So You Want to go Natural?
Written By: Ayye Denay
If you’re reading this, my hope is that you have given up the creamy crack or you are thinking about taking the plunge into the natural sisterhood. Congrats! It’s now time for a very real conversation. Contrary to popular belief, being natural is HARD. Your ease of styling depends solely on your hair and your ability to learn it. Going natural requires patience and dedication but if done right, it is extremely rewarding.
The Big Chop or Transition?
Now that you’ve made the decision to go natural there is another important choice you must make. This is deciding if you should big chop verses simply transitioning. When transitioning, you slowly chop the relaxed ends of your hair until they are gone. This can take a few months to a few years depending on how long it takes you to continuously cut your hair. Should you decide to big chop, you will be cutting out all your relaxed hair at once. There is no correct way to go natural. It all depends on your personal preference.
What Products Should I Use?
Regardless of what we may think, all hair is different. Although hair may be similar, various products effect it differently. It’s easy to get lost in the world of products however signing up for subscription boxes or even gathering product samples may aid in not breaking the bank on natural products. It can be easy to get discouraged when a product doesn’t work. However, that is no reason to end your natural journey. It takes much time and patience to find products which work with your hair.
Many brands like Mane Choice, Curls, As I Am and EDEN pride themselves on making products that aid in creating healthy hair, locking in moisture and retaining length.
One major thing to avoid when going natural is excessive heat. Products like blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons can cause immense damage to your hair and unneeded breakage. Other products which may cause damage include harsh chemicals, extremely tight styles and harsh treatment. Using items like heat protectants can aid in mitigating some of this damage. A healthy diet, proper water intake and vitamins will also aid you in avoiding breakage and retaining length.
Protective styling is the cornerstone of natural hair. Finding a few tried and true styles which work for you and are easy to complete is essential in your hair journey. They not only help your hair grow longer they also put minimal strain on your hair. As the name states, they allow you to protect your hair while keeping your hair moisturized.
Protective styles include the following:
- Box Braids
It’s important to remember that while you are going natural you may need to alter your hair routine several times to find something that works. Remember to be gentle with your hair, be patient and read product labels to understand what you are putting on your hair.
Many people will have mixed emotions about your natural hair journey and you should never shame your hair based on the opinions of others. Being natural will require that you do some research to learn about techniques, products and more. Your natural journey may be tough at times but it will ultimately be rewarding.