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Curly Nikki

It’s Hard Out Here Fo’ a Teen Natural

By January 27th, 202175 Comments
It's Hard Out Here Fo' a Teen Natural
By: Rebecca Haynes from DanceOnTheSkylines

Teen naturals. We lurk, we post, and we are all around you. We enviously read the reviews of our older counter parts, gazing longingly at the pricey products they can afford that we, on our junior high/high-school/college budgets, cannot. We try desperately to find products that work for our own natural strands, without angering our mothers for spending so much money solely on our hair. We follow tutorials, sometimes with great success, and other times with disappointment and frustration.

I’ll tell you, from 3 years of experience, at the age of 17-it’s hard out here fo’ a teen natural. A lot of us have NO school mates who share our hair issues, considering most opt for a relaxer or take a weaved up approach to avoid the truth of the kinky locks that emerge from their roots every few weeks. We have to face the critique of teachers, peers, parents, and strangers as we rock our controversial curly ‘dos. Many of us come from families that have no idea how to take care of our “type” of hair and would simply suggest we just slap in the tried and true creamy crack. We know why we went (or in some cases, stayed) natural. I’m sure that, for the majority of us, it was not a fad, it was a life decision. Or, at least it was for me.

There are times I think about relaxing again. The times my progress is nuked by SSK’s and raggedy ends, the times that a product that worked fine last week wants to act a fool this time around, and the times I spend hours on my hair only to come up with less than great results. We’re not very different from adult naturals, to be honest, but we lack something that most of our elders have-a foundation.

Where do we start, when most of us were raised on Pink Oil and Vaseline? How do we even begin to figure out our regimens, when we have so little finances to experiment, and so few ‘teen natural’ examples to follow? How do we find a support system? My suggestion would be in each other. I think that all the scattered teen naturals who floats along the forum pulses should come together in order to support each other. I learn a lot from the people who have been natural for 6+ years, but I also want to hear about people MY age who have just b/c’ed and how exactly they’re dealing with it.

Sooner or later, time will come for me to take on the role of an adult. I’ll be supporting myself, and my (slight) hair fetish with my own dough, but for now I’m just a senior in high school with a hectic schedule, scrambling to apply to colleges, and simply want someone MY AGE to relate to. Don’t get me wrong, 21yr+’s. You guys have been a wealth of knowledge, but birds of a feather stick together, and right now my fellow birds are under drinking age. So what do you say, fellow teens? Want to start our own little community?


  • Jazzie Jay says:

  • Jazzie Jay says:

    youtube me:

  • Jazzie Jay says:

    OMG I'm totally making a site for all of us! I'll post here when it's done! 😀

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 16 and a senior. I just debuted my natural curls this summer after having them locked up in braids for about 3 years. Since school started , I have gotten soooo many compliments particularly from white females and black males. The black girls seem to find something to make fun of me for with their weaves and relaxers. I don't care! My confidence is higher than ever and I usually rock a big pulled back poof maybe with some twisted side bangs. Only thing I'm worried about is how to do my hair for homecoming next month -__- suggestions would be appreciated! But no matter what anyone says I'm going to stay true to my roots bc it's what God gave me and not to mention my boyfriend loves it. Natural hair is beautiful and ladies NEVER give up!

  • Hillary says:

    I'm not alone?! I'm 16 and I've been natural for 14 months. I've been tempted to relax my hair again because it's been a hard journey and I'm STILL trying to figure out what's best for my hair. (Don't worry, I haven't taken the creamy crack).

    My mom won't stop telling me to get a relaxer and my hairdresser suggested a texturizer. I'm so scared because I've come a long way and I have all this new growth. I don't want to risk it, but I'm not sure what to do anymore…

    Help? :/

  • AnaDion says:

    I'm so glad that I'm not the only one who maintains that this is not a fad! Hearing my mother laugh off my hair as my "natural bohemian thing" that I'm "doing right now" is infuriating, as is hearing other natural talking about $30 a pop products…
    That does NOT currently work its way into my $40/month income…o.O
    Also, teens DO have some unique hair issues: for instance, can somebody please hand out some prom hair advice?!

