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.
- 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
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
Thanks! I'm newly transitioning from relaxed to natural (I'm 7 weeks post relaxer) and I'm not bc'ing; so, I can use all of the help I can get.
@wildonce.. Yes, I have tried kinky twists in the past on one inch hair( my hair and yours are similar except for the length) and the twists did not slide off. My roots were braided(very important if you have the sliding problem). Have you tried braiding the roots first?
Quality ingredients is key when transitioning. I transitioned for two years. I changed up products as my hair changed. My hair never broke off or anything like that. Now that I am natural, I get compliments at work everyday from: men, women, white, black and other ethnicities.
Thank you for posting advice for newbies and vets. I truly want to say thank you for the advice and encouraging everyone to learn about their natural hair now. I spent several years in braids because I didn't know how to take care of my natural hair and tried to protect it under cotton head wraps (hindsight 20:20 – cotton sucks moisture out of hair). Despite my lack of knowledge, my hair grew with the use of organic oils, takieyle detangler / leave in conditioner and AO. Chicoro's book and Curly Nikki's website changed my life, and I'm on my way to healthy long hair. I also have to acknowledge Diane Carol Bailey – author of Natural Hair Care and Braiding book, the Grow Afro Hair Long website, Braids by Breslin, & Youtube for collar bone length hair. Personally, I feel my hair grows the fastest when I utilize the information from Curly Nikki's website and Chicoro's book. After I braid my hair with my last bag of extensions, I plan to try KinkyKurlyQueen's twist routine (cost effective & healthier for my hair). In my experience as a Naturalista, research is key to beautiful healthy hair, research the ingredients in the products you want to make apart of your routine, and stay true to yourself. Live, Love & Peace! ~ Sweetsop
Thank you this was very helpful information. Thank you for sharing.
I think it's important to remind new naturals about the importance of finding what works for THEM. It's nice to share your regimen, but there really isn't a natural hair rule book as this post may be construed as suggesting. One woman's no-no, is another's holy grail.
I, for one, love sulfates, cones, and extensions!
Ok I know there is a forum but I swear I get responses quicker this way! I'm going to get extentions for a protective style..not worried about my edges because I can tell them to either leave them out or do them bigger…I am however worried that my hair is to soft! I have kinky twist atm and they are sliding off because my hair is so soft, curly and fine in addition to only being about a inch long when stretched……any sugjestions? you can private message me or put it here….
Anyone transitioning should at least experiment with silicones a little. They do not dry out hair, but they can be over used. I think the right types of silicones, used sparingly can help prevent breakage. You want to do everything you can to protect that demarcation line, right? Try amodimethicone (examples: infusium 23, motions leave-in, garnier fructis sleek and shine leave-in).
Okay, how's this for crazy? I just had a 10 minute conversation in the mail room of my office building with a young lady who is transitioning and noticed that I am natural. Of course one of the things I mentioned was CN.com. Hopefully she checks it out today; this will really be beneficial for her. Thanks for the great tips!
You have some great tips very good afford
You have some great tips! I've tried to transition many times before, but my hump has been cutting my hair. This time around, I cut my hair so that hurdle no longer exits.
With extensions, you have to be careful. They are ok if you have the right person doing them. At some braiding shops they try to put an entire braid on one strand of hair. When your hairline is clearly outlined by braids, it is a recipe for disaster. I've always done my own extensions. I never had hairline problems. I always had issues with my ends, because I was unable to keep them moisturized.
Thanks Tinuke and Nikki, I'm BC'ing this weekend and these tips are invaluable!
Peace, Love and Chocolate