4 Keys to Mastering the Natural Hair Journey

Whether you have had your hair relaxed for a while, or you have been “natural by neglect” for a while, having and maintaining tiny, naturally curly hair (a.k.a. kinky, coily, nappy, etc.) can be a real pain.

One of our main motivations at Iraba is to take some of the pain away from this process because seriously, hair should not be a source of so much struggle for so many of us! And yet, sadly, it really is. The journey we’re on here is to try to reduce this pain, one pain point at a time, and we hope you’ll join us.


Master these 4 areas and you'll be on your way to slaying the journey:

  • Mindset
  • Techniques 
  • Tools
  • Products


First, let’s talk about mindset issues. There are 5 key things to remember:

  • Get your mind right! Relaxed hair is not the same as natural hair. It won’t do the same things, you can’t treat it the same way. Think about it as a relationship, would you go into a new one constantly comparing it to a previous one? (if you’re doing this friend, we need to talk!)
  • You are going to look different than before, it would be cool if you could get over it asap! It will be awkward for a minute, but soon find the right look for you, be sure of that!
  • Be patient, you don’t have to “get” the look you want the very first time you try, but practice makes perfect. This is particularly important if you are DIY-ing. Listen, Hairdressing is a profession. If you can’t get your hair to look right the first time around. Could you have something to do with it? If you can’t cook, do you blame the food for “coming out badly”? Cut your curls some slack, maybe your techniques just kinda suck right now, and that’s cool. Give it time, you’ll get better :) Some of us still suck after years, let’s just commit to getting better
  • Expect to be surprised! At least until you know your texture. And it’s not that easy to know! If you’re patient enough, use our calculator. If you’re not, keep playing until you figure it out. Also, your hair may not look like your favorite YouTuber or your sister, or your cousin, that’s just life. Here is the thing though…each one has its own cool factor, stop hating on yours and discover it!
  • Looking good has more to do with how you feel than how you look. You’ve heard it before, confidence comes from within. If you need more proof, take a cue from this study from Swansea University by Dr. Alex Jones that says: “Smiling faces were rated as being much healthier looking than neutral faces, confirming that facial expression plays a role in the perception of health.” It’s proven that people who smile look more beautiful, And you know our motto: You’re Incomparable. Now, go on, believe it!
  • Great looks can take some work. This is where media gets us all messed up. I’m going to let you in on a little secret, TV shows have entire beauty departments. Most people do not “Wake up like this”. So please, don’t hold yourself to impossible standards. Go ahead and assume that [insert gorgeous actress’ name] sat in a stylist chair before the cameras started rolling and she woke up looking flawless. Okay?


Now since mindset isn’t everything, let’s talk some basics Techniques:

  • Part your hair before trying to wash it or change styles, it will be less overwhelming, and you can do a little dance when you’re done with each part 😊
  • At the very least, learn to do 2 strand twists. These come handy to keep your hair stretched particularly as your curls grow long
  • Only brush your hair when it is moist or wet. If you do at any other time, you are likely to cause breakage and frustration
  • Never leave your curls “naked” for long. Protect them with a leave in or an oil as soon as you can to reduce opportunities for tangles to form.
  • If any of this sounds a little too overwhelming, Keep it super short and your life will be hella easier


Great technique is key, but you also need some good basic tools:

  • Get a spray bottle, keep it handy, and use it as many times as you like, water=moisture=great for curls
  • Sleep with a satin/satin like scarf. Cotton sheets can catch your little curls and disturb the order you’ve established. Think, my curls should be able to move past this material and not get caught.
  • Go easy on the towel: Look closely at your towel, see all those hooks? Think about how many times those can hook your curls. You can use a soft material or if the hair is long enough, squeeze out the water from the curls, use a towel just around the edges and it may airdry faster than you think
  • Detangling brush. We lose lots of hair every day, it’s normal, and although detangling might be a scary thought, it is important to get rid of the shed hair to avoid more tangling/matting. On super well moisturized hair, working in sections, you should be able to detangle easily. Btw, if you like well defined curls, you’ll quickly find out that curls can only get well defined when they’re properly detangled
  • Lay off the heat. Use heat in moderation or not at all for your curls to fully flourish
  • Baby hair brush. ok, this is optional, but if you like smooth edges, this could come in handy(soft toothbrushes have been known to work for this too 😊)


Ok, what about products? All products are not created equal, that’s a fact, but in each category, you should at least pick a:

  • Shampoo: It’s not for your hair, it’s for your scalp. Underneath all that hair there is skin, remember to take care of it too! By shampoo we mean something to clean your scalp.
  • Conditioner or Deep Conditioner: Definitely don’t skip this part, your curls will thank you
  • Leave in: we call ours a lotion, ‘cause it should be a nearly everyday practice. Don’t let your curls go “ashy”
  • Sealant: Your curls are constantly exchanging moisture with the environment, a good sealant will slow down that process(hair balm, butters)
  • Curl cream. For the days you want to really showcase your curls in all their glory (wash&go). We prefer creams to gels to avoid gel casts 

What do you say?

Now it’s your turn, are you a master? Share your thoughts and questions below, and don’t forget to subscribe to be the first to know when the good stuff is ready for you!

Never forget: You’re incomparable!

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