So You Want to Go Natural?
by Tinuke Wilson

Once you make the decision to go natural, be ready to free your mind. It is a journey that requires a strong determination and boldness. Unfortunately, many women have been taught to believe that the European Standard of Beauty is the way to go. The media constantly presents beauty as being tall and slender with straight hair. This is your chance to set yourself apart from the norm. Natural Hair is beautiful, so hold your head up high and show off what God has given you.

Let me not deceive you, going natural and STAYING natural will require tremendous commitment. Also be prepared for questions from those who are curious about natural hair. Be well informed and and ready to teach.

Here are a few things to consider as you start your journey:
  • Surround yourself with people who have natural hair as well- – this will give you motivation and encouragement
  • Go on Natural Hair websites where you can form a social network with people that have similar goals as you. You are bound to learn a lot from the forums and will definitely be inspired by pictures. I started with Nappturality.com, where I learned a lot about caring for my delicate napps. The most exciting thing about these sites is that you are allowed to keep a journal of your hair journey- – this gives you an opportunity to encourage others who wants to learn how to care for their hair and also see your progress.
  • Read articles and books that have rich quality information about natural hair care
  • Learn about different styling options (from blogs and Youtube), to prevent boredom and frustration.

Ways to go natural:

  • The Big Chop: Cutting off your relaxed hair, usually resulting in a Teeny Weeny Afro or cropped ‘do.
  • Transitioning: Letting your relaxed hair grow out until you have reached your desired length, and then cutting off the relaxed hair.

There is no right or wrong way to ‘go natural’. If you’re not prepared to rock a TWA, don’t feel obligated to chop. Many women transition for months, even years before they cut off the relaxed portions. Do you!

Basic Tools needed for Natural Hair Care:

  • Water: Natural Hair thrives on water. You need it internally and externally
  • Shampoos with no sodium lauryl sulfates (SLS)
  • Conditioners without silicones or “cones”, which can dry out your hair (creating a barrier which makes it hard for moisturizing ingredients to penetrate)
  • A leave in conditioner
  • A wide tooth comb or other detangling tool
  • A good detangler, I swear by qhemet biologics cocoa detangling ghee.
  • A good mosturizer
  • Hair Accessories such as clips, headbands, scarves, flowers etc.

Good Natural Products/Ingredients to have on hand:

  • Coconut oil
  • Jojoba Oil
  • Shea Butter
  • Aloe Vera Gel

Some advice on managing your natural hair:

  • Use heat sparingly as it can alter the natural state of your coils (permanently straightening random pieces). It can also make your hair brittle and cause breakage. Use it when deep conditioning, however, wear a plastic cap to keep the moisture in your hair.
  • When detangling, use a wide tooth comb and start from the ends to the roots.
  • Don’t be bashful when using Conditioners and Mosturizers, your hair will be thirsty for them!
  • Your natural hair is easier to comb/detangle while wet and full of conditioner, but remember to be gentle!
  • PLEASE DO NOT WEAR EXTENSIONS. THESE THINGS DO NOT LIKE YOUR HAIRLINE.
  • Wear a silk scarf to protect your hair at night.
  • Try to wear Protective styles for about two weeks. This helps you to retain length.
  • Moisturize and oil your ends very often (helps length retention).

Article by Tinuke Wilson

Youtube http://www.youtube.com/atinawaya

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