The pressure surrounding going natural in 2013 has mounted to unprecedented proportions. When I first went natural in 2004, I don’t remember any of the hype and propaganda that is present today. As easy as it is to say “it’s just hair,” we all know it is much more than that for many ladies. Our hair can be representative of ourselves. And for some people, especially those who may have never seen their natural, unprocessed hair, it can be a scary decision to make. Here are a few tips I want to share with those who are contemplating the journey.
1. Overcoming Fear
Fear is a big factor for many ladies when the topic of going natural arises. There is fear attached to many concerns: not knowing what your hair is going to look like, being misunderstood by your family or friends, worries of not being found attractive by the opposite sex, not having long hair to fall back on — the list goes on. A lot of the fear people have is self-induced. It shouldn’t matter whether you’re wearing a relaxer, a weave, natural hair or no hair. You are capable of putting that fear aside and going forward with what’s best for you. Once you get over the fear and the what-ifs then you can move to the next step.
2. Get a Big Chop
If you are no longer fearful of the what-ifs, and you’re ready to dive head first into going natural, you can opt for the Big Chop. I understand this can be scary because, as women, we’re used to associating long flowing hair with being feminine and attractive. Going against the grain is becoming easier thanks to the many beautiful ladies embracing their TWAs in public settings. It’s no longer taboo to cut your hair down to an inch or less. In fact, it’s become a powerful symbol of strength and courageousness. This clean slate offers a chance to nurture your hair from teeny curls to luxurious locks.
So you think you’re ready to go natural, but not quite ready to jump into cutting your hair? Transitioning is a great option, but what most people don’t realize is that transitioning to natural hair is a much harder, much more committed process. It can be difficult to deal with two textures, especially while your new growth is flourishing. Many ladies often find that once their new growth has reach a certain length that it’s much easier to just cut off the relaxed ends. The best advice I can give transitioning ladies that may be scared to reveal their true textures is to experiment with styles that mimic the way you will be wearing your natural hair. This way you will learn techniques that will benefit you once your hair is completely natural.
The bottom line is that it should be YOUR decision! I don’t know of any other way to say it. It is not up to anybody else but you. Once you have your mind made up, the best thing you can do is to educate yourself. There are many reputable forums within the natural hair care community, and they are there for people just like you. It’s helpful to ask questions of friends, family and fellow naturals, but it’s ultimately your decision. Don’t let people sway you one way or the other or you may end up regretting your decision. It’s easy to get swept into product and ingredient discussions too, but just remember to keep it simple. Simple regimens and simple ingredients are the easiest to keep up with, especially while you’re learning about your newly natural hair. I hope this helps and good luck along your natural hair journey!