  • Jasmine Burroughs says:

    Hi Ladies! We are in the process of starting a magazine for teen girls of color (Naturally Pink Tree Magazine). The sections in the magazine focus on natural hair care, natural skin care, holisitc health, leadership, women's news, fashion on a budget. There will also be a section to sign up for writing workshops (webinars) to learn how to write for magazines, business writing etc.
    The magazine will launch Summer 2012. We are also looking for girls to contribute articles in any of the sections. Check us out for more info at our facebook page:!/pages/Naturally-Pink-Tree-Virtual-Magazine/282987748409936?sk=info

    or on twitter:!/PinkTreeMag

    or you can email the editor at

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely agree with you! I have learned so much form the older natural hair community about products, regimens, and stuff, but there's one problem. I's Broke and a freshmen in high school with no job!

  • Anonymous says:

    I know I am late but I completely agree. I have been natural since June and have been made fun of ever since. I am a freshman in high school , so I am pretty sure the teasing will go on for the next 4 years of my life. But if we had something like this I would have somewhere to go to for support.

  • Anonymous says:


  • Anonymous says:

    Until a few months ago, i could not find a single natural teen,aside from the guys at my old high school.All of the black chicks had relaxed hair.I was the only african american female(i'm actually mixed with Samoan and Native American, but many documents classify me as black, plus I have african type hair)in school that dared to wear natural hair, and was sadly made fun of.But it's very nice to know that there are other teen naturals.The sooner one breaks away from chemical relaxers, the better and the more likely we are to lose our hair before 30, or end up looking like Gollum.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes, we should start our own community! i big chopped this January, and i am a freshman in college!

  • Anonymous says:

    I completely agree! Let's get our own website or something. I'm a fifteen year old teen transitioning. That would be amazingly helpful (if we had our own website.)

  • anewmeepassion says:

    Yayyy woo hoo. I'm a high school natural and 17 too. I am in my 16th month of transitioning, and im cutting my hair in about 2 weeks(i can't wait). Honestly, i feel pretty confident in school, and i most definitely stand out. I get compliments on my natural hair on a daily basis, and i have converted about 6 girls at my school to natural this year. I never felt insecure as if i needed to get a weave-probably bc i never liked them in the first place- and i never had the desire for a perm, bc right now my hair is flat ironed and i strongly despise it. I love my coily 4c'd hair. Wouldn't trade it for the world. Also i have realized that i have become a lot more confident since i went natural. It's like i don't care what anyone thinks about me. As for products- lol- i either make my own (shea butter mix, flax seed gel, vegetable glycerine and water mixture), but i sometimes pleasure myself into getting some luxury products from the shea moisture line. I just hope you stay strong, and live life. Soon natural hair on black woman will be the norm. The only difference is that WE have a head start. Peace

  • Kekecurly says:

    Yes ma'am we do need to start seeing more younger naturals. I am 18 yrs old and in my first yr of college, and all my peers rock the weaves and relaxers. I would love to see and be a part of the younger natural hair generation! JUST SIGN ME UP 😀

  • Yani says:

    Although I waited until college to go natural, I'm still 19 and can completely relate to this post. It's one reason I started my own natural hair blog. For my peers who seem to be quite alone in the natural hair care world. Check it out,

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 16 and I just BC'd. I can totally relate to this.
    A teen section would really help out a lot of us youngin's.

  • Anonymous says:

    im 16 and transitioning so a teen section would be awesome!

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 19. lol I'm still considered a teenager right? I live in my own apartment with my boyfriend. I have literally no money to spend on my hair( my poor little TWA a has had to survive on conditioner alone and the Shea butter i jack from my mom every time i see her.) i have no one else to lean on who is going what im going through. i feel your pain. and so does my baby fro.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes! I'm 19 and I stopped perming my hair around May. Only flat ironed it once. My mom hates it. She doesn't say it, but she looks at my hair like it's a hot mess. I do the twist out everynight. It looks awesome! I love it. Sure it's a lot to detangle, but it's mine.

