The natural hair movement is taking the world by storm
and a lot of ladies have many questions about how to ”go natural” and begin their journey to healthier more beautiful hair.
As far as I know, there are 2 routes that can get you started on this journey; the first one is the BIG CHOP, which is essentially cutting off all your hair, leaving only your new growth if any. This could be a really big deal for some of us, particularly if you’ve never worn your hair short, or if you just don’t want to be too drastic in your change. For you, there’s the other route called TRANSITIONING. This as its name implies is a transition from relaxed hair to natural. You basically stop applying relaxers to your hair, and either be like me who had a trim every 3 months for a year, or just wait till you have a ”respectable” amount of new growth, and then chop.
Even though it seems like the easier route, transitioning can be very challenging. It is hard enough to deal with the new growth, but you also have deal with the old growth (lol). You have to learn to manage 2 different hair textures, and for those with more than one hair texture, even more. It can be very tempting to just go to your hairdresser and say, ”please I want to retouch my hair abeg.”
There is also so much information and hearsay going around with all the abbreviations and products that it can be very confusing at first.
This post will help you on your transitioning journey with a few pointers.
1) Learn about your hair, and what works for it
It is very easy to see our friend’s hairstyle and just go and buy everything she used. But you see, just like your personalities are different your hair is different too. And what worked beautifully for her may not turn out well for you, and vice versa. The solution is to find out about your hair type, and learn how to care for it. The best ways to learn are through research and experimentation. You’ll make a few mistakes and have some crazy hair days, but eventually you’ll find your flow and tour hair will bloom. There are a lot of resources on the Internet including books that have very useful information (like this one!)
2) Let all of us work out our own hair care routine
At this point, I’d like to point out that successful haircare is not so much of the products you use as your practices. It is important to develop a hair care routine that works for your hair type and fits into your lifestyle. A lot of us have lives filled with family, work, personal commitments, etc. so we don’t have so much time to spend on our hair. While this may be so, you have to remember that good things need time and attention, so you must make out some time to attend to your crown of glory. I generally deal with my hair at night, I find that I’m in less of a hurry then, and it also gives my style time to dry or set, and look fresh in the morning. Please see the posts on moisture, deep conditioning and the thairapy page for options that you can tailor to your requirements.
3) Get the right tools
You will need the following;
- A spray bottle filled with water and a few drops of whatever oils you choose to use. This will be very useful for keeping up your hair moisture levels.
- A wide tooth comb. Or maybe 2 or 3 in different sizes to help with detangling and styling.
- A satin bonnet (haircap) to protect your strands from friction which roughs up your hair cuticles while you sleep, or a satin pillowcase which serves the same purpose.
- Hair crabs. If your hair is long enough to style, you’ll need these to hold sections of it in place while you’re busy with other areas.
- Bobby pins. I use them to hold my hair in place for almost every hairstyle. Frankly, I don’t know what I would do without them.
When I transitioned, I carried my hair in corn rows (kòlésè) that I had done every Sunday after Deep Conditioning. And then I would wear a wig everywhere else. Many people were surprised to see my ‘fro when she came out to say hi (By the way her name is Princess) There are a lot of options available if you don’t want to carry your transitioning hair for whatever reasons. Weaves and braids work well for this purpose, and if you can carry your hair, then there are many styles to rock.
5) Keep calm, and love your hair
The decision to go natural is a not a small one; we take our hair very seriously, and relate it very closely to our beauty. So it is easy to panic and lose confidence in our ability to grow long healthy hair all on our own. I can’t tell you it is easy, but it is doable. I now this because I have done it, and I am still doing it. Many ladies like myself have testimonies of hair that just became so beautiful after going natural.
Going natural isn’t just about looks, there are also numerous health benefits. Above all is the rewarding feeling of seeing your hair come alive under your love and care, and that alone makes it worth it. Please feel free to drop your questions and comments, they will be responded to ASAP, and they will also be very helpful anyone else on this journey. 🙂