After seeing an increasing number of women transition to their
natural curls, you too are considering leaving the Just For Me box on
the shelf. For most women, everything started with that simple decision.
From there, most began with a simple Google search. When you insert
“how to go natural…” results come up from ehow, naturalhaircommunity,
and even chrisitan living. Your first instinct is to look for
inspiration via great natural hair photos and then dive into products,
techniques and all of the scientific jargon.
Being the Newbie
One phase the natural hair community tends to forget about is how
overwhelming the newbie experience can be. Questions of where to start,
how to start and even what sites and forums to trust always run in the
minds of the eager and confused newbie. At least, for me it did. Even
though this new found interest in proper hair care has grown
significantly, I’m not too prideful to admit that my initial searches
were concerned with what made my hair the softest and cuteness,
completely disregarding whether it would provide any health benefits to
my locks. You initially look for a good gel and end up in a discussion
about pH balance, porosity levels and something about a banana before
As you continue to stumble on 15 solutions for one problem, it can
grow increasingly discouraging as you spend time, energy and money
purchasing multiple products and trying different methods during your
hair care exploration. This journey is exactly that, a journey and
although it does take time to listen and become acclimated to what your
hair reacts positively and negatively to, sometimes curiosity should
just stop at curiosity.
Keep it Simple
I have been on my hair care journey for three years, transitioned to
natural for 10 months, and been officially natural for a year. It took a
while for me to realize that not only is every solution not appeasing
to my hair, but neither are all of them necessary. My wash day is
already a two hour process to wash and style. I can’t imagine
reallocating time from studying, work, family time and prayer to overly
nurture my hair. In my short time of learning what may hair does respond
to, I refuse to alter my lifestyle for the worst just to continuously
try and one up myself (lol).
The biggest mistake to make on the hair care journey is to transform
it into something that consumes your life. Moderation is key. Do not
allow your new found hair care interest to limit exploration in other
areas of your life. If part of being natural is liberating then don’t
give up the relaxers just to be in bondage to excessive natural hair
The last thing you want to do is to miss the mark of this unofficial
hair care revolution and run right back to relaxers because you mistook
this beautiful experience for a trend or allowed it to consume your life
and end in frustration.
Things to Do
1. Create a simple regimen
One way to avoid an obsession that could lead to frustration and
discouragement is by establishing your staple method and products.
Staples are called staples for a reason. Once you find what works for
you, it may be best to stick to it. By experimenting with different
products in the never ending hunt for the creme de la creme of products,
you may not only damage your hair, but also be unintentionally
re-prioritizing your time and spending. There’s no reason to spend the
whole day pre-pooing, shampooing, co-washing, deep conditioning, hot oil
treating, ACV rinsing, black tea rinsing, protein treating, henna
treating, moisturizing and sealing. Some methods cancel out others, you
learn that with observing your hair and producing a consistent regimen.
2. Stay healthy
Another way to avoid becoming an excessive natural is to assure that
you are not neglecting your physical health for luscious locks. Exercise
has always been in the doctor’s orders. For some reason women are under
the impression that being natural will motivate you to increase your
workout frequency. Not so much. You may try to avoid working out so that
you won’t need to wash and restyle your hair, but a healthy body is
more important than and can also benefit the condition of your hair.
3. Enjoy the sun
Fun in the sun is also an activity that should not be avoided because
you are so conscious of your hair drying to the point of no return.
Relax. If your hair is that porous, hats are always available at your
nearest department store. Don’t become a home-body to assure that your
twist-out remains in tact.
4. Take a swim
Swimming is another health promoting, fun activity that many naturals
avoid. Although chlorine and salt water aren’t anyone’s best friend,
your hair is not a valid reason not to spend time with your loved ones
in the water. Even though much of the natural hair community is
anti-shampoo it will actually help cleanse your hair with a gentle
shampoo after swimming.
Too much of anything is never good. Moderation is key. Many naturals
realize this after being exhausted with a product junkie phase. You can
quit while you’re ahead if you know you have a good, working regimen.
Then you can relax and enjoy your natural curls, not obsess over
them. Wearing and taking care of your hair in its naturally curly state
should be just one positive part of your life. Yes, becoming a part of
the naturally curly community and obtaining new knowledge is exciting,
but it should not take precedence over your loved ones and other life
overwhelming? Does it take up all your extra time and attention? How
have you avoided becoming obsessed about your natural curls?
honestly i like the last statement of swimming my 7 yr old has been swimming all summer and recently i placed her in swim lessons and i must say my natural hair although in braids seems to be responding well to my swim rinse and wash routine. So i agree we shouldn't avoid pools as it does little to nothing to hurt our hair (:
Once I actually learned what ingredients worked for my hair everything became a little easier.