    So today I was at the dinner table, and my mom just gives me these looks. I'm like you want me to perm it don't you? She's like yeah, why did you stop perming yours? I kept it permed in high school, flat ironed it daily. Soon as I graduated in 09, I stopped. I was done pretending I liked it. Done forcing my hair to be something it's not.

    Well I said I don't like the chemicals. She goes, well I need a perm now it's nappy. So I ask her, you think my hair is nappy? And she goes yeah without a second to think. I was pissed. PISSED! That's the thing about me not being able to afford college. I can't experiment with my hair like other teens would. I have to answer to my parents every notice. Uh.

    It's hard, but I'm not straigtening it. My hair is not nappy. It's curly. It's come such a long way! It makes me sad, but I'm not backing down. 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Want to start our own little community? Absolutely!!! I also am a senior in high school and struggle so much with my hair some days. I transitioned for about a year and a half until I clipped the rest of my ragged ends off.
    Ever since then it has been even more of a journey to get where I want to be with my hair. Finding products to add softness and shine, heck even being completely sure about my hair type!! I'm still guessing lol. Being the big, and really only natural at my school I would definitely love some support and help 🙂

  • Erika says:

    I want to thank all of the people that sent an email to me in reference about the items that I was giving away that I had posted earlier. I have picked someone and the sole winner is "Amanda Hawkins" Congratulations. I hope that you like the items will be sent out to you.

    Thanks again everyone,

  • evelyN says:

    YAZZZZ PREACH ON IT! haha i started when i was 18 (i'm 20 now) but still!

    what made going natural easy for me was that it was my first year of college and no one had gotten used to my straight hair.


  • Sabina says:

    you are three rock

  • CashmereKinks says:

    aww… i wish i could help.. but i'm not fully natural yet…give me a few more months. lol. I DEFINITELY wont be using expensive products in my hair.

    for any transitioners out there, check me out at my blog:

    good luck, girly!

  • Shannon says:

    Me to i'm 17 and going to BC soon,i would def join also.

    I'm Documenting my Journey to Long Healthy Natural hair on my blog check it out please

  • Kenya says:


  • Jazz H. says:

    I love this article! I'm 19, so I'm ever-so-close to adulthood, but I completely feel you on the lack of a budget. My friends and I talk about this all the time! But we mostly get by on cheaper products as well (V05, Suave, Aloe Vera gel, etc) and splurge occasionally. Right now, I'm transitioning, so it's been tough to find the right products. I'm currently a member of a blog about haircare in college, which might be useful since you'll be heading there next year.

    If there's a forum created, I'll definitely be joining!

  • Khadijah t. says:

    We should definitely join together because as a teen right now transitioning i'm struggling big time and help for our fellow adults do help but I also want to here from girls our age ranging from 13-19 or so . I've noticed we haven't had that outlet at all so I say WE SHOULD start a community for teen naturals!

  • Mariposa says:

    @Chelsea: A few girls have already posted some of their teen blogs. A link to mine can be found in the article itself. :]

    Anyway, if anyone is really web savvy and can show me how to put together a forum and find the proper web proxy to support it, I'd really be interested in making this happen. Me and my friend are both trying to deal with our hair a long with a million other things and it's just reassuring to know that other girls our age are going through the same thing. I have some experience with web design and HTML-all I need is some guidance, and I'm willing to learn. =]


  • chelsea says:

    Is there anyone here willing to start a blog about this I mean a teen willing to do this. I would love to and maybe get a lil help with technical stuff etc. I cant believe that someone took the words out of my mouth. Its all good and well for the adults but sometimes I feel like I'm drowning. So anyone out there we could start a blog and who knows get more teens and tweens to the naturally beautiful side.

