When it comes to my hair, I am lazy AS FUCK, which isn’t good because the natural hair movement is no joke. When I first (re)entered the afro world back in 2012, I had no idea the amount of work and maintenance my hair would require. Not knowing what to do with my "new" kinky locks — the last time I had kinky hair, my mother was the one who dealt with it — I did what any other lost human being would do: I asked the internet and fell down the Google rabbit hole.
I found acronyms. I found intensive routines and mayonnaise conditioner recipes. Every hair tip seemed complicated and required impossible-to-find ingredients. Case in point:
Random naturalista YouTuber: “My routine is so simple! All you need is this $200 curl cream, extra virgin pistachio oil, two peacock feathers, and the yolk of a dragon egg.”
Me: The fuck?
Like many naturals, I started my hair journey in a transitional phase, meaning I was sporting two textures as I allowed my natural hair to grow to the desired length before chopping off my permed ends. It was a cute moment. My hair was semi-straight and I could do all of the easy 3C curl hairstyles.
In late December, I decided to do the “big chop” and discard the chemically straightened strands attached to my kinky new growth. As I looked in the mirror for the first time in years with my 4C natural hair, I freaked out and made an appointment to get box braids installed the next day.
During my protective hairstyle period, I did some research on how to care for my hair going forward. I ran out to one of the Bronx’s largest beauty supply stores and purchased nearly everything on the shelves. (Side note: Isn’t it sad how a majority of African Americans are JUST now learning how to deal with their hair and major hair brands are JUST NOW catering to this demographic? It’s telling of how long the pressure to assimilate to Eurocentric beauty standards has lasted in our society. Stay woke ya’ll.)
Going natural cost me hundreds of dollars and several wasted months of trying to achieve a hair type I don’t naturally have.
Lesson learned: The model on the bottle is not you. (And that’s perfectly OK.)
I did not see many natural hair bloggers or icons with my tight coily hair type, or who shared my hair issues. My hair dries out easily, is super-prone to tangling, and I definitely can’t get away with sleeping on a twist-out for too long. But, after years of trial and many errors, I have finally mastered how to care for my hair, my way. I currently write about hair for a professional hair site, so this means by law of the Internet I am certified to share with you my lazy AF hair guide.
My fellow lazy naturalistas: It is possible to make your hair routine effortless — literally.
So this is me on day four of a twist-out. Yup, those twists are practically nonexistent at this point. No, I do not always twist my hair before going to sleep, because of course not.
On wash day, I spend an hour twisting my hair and wrap it in a scarf for days until I really have to go somewhere special. Once my twist-out wears away, it’s time to apply lazy magic.
The Lazy AF Prep
I’m not going to give you a 2-hour hair routine. All you have to do is co-wash your hair, dry it with a T-shirt, and moisturize. How do you moisturize, you ask? Girl, grab you some leave-in conditioner, oil, and hair cream and apply each to your hair in that order. This is called the L.O.C. method. You see what I told you about the acronyms? In case you are wondering — “Leave-in, Oil, Cream."
1) Wash & Go
You really can’t get any lazier than this. Really, just wash your hair, moisturize, detangle, and go about your day.
2) The Gel and Brush
Slightly different from a regular wash & go, this look gives you serious curl definition without the laborious twisting. Simply section your hair into quarters, apply some gel, and brush through with a detangler brush. Instant curl definition!
3) The Poof
You know that moment when you’re at some formal holiday party and you get waaaay too drunk, but you try to sober it up and act like you’re totally fine? This hairstyle is the embodiment of that fraud.
It looks like you cared enough to style your hair but really, you are just lazy and used an elastic band to hold your shit together. (Tip: Use gel to slick down your edges to make it look like you really tried.)
4) The Headband
This is a cute hairdo for dates with lovers or friends. The more funky your headband, the less people will notice you didn’t do your hair.
5) The IDGAF Headwrap
When all else fails and you are completely over doing your hair, just tie it all up in a headwrap. One of my greatest fears is some punk kid snatching my headwrap off on the train, so I always wear a silk scarf underneath.
There you have it: five awesome hairstyles that require no effort at all. You also don’t need to raid your pantry or buy tons of expensive products to take care of your hair. The key to great hair is healthy hair.
Be sure to keep your curls hydrated and your scalp healthy. (You can’t go wrong with organic or natural ingredients.) Protective hairstyles like braids, twists or weaves shield your hair from pollution and over-manipulation — they also require minimal effort once they're installed.
If you haven’t had the epiphany yet, allow me to help you get there:
Just be carefree, black girl.