OMG, I so agree with this. When I fist decided to go natural I was spending time on all kinds of sites, trying to soak up so much info. I used to be almost late for work and church trying to watch youtube to create some hairstyle. It is indeed overwhelming. After a few months I got some sense and was like screw it. Imma do what works for me. I still get tips and styles but now its from a select few, and I know what I'm looking for.
I BC'd in 2008 and felt ugly for a long time! LOL! I pored over blogs and Youtube videos and was on this Quixotic search for my "Dulcinea" hair product. I ended up with a tubful of dubious crap that I'm too ashamed to throw out.
Fast forward to 2012. I finally accepted my hair's DENSITY, POROSITY, AND COIL PATTERN, and I "let it do what it do". Despite the tremendous shrinkage,I liked that KCCC+KCKT left my 4c hair moisturized and supple.
I learned to do a fairly decent wash-n-go using a teaser comb from Sally Beauty, KCCC+KCKT and a basin full of water for dipping the comb.
If you find the product that makes your hair feel sane, limit manipulation, and re-spritz as needed, you will find that you have length retention – and healthy hair with length retention is my goal, no matter how tightly shrunken it is! LOL!
This! I do love the way they spring back and it's so relaxing to me. Now, I even have the bf doing it
I am obsessed with being natural and I'm not even a newbie anymore! I'm almost two years in but I still find myself learning about my hair each step of the way. Since becoming natural, I'm addicting to natural hair sites such as this one naturallycurly, nappturality, motowngirl, and blackgirllonghair. Sigh I love being natural!
I will admit, at first it was hard to keep it simple. Now, it is fairly easy since I'm going on 2 years natural and finally realizing that simple is easier. I also didn't learn to swim for years and one reason was because of my hair. Now that I am natural, I finally learned how to swim. It was really a good thing for me and I didn't worry about my hair so much. My husband has told me that I'm obsessed with natural hair, but I have since then made changes and I want to be obsessed with being healthy and having a healthy lifestyle!
I've been natural almost 2 years but chopped in October '11 and can't make up my mind on products my first choice ended in failure and to avoid further dryness and damage I opted for braid extensions to cover the frustration after 2 mths I took them out last week about 2wks before that I became obsessive over youtube reviews on natural hair products honestly I don't know what to try to avoid wasting money, my first product line was cheap at Walgreens so I now I feel like top dollar is where its at, IDK what to do? I know once I find my tried and true product line only then shall the hype die down
I've been natural for about 18 months and I still love touching my curls. I like pulling on them and watching them spring back in place. It is my favorite pastime. 😀
Okay, LOL at the fifteen-step regimen….hilarious! That was ME when I used to try everything everybody else raved about up until about a year ago. I have eliminated so many uneccessary steps and settled on the products that work best for me in the warmer and colder months. Talkin' about regaining precious time on "hair wash" days!
Im still in newbie mode & trying to avoid filling my regimen with products. I just satisfy my craving to buy, buy, buy by window shopping online (well, it works sometimes!). These days I just have one line for washing & conditioning, and one outsider for deep conditioning lol.
"If part of being natural is liberating then don’t give up the relaxers just to be in bondage to excessive natural hair care."
That sentence really struck a chord with me. When relaxed I had a simple regimen of getting a roller set every two weeks and wrapping my hair at night. If my scalp got dry I put some oil on it. That was it; I didn't think about my hair all that much.
But since I started transitioning and am now natural, I have become ADDICTED to YouTube and CN. I actually feel a little sad over the weekend when new articles and videos aren't posted as often. And I get such an adrenaline rush when there's a new video from one of my favorite channels. I actually have a problem, LOL…
But the interesting thing is I don't have a day-and-a-half-long regimen, nor am I a product junkie. I know what products and techniques are working for me and I stick with them. I just love to watch and read about natural hair.
When I first decided I wouldn't relax my hair anymore, I read a lot of articles/blogs (turned into a kind of hobby in my free time), just absorbing information about transitioning primarily. Once I decided on the handful of blogs/forums I would follow, I only went to them for reference, unless I wanted to Google something specific. Any articles that I felt didn't pertain to me at the time or that I didn't care about I just skipped over. Then slowly I started taking in more information (Styling, products, BCing when I decided not to transition, etc.). Because I didn't try to take everything in at once, it wasn't too overwhelmed. Plus, for my first month of research I had braids, so it gave me some time to sort through information. I don't really watch YouTube videos. Now, since the initial novelty has worn off (I BC'd last October) and I've already learned a lot, I only follow this blog/forum regularly and look up specific things occasionally.