    If anyone is interested my email is

  • Unknown says:

    My daughter (a tween) just started her YT channel for this very reason. She's already planning the direction of her vids. She was also just featured on and was so excited that she asked to start her own YTchannel and just uploaded her 1st video a few weeks ago. Check her out, subscribe and help support her in getting the tween/teen movement started! Her channel is 'littlecurlsrocktoo'…she'll see you there Curlfriends! 🙂

  • caramel girl says:

    When yall figure something out , please let me know. im 17, a junior in highschool, been natural for almost a year and I'd love to connect with some other natural haired teens 🙂

  • A Simple Thing says:

    What about

    I know it talks to college students mainly, but she links to a lot of other stuff that I think are relevant for High School(ers) as well – it has really lovely hairstyles, and recommends affordable products too! ^_^

  • Anonymous says:

    I think a natural hair blog focusing on teens is a great idea. Especially since the pressures they face in high school and college are different, pockets ($$) are small, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    That is all… I just wanted to say that before I continue to read comments about CurlyNikki has a teen section on the forum. lol =)

  • Anonymous says:

    this was an excellent article. i fully understand what the author is talking about. it's hard being on a budget and seeing older natural counterparts who actually have concrete careers (lol) be able to splurge on hair products and not have to pinch every penny or settle for the cheaper drugstore products like I do. and the disapproving looks from my mom when i come home with a grocery bag chock full of hair goodies… it's tough. i love this idea though, i'm interested.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes Yes Yes!
    I'm 19 college going and brokeish!
    this sounds like an amazing idea! 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    A teen/young adult community would help a lot! I'm 17 and a senior in high school. I've been natural for nearly 4 years now and I am just beginning to take care of my hair without the help of my mom or anyone else. It's difficult but I'm learning as I go along. It would be great to hear tips from other naturals in my age group and share any of my own tricks as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    omg there should defiantly be something for teens
    im 17 also and have stayed natural my whole life except for some heat damage

  • Shake says:

    Teens you have our love and support! Go for it. Make your own cyber community and continue to support one another. It's important to know and feel that there are others like you out there SOMEwhere! Especially if there is no one around you to relate to. Go for it ladies. Make us (and yourselves) proud. We can lean on each other, old or young, and all grow together.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi, I am 16 years old and have currently done a video on youtube about teens considering the BC, and my views on it… I linked it… We definitely do need to have a natural hair community for teens to help each other in our natural journey, and encourage other teens who want to take the natural route 🙂

    If the link doesnt work check out my youtube thebronzekitty

  • IverneR says:

    I think that this is a GREATTTTTTT idea! I'm a 17 year old senior in highschool also and i think that a teen natural community would help a lot.
    I'm currently transitioning(about 11 moths post) and I think that it's a long-term transition. But it would be fun to talk to other naturals/transitioners my age. We can share hair styles and hair-care tips. =D

  • cassidybarrett says:

    Loool story of my life! I'm 18 and in college. I live in Luxembourg, Europe. And I'm tellin the natural journey's been pretty hard for me. First, the weather sucks. Second, I can't find any of the products I want : no Curls, no Aubrey Organics, no nothing. I have to buy them online and the shipping rates are too high for a broke college student like me. Most of the products are full of cones and chemicals.And yeah, I'mma go bonkers with all the knots I have even though I moisturize well, sleep with a satin scarf, … So I feel you.

  • Tonya says:

    …wouldn't it be great if there was a something called "Curly Nikki Teens and Tweens" …on the couch with teenagers!

  • hannah says:

    I would love a teen natural community!! I would join in heart beat!

  • Anonymous says:

    This blog post is me all the way.
    ive been natural since 7th grade and never knew how to care for my hair until I hit the 12th grade. (im now a college freshamn).
    i knew i wanted to be natural and i knew the relaxers just werent my cup of tea.
    but my natural hair was hard to figure out and i was ridiculed for my choices. it was brutal having a damaged twa for years. but I thank hair blogs like these cuz i finally got my act together. =]

  • Alisa says:

    I'm 21 and I wish I had gone natural earlier. I definitely commend you younger ladies for doing this! I'm also a poor college student and studying abroad so I know what it's like to have little to no resources. A community is definitely needed…although I guess I'm kinda excluded lol.

  • Erika says:

    I just wanted to let you know of some items that I'm wanting to get rid of if you're interested.

