by West Indian Beauty of Confessions of a Blog Vixen
With many of us now making more conscious choices about our health, there has been an increase in the number of women ditching relaxers and letting their God-given mane become the spotlight. While many are making this decision with thorough research, some are a little short on time and therefore are not completely aware of the complete picture beyond the added flyness and big hair.
Before Going Natural You Should Know…
Good Hair dressers are a needle in a haystack.
If you thought being able to find a hair dresser when your hair was relaxed was a difficult task, you should know that it is even more difficult to come across a hair dresser who knows how to manage natural hair. This is especially true when you consider there are so many more textures of natural hair that one must be able to understand. He or she must also be versed in what products work best for what hair type. Check out CurlyNikki.com’s article on Qualities to Look for in a Stylist.
Figure out your hair type.
Hair products are usually geared towards a specific hair type. For example, someone with hair texture similar to Ananda Lewis would not garner the best results using products made for Jill Scott’s hair texture (i.e. product – Alma & Heavy Cream). Once you know your hair type, you will be more knowledgeable in selecting products. A good starting point to make things easier is to find a hair twin (someone who has a similar texture) and check out what products he or she may be using for each specific step in their routine. Although this does not mean everything one uses will work for the other, it will help to cut down on the trial and error. As a new or transitioning natural, you will experience enough of that on styling alone :). Check out NaturallyCurly.com to help figure your hair type.
Play in your hair!
People always wonder how some Naturals are able to style their hair so well, while others appear frustrated and not so well self-styled; that is usually because a well self-styled Natural gave herself time to become familiar with her hair. She played with her kinks and curls and did not hide her hair under weaves and wigs. Often times, frustration that results from being natural is because one kept their hair hidden and/or un-manipulated. I encourage you to play in your hair!
Protective styling helps to get your hair to increasing lengths.
This is something that is not commonly discussed. We are often consumed with using hair as an accessory by fluffing, puffing and swanging it that we forget all of those things can be detrimental if you are trying to efficiently grow your hair beyond its current length. Protective styling helps to keep your ends protected, avoiding breakage and everyday elements (i.e.-rubbing against clothing) which can result in weakened, vulnerable strands. One of my favorite YouTubers often talks about this and you can also see her journey from shorter natural hair to her current length of hair, below her bra strap. Check out KimmayTube.
You will become frustrated.
Rest assured, it’s usually only a phase. When we become frustrated we often revert to thoughts of relaxing. Stop! I recommend a long-term protective style by getting your hair braided or even a weave. This will give you time to really think about the steps that you are willing to take when moving forward. Once you remove the protective style, then you will be able to sort your true feelings regarding your hair. Typically, you would have determined that you’ve missed your hair and you will begin to appreciate it a little bit more. YouTuber CurlyChronicles had a great idea to create a video that generated comments from Naturals giving other Natural tips.