I needed this. Thank you! I've been natural for 12(!!!) years now. And sometimes it still feels overwhelming trying to figure out what to do to my hair and how to do it — particularly when so many different products are working for so many other people but me. I love the sage advice of keeping it simple. That has worked so well and has made my life less stressful. Any time a particular thing — especially a good thing — becomes and idol and starts taking over our lives, it's time to reevaluate. Thanks again!
Yes there is no shame in my game I was obsessed with watching hours upon hours of YouTube videos. I am still obsessed with it because I really just started not that long ago wearing my hair natural and stop using heat, it is going on 9 months( August will be 9 months wearing my hair natural). I am surprised how curly my hair is and it is a mixed texture of 3c/4a that I did not know how to style on my own only my mother did. I finally got a good regimen down and what my hair needs. I still have PJ moments because I have yet to find a good DC or creamy moisturizing leave in, I tried products and thought I found the one because I had it in my head that I really wanted this to work like it does everyone else hair. Good advice I need to stop obsessing about my hair and do other things that I enjoy.
No obession here, I thought about going natural for years before I actually stopped relaxing. Once I decided to do it I transitioned not just big chopping so I didnt go natural in a day its a process for me, 10 months later and my hair is full of 5 to 6 inches of new growth of ramen noodles curlys and waves and I love it. I wish I decided to do this earlier, Im just going to continue to allow my 4A to grow!
When I first decided to go natural I did google natural hair & I was super excited to see so many hits. I started keeping a journal of all of the hair websites that seemed interesting. From those 10 million sites I wrote down all of the key points, which to me at the time was everything lol! Needless to say I found YouTube & would spend hours on top of hours watching videos. After watching so many videos I felt like I needed every product I saw. Well 5 months into my transition I had seen & heard enough so I decided to call a natural stylist & set up a consultation & I'm glad I did & the rest is history 2 years later I have healthy, happy hair.
My bone dry hair was screaming at me that there were things missing.
1. Porosity. I didn't know my hair was highly porous and needed heavy grease or oils to seal moisture. Lighter oils, custards, puddings, shakes and leave-ins were enough for others but not for me.
2. Daily vitamins and minerals. I wasn't getting the minimum requirements and my dry, breaking hair showed it. I kept buying hair products but I needed vitamins B, D, E, iron and electrolytes. If this is you Google the requirements for your height/weight and see if you're getting that.
3. A lot of water inside and out. Some need 2-3L daily! I drank maybe 8oz pure. Also, my hair was better moisturized spritzing with plain water rather than moisturizers and DIY mixes which promise the same thing.
4. Research! Google side effects. It's time-consuming but humectants, slip, proteins, alcohols, herbs, clays and certain foods are great in moderation for some, but not everyone.
5. Back to basics. I started fresh with only cleanser, conditioner and sealer so when when I added products I could see if they caused problems. HTH!
Once upon a time, (last Summer), I watched a million youtube videos, read entire blogs, researched tons of products and tools, etc. I spent hours of youtube and looking at peoples' fotkis (remember those?) but it was Summer so it wasn't necessarily a problem. I also experimented with two strand twists, braid outs, twist outs, hot oil treatments etc. I bought my first Denman and first tub of shea butter less than 6 months into my transition. I think I was just excited to get started. Now I feel a lot more knowledgeable and less naive. I can discern what's sincere and helpful information from "this is what it means to a natural and you need to follow these regimens and buy these cult faves immediately" type of info. I'm still excited but I feel like I'm a much better consumer and no longer feel the need to try everyyyything. I think i've done a good job not getting obsessed because I 'put my hair away' (braids) from time to time. But I still do get excited talking to friends and family about the million different products, regimens, techniques, etc. that works on natural hair.
After beginning my transition, I would say within the first 3 months or so, I was severly obsessed with everything natural hair, hairstyles, hair products, etc. It wasn't until one of my cousins told me to basically sthu (not those exact words) and that life is not all about hair that I realized there is a such thing as going overboard. Ever since then, my regimen has simplified, I have subscribed to many other types of YT channels that are not hair related, and have put more focus into starting a business.
I wonder the same thing! I am only transitioning and I already have a problem. I imagine my problem will only get worse after I BC lol
I've been completely natural for a few months now. I've found my staple products and have my simple regimen down. What I want to know is, will hand-in-hair syndrome ever go away??? This is ridiculous! I feel like I need to cut my fingers off lol,
I just recently went natural about 2 1/2 months ago and moved to a new state. I've been all over the Internet for tips and product reviews but still can't seem to find anything that keeps my hair moisturized. I know I need to try different things out and see what works but then I feel like I'm wasting money buying things that just really don't help my hair. I don't really have anyone to point me in the right direction as far as care and products go. I don't regret going natural at all but I really didn't think it'd be so difficult to maintain my hair!