    V05 Moisture Milk Conditioner Passion Fruit Smoothie "New Never Used"
    Fruit of the Earth 100% Aloe Vera Gel 12oz Bottle "85% Full"
    Pro Wrap Large End Wraps "98% Full"
    Magnetic Rollers with the Clips different sizes/colors 75+ pieces "Used only Once"
    Protective Mist Bodifier by Taligah Waajid "85% Full"
    Vienna Hair Collection B. Marley Pony Length `19 inches
    Have 2 Brand New Bags "Never Used" to be used if you're wanting to put in some Kinky Twists.
    Pink Crotched Hat with Flower Attached on It New/ever Used
    Afro Detangler Pick Comb New Brought "2", only need "1"
    B & B Oil Moisturizer Hair Lotion with Castor Oil and Aloe Bottle 12oz "85% Full",
    Good Product but still have another hair lotion that I need to finish up.

    If anyone is interested in these please let me know you can email me

  • mysskay says:

    Maybe those of us a little older, could donate an item or two towards a high school/college student giveaway. I don't mind making a donation once a month, I'm in college too, but my resources are little more plentiful. Nikki and anybody else, if you're interested let me know!

  • amanda hawkins says:

    This post was made just for me!.. I am a full time college student who is still getting an allowance from my parents….which is not alot at all…usually enough to just put gas in my car! Luckily through the summer I had a pretty goood job and I tried my best to rack up on products that worked for my hair…but they are slowly but surely running out…and summer is no where to be found right now…. lol

  • Anonymous says:

    Omgg..thisz post speaksz to mee on a personal level rite now lol I love the idea of a teen natural group 🙂

  • SaBrina says:

    Oh My GAWD………..!!!!!!!!!!
    I just saw the most gorgeous head of hair on a little girl, who had to have been about 8 years old 4a/b hair type. It was so thick and long, MBL it looked like a lions mane. I just wanted to play in it or use it as a pillow j/k. Yes the little girl was a Natural as well, and her mama was black. I tell you guys if you could have seen this little girls hair, you would have dropped your mouth open and just been staring at her nonstop as I…..

  • Serenity Spot says:

    I think that there should be a teen community because it's hard to relate to the stories of older women and their natural hair sometimes, when all I ever have to think about is school, exam results, transitioning (aah!). Also, there are so many products about there that are always talked about but I just can't buy them. Firstly because I'm in the UK and secondly because I don't have the funds. It would be nice to see some more teen naturals and transitioners out her 🙂

    Please feel free to visit my blog if you have time


  • Joy in the Journey says:

    Great idea; wish I had the forsight to go natural as a teen! Support is really what makes it work.

  • Anonymous says:

    Curly Nikki has some great suggestions for low cost products..I use Olive Oil ECO Style Gel. Also almost any product with Olive Oil works well. Check out in the beauty supply..Or just invest in a bottle of olive oil. A little goes a long way. Cowash(wash with conditioner)dont go crazy with expensive conditioners, you can use Suave, VO5, etc.,instead of shampoo..Shea butter by Cantu is ok. I like Olive oil for my hair more than shea..These are pretty cheap to start. Good Luck Teens!! I wish I would have been a natural hair teen…

  • Anonymous says:

    I'm 22 and a sr. in collage, so maybe I'm not in the age group you want to relate to but I understand not having a wallet big enough to try new products. But there have been posts on this site that list cheaper products, like Suave, Herbal Essences, or Garnier Frutis . A lot of the time I cant afford or justify spending that much on hair products when I have other things I need to pay for. I use Suave Shea butter and almond conditioner and Garnier Frutis triple nutrition shampoo. For a DC I just add honey, EVOO, and coconut oil to conditioner. I've also found Shea Moisture at Target a lot of their products are $10. I really like the Shea Moisture curl smoothie. You don't have to spend a ton of money on products and shipping to find what works for you.

  • Natasha -- says:

    Hey, I just posted a picture submission from a mother and school-aged daughter who both had locs. Parental modeling and support go a LONG way.

    But maybe online and offline stores should think about student discounts? Something where you show your Student ID card. Or a coupon code for students.

