I know many of you probably aren’t thinking about your hair when writing your back to school shopping list, which is understandable. Between the laptops, stationery, clothing, bedding, dorm room items; as well as other last minute preparations needed before starting a new grade, school or even college or university, the last thing on your mind would be shampoos and conditioners. While all these items are important, the health of your hair also is, especially if you’ll be moving away for school or are returning to school as a newly Natural or Transitioner.
So how should you prepare for BTS?
1. If you recently did a BC over the summer or started transitioning, you’ll need to look up a hairstylist in the city you’ll be living in for school as well as places to get your hair products from.
2. If you happen to have some space left in your luggage, you can bring enough supplies that would last you for a semester or until you go back home during a school break.
3. You can also find more accessible substitute products to replace the hard to find ones you currently have.
4. Try and master simple hair styling techniques such as twists and flat twists which will last you for a week or more. This way, you can focus on school and other things without spending too much time on your hair. And when you’ve organized your timetable and have settled down, you can now go back to your regular time-consuming regimen. Mastering basic hair styling techniques before starting school will allow you to have nice hair during the semester without having to worry about finding a good stylist, and you can also save some money.
5. *This would probably apply mostly to American readers.- When researching about your college town, also look up information on Natural hair bloggers and Vloggers in your town. These ladies usually organize or take part in hair shows and meet-ups where you could gather a wealth of information about Natural hair in your community. You’d have the opportunity to meet local stylists, buy hair products from vendors at the event and even network with other Naturalistas in your city. However, if you happen to be moving to a city without an active Natural hair community, you can take the courageous decision in starting your own!
What should you buy or not buy when going? what should you bring with you or leave at home?
Just in case you were sharing your current hair products and tools with a family member, you’ll need to go purchase your own for school. The amount of products and tools purchased will depend on how many of them you use and how often you use them. For example, if you only use a blow dryer every 3 months, you can save some space and weight in your luggage by leaving it at home and may be borrow from a roommate when needed.
Since you probably won’t have a lot of space for your hair wardrobe and probably the budget for a large one, I recommend you simplify and downsize your products. Only purchase staple products that you use on a daily or weekly basis and manage them while in school. You can then indulge on luxurious products when you return home.
If unsure of the availability of your current hair product in your college town, you should only purchase Black haircare products such as Shea Moisture and the like. Simple items such as combs, ACV, oils and ubiquitous products like Tresemme can be easily purchased from anywhere. or, if you happen to live in a country like the U.S where shipping is often cheap or free, you might not even need to pack too many hair products with you or worry about it’s availability in your city.
And lastly, if you happen to go home often, it’s best that you leave some items back at home and buy separate ones for school, this way, you won’t have to haul them back and forth with you.
How are you preparing for your BTS shopping?