Know Your Hair Texture
I have long, thick, medium-coarse waves that I inherited from the women in my family. I hated it at first, and constantly tried to straighten it to look like my mother's glass-like bob, which she achieved through chemical straightening. One day, I asked her if I could also get the same treatment, and she immediately said no. "This will ruin your long, thick, waves," she said, before assuring me that sleek hair wasn't the only look that was beautiful. "You have to find the products that work for your hair texture," she said.
Instead, she taught me how to shop for more emollient products that would define every kink and wave in my hair. To this day, when I get a bottle of Nexxus Humectress Ultimate Moisture Conditioner ($20), I think of her. With its hyperclean scent and buttery feel, it was what she considered the crème de la creme for our hair. She also loved Rusk hair oils, which she hated sharing. I would steal it constantly for how shiny it would make my hair, and fill the bottle up with water in hopes she wouldn't notice. (I was 13, okay?!)