    I know of two under-25s in my personal circle who want to go natural. They both are thinking of locs so ask me about the process.

    Peer commentary, not product cost, was mentioned most often though. A forum for young voices to come together in support is definitely a great idea. And now Purple Kitten's on my RSS feed!

    Thanks for this thread, CN!

  • prettyporsche says:

    I totally agree! I just turned 19 & a freshman in college & I'm 4 months into transition & it's sooooo hard b/c I go to a predominantly white school & I don't really see naturals

  • Bria says:

    Omgg! I feel you! Cause i dont always have the money to buy hair products, its a shmuck. Im always trying to get the next penny so that i can go out and buy hair porducts, but i understand im 17 also and just bc in july. Im still trying to make an effective regimen. and yes we should join together! <3

  • Unknown says:

    I would love things for curly teens! There is a site that helps at least there is free shippping. please visit my blog fellow curlies.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yaaaaay! Friends! I'm seventeen and have been natural for a little over a year and I find myself wishing that there was another natural at my school who could relate. Awesome idea to start something for teens!

  • Alesia-Mason says:

    I'm almost 20 & I hate the fact that everything I want to buy would cost like $20+ w/ shipping and although it's all natural, it may not work for me. I know we have a teen section but sometimes I just wish they had a section or post or something just for teens and college students w/ little to no money!

  • Anonymous says:

    im 17. ive been natural for a year and at first it was hard, cant even lie. but now things are pretty much easy peezy…once you start to know your hair everything after that is a gift 🙂

  • DeT says:

    I meant to say too, that some thing just for teens would be great, I had such a hard time with my hair when I was a teen and my mother was no use at all! Even now she's still questioning me, even though my hair is gorgeous, I don't even get split ends any more.

  • DeT says:

    Lurker here, and no longer a teen, but since you're talking about products I wanted to put in a good word for Beauty and the Bees. A friend of mine, gave me some for my last birthday… OMG! It's like my hair died and went to heaven! Their shampoo actually comes in a bar, like a soap bar, but no, it's not actually soap, so don't get freaked thinking it's soap. They also have moisturising hair wax, it's not styling wax, it's for like deep moisturising,

    My friend who gave me some Beauty and the Bees for a present, he has dreads and they are super soft, soft like baby hair soft. He uses their Beer Shampoo and Apple Cider rinse, and no, he's not gay. Any way, the stuff is from Australia, but the costs are okay, even with postage, and the stuff last for ages and ages and it's completely natural. They don't have styling stuff but their hair care products are out of this world. I was able to afford the stuff when I was in college and I ended up using basically no styling products ever and my hair is really long now.

  • Falcon Tress says:

    Here's the link to the section of the Curly Nikki forum that is for teens.

  • Anonymous says:

    YES! YES! YES! We need something for us teens (how to deal questioning parents, siblings, peers, confidence, styling, products for small pockets). PLEASE start something for teens Nikki!!!!!!

  • Kayla says:

    Im a teenager and I have a blog for natural hair. Im new at it and your right its hard to find other people to relate to.

  • Anonymous says:

    Yes! There most definitely needs to be a community for teen and college aged naturals! I've been natural for most of my life but I didn't realize what it meant. I always wore my hair straight, afraid that no one would accept my curls, till one day one of my friends saw my hair curly and loved it. If there was more support out there I think the transition would have been easier. Now I understand more about my own hair and I am proud. So YES! We need a community for young naturals yes!!!

  • Lynnieluve says:

    Nikki has a section on her forum for teens.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow I was just about beginning to think there weren't any other junior high/high school naturals online. I'd love to have a community just for teen naturals! You get to feel kind of left out after a while of not seeing any girls your age who you can relate to.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think the issues she brought up are issues that most naturals go through regardless of age. I remember the pink lotion and vaseline vividly… but anyhoo its good to see high school naturals

  • Anonymous says:

    Yeah I really love this idea being 17 too!!! Let's do it!!

  • Butterfly73 says:

    I support my teen sisters wholeheartedly!! I love the idea Nikki that you feature a teen weekly or biweekly!

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