These Are the Products That Helped Me Embrace My Natural Curls

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SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner

Wash days are so special to me. Not only because I spend a lot of the time in a nice steamy shower taking care of my curls, but also because as I now feel my wet hair touch my mid back, I remember when my hair just hung around my ears and I realize how far I’ve come. For me the road to this full head of 3c/4a curls was not easy. If you would’ve asked a 10 year old Star what she thought of her hair, she would probably be incredibly embarrassed that it was getting any attention at all. Growing up mixed race and not understanding my hair at all or having anyone in my life with a similar texture, made my initial relationship with my hair very painful and isolating. I remember how I would often fantasize about waking up one day with straight hair and how relieved I would feel.

Star Donaldson hair

This dream sort of became reality when I started getting relaxers. The cycle of continuously getting my roots touched up lasted about seven years before I slowly started to feel out of control of my hair. I felt chained. It occurred to me that I would never be able to go too long without seeing my stylist or else my roots would become unmanageable. I continuously felt the struggle of wanting to break away but also was so scared of what would happen if those roots grew and became a full head of unmanageable hair.

But this fear was alleviated one day when I went to the Pitchfork music festival in Chicago. I will never forget the feeling I had as I watched Solange perform ‘Don’t Touch My Hair.’ There were all of these beautiful female dancers on stage shaking their curls of all textures along with the song in beautiful formation. It was that moment that it occurred to me that if these women were able to embrace their natural texture, why couldn’t I? There was no answer, there was no reason. So from that moment forward I broke the cycle. I wasn’t sure what the road ahead would be like, I actually didn’t even know what my texture was like, but I was eager to find out. Shortly after this, I bought my very first SheaMoisture® product. I relied on SheaMoisture during my first washdays when my hair was extremely delicate, and I’m happy to report that I still use it today. Wash days are still the best time for me to really slow down, reacquaint myself with my hair and appreciate my curls. So let me walk you through my process.

Star Donaldson with SheaMoisture Products

Step 1: Shampoo

Wash days where I use shampoo, I am very particular about the products I use to cleanse my hair. I love SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo because it gently cleanses my hair without stripping it. It's made with an amazing blend of oils including 100% virgin coconut oil, argan and sweet almond oil. I especially love that it’s made with sweet almond oil because I often use this oil to hydrate my hair and skin. Sweet almond oil is a great sealant and works to lock in moisture without weighing hair down, which is a genius ingredient for this hydrating shampoo. It’s extremely important for my hair texture to hold on to as much of its natural oils as possible while still cleansing away dirt and grime, and this shampoo does just that. I love that I can work my hair into a satisfying lather that assures me that my hair is being gently cleansed. I hop in the shower and make sure my hair is completely drenched before I use 1-2 pumps. Once I’ve lathered sufficiently from root to tip, I spend at least 3 minutes rinsing and my hair doesn’t feel stripped or waxy afterwards. I also find that my hair is more manageable and easier to section before I move on to conditioning.

Star Donaldson with SheaMoisture Shampoo
Star Donaldson sectioning hair.

Step 3: Conditioner

The most important part of my wash day is the conditioner I use to hydrate my curls so that they stay full and defined until my next wash day. SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Conditioner is great because it is creamy and thick which is perfect for my recently cleansed strands. It is made with coconut milk which is great for hydrating and softening hair, and acacia senegal which supports elasticity, so hair isn’t brittle and prone to breakage. In order to get all of the benefits, I part my hair into four sections to properly coat my strands before I detangle. This conditioner provides the perfect amount of slip and my detangling brush glides right through my curls for zero pulling and tearing of my curls. Although this isn’t a deep conditioner, I always make sure to let my conditioner sit on my hair for at least 30 minutes to soak up all of the ingredients. I love that it is so thick that it locks in moisture to my strands, which means no excessive dripping once it’s all clipped up.

Star Donaldson with SheaMoisture Conditioner
Star Donaldson combing through conditioner.

Step 4: Finishing Touches

Once I rinse out the conditioner I put in a leave-in conditioner and gel. This ensures my hair holds in the hydration and moisture from the conditioner and that my curls are defined once dry. Since spending more time at home, I am air drying my hair and I've found that my curls are way happier and more moisturized this way. I’ve also found that with this routine my curls look more defined and hold their shape for longer.

Wash days are such an important time for me to reconnect with myself. When life gets really hectic it's nice for me to take time running my fingers through my hair and taking care of my curls. Going natural was the best and most empowering decision I’ve ever made. Not only am I totally in control of my hair, I also feel more true to myself. Looking back at where I was when I first started my natural hair journey to where I am now makes me extremely proud that I took that first leap to start transitioning. I know now that I can continue caring for my curls with confidence when using SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner. With products I can trust, I can happily and confidently embrace my curls forever.

SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner
SheaMoisture 100% Virgin Coconut Oil Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner $17.99
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