How are you doing? I hope you had a good day? I have been thinking about this post for months now but never got around putting my thoughts to writing (#storyofmylife) For some reason tonight as I looked at one of the images my husband took of me yesterday and saw the progress of my hair, I can't help but smile and most importantly share this post.I decided to go natural in 2012 when I found out I was pregnant with my second child (October 2012). My hair stylist had mentioned it in passing but I wasn't interested. Something about being pregnant encouraged me to give it a "try" I wasn't going for the big chop, I wanted to transition or in my words "see how my hair does without a relaxer for a while." I gave it a year in my mind. Below are things I learnt along the way and I am writing this to inspire someone who might be discouraged about her hair progress, someone who isn't quite sure what to do or maybe someone who already is natural.
You don't have to do the "Big Chop"
I am not sure why this is usually the recommended path to natural hair, but honestly you don't. I didn't. I gradually transitioned my hair straight ends and all its the current state. Over the last 4 years I have trimmed off the straight ends.
You don't have to do the work
There seems to be this notion that you have to be a pro at handling your hair to have healthy natural hair. I did buy into that idea for a while and honestly it intimidated me going on Youtube and watching videos of black girls just like me styling their hair perfectly. There are amazing natural hair stylist everywhere, you just have to do a little bit of work to find out one that works for you. Kiss a few frogs maybe and find your prince charming, lol. Styleseat is an amazing resource that you can use and if you live in the Atlanta area, my hair stylist Washonda is amazing. Instagram is also a great place to start, try out those hashtags.
Trims are so important
I was very good with my trims when I had a relaxer in my hair but somehow I convinced myself or thought I could get away with less trims cos I am natural! So wrong, hair sheds period in whatever state it is in, so get frequent trims and honestly I would always advice going to a professional over trying to handle it yourself.
It's okay to wear my natural hair however way I want
I am tired of ladies shaming others for not wearing their natural hair as is, hair is personal so whatever you chose to do, do it and own it. Wear your weaves, wear your wigs, crotchet braids, proudly wear your fro, don't let anyone tell you otherwise. It doesn't make you less natural if you chose to wear corn rolls and don your wig afterwards (but make sure you leave your hair out on occasion, to breathe.)
Heat "can" be the enemy
Like I mentioned in the beginning of this post, I transitioned my hair. I was used to wearing my hair straight for years so straightening my hair every 2 weeks became my ritual. My hair thrived, it grew and not until I announced to anyone in a room or when it rained, lol you could never tell I was natural. I was perfectly fine with that but I noticed the heat took its toll. As my hair started reverting to its natural curly patterns, my ends stayed straight and never reverted. I found that annoying after a while, I wanted my curls but also wanted to wear my hair straight. Too much heat changes that. Using Apple Cider Vinegar to cleanse the hair between straightening curbs this but most importantly limit the heat and watch the temperature. You hair doesn't need that much heat to get it bone straight in the first place under 400 degrees Fahrenheit for sure)
It doesn't have to be costly
Honestly I can proudly say I have spent less money on my hair over the last year compared to the past. I never touched my hair when I had a relaxer, so every 2 weeks I was at the salon but now I manage my hair myself most times and go to the salon on occasion. I would say this, once you get the hang of things (this might take some time, took me over 2 years) you can start managing your hair and save money and time spent at the salon.
You don't have to know about every product
There is this notion that you have to keep trying different products and changing products repeatedly. Leave all that to the Youtubers and bloggers, lol. If you find a product that works for you, stick to it and don't change products till it stops working which does happen sometimes. Hair changes, adapts and if you notice it stops working, its the only time I recommend switching products. Just remember the bloggers and Youtube stars have to try new products to let you know what might work cos not everything works for every hair. My daughter and I have different textures and hair products tend to have different effects on our hair.
Return it if it doesn't work
Its that simple, just like with everything else (If you in live in the US especially, stick to Target, Walmart.)These stores have great return policies, if you try a product that doesn't work for your hair, please return the rest of the content and get your full refund back. Don't waste money trying new products and end up being a beauty supply store!
Time makes all the difference
I saw a picture of one of my favorite natural hair blogger Naturally Temi and I was blown away with the difference in her hair growth in a span of 2 years. Pictures like hers motivates me to continue with my natural hair journey. Ladies hair growth honestly takes time, put in the work and give it time:-)
My hair can't look that great
I think this is one that strikes a cord the most. People assume that ""her hair" is different, mine can never look that great"" I had to put that in double quotation. There is this notion that one natural hair is better than the other or the idea that since I can't have curls like Style Pantry why bother. Embrace your hair as God made it and work on it and get it to the best state that it can possibly become.
I have so much more to blog regarding this topic, so expect a part 2, "Shrinkage is real, "lol. I finally understand what that means now, lol I hope you enjoyed reading this piece, sharing is caring, hit the share button and send it to someone who would benefit from this. Cheers!