes days to air out. The only quick alternative is to wash your hair. So be prepared to set aside a Sunday to wash away the smells of the weekend for the coming week.