This is the fourth in a six-part series featuring real Black women and their thoughts about their natural hair. Join us each Monday (until the end of February) to celebrate our natural Black hair and ALL that it means in our lives. We hope these stories help you to enjoy a feeling of empowerment about your coily, wavy, or curly hair no matter how you choose to wear it!
My Natural Hair Journey: Seigrid Spencer’s Story
Things I Learned On My Natural Hair Journey!
Going natural can be a challenge, especially if you do not have a clue about taking care of your hair. Caring for your natural hair requires patience, can be tedious, and is indeed a journey! You will soon discover the fact that the process involves a plethora of trial and error. However, once you discover the ins and outs of hair care and find your routine, it becomes less stressful.
Here is a synopsis of my journey from natural to chemical processing and then back to natural.
During my pre-teen years, my older sister was always my go-to person to style and manage my thick hair, so it was smooth sailing. Now, because she is no longer with us, I am tasked with all the responsibilities of all that goes with hair care.
When I was about ten years old, I started visiting the hairdresser’s salon to straighten my hair using a hot comb. Getting a silk press is now the new process used. During my teenage years, I began relaxing my hair to make it more manageable.
After several years of relaxers, I tried the “dry curl” process. I felt it would be easy to manage, with no need for curlers, flat irons, etc. Eventually, I grew tired of chemical treatments and returned to my natural “roots”.
If you’re transitioning your hair back to natural, read:
- Transitioning Hair: Its Stages and 12 Helpful Natural Hair Journey Tips
- Transitioning Hair: 12 Must-Have Natural Hair Products
- 10 Ways to Make Transitioning to Natural Hair Easier
What I Learned
With this new journey, I soon realized that there is so much information out there. Many individuals are discovering the beauty of their natural hair and are deciding to do the big chop and regrow their natural hair. I was grateful for their journey because I could gather information to deal with the challenges I had.
Here I will share a few things I have learned so far.
Love your hair
According to 1 Corinthians 11:15, a woman’s glory is her hair. Even though your journey might be a difficult one, it is better to bite your tongue than to speak negatively about your hair. So, do your best to speak positive words about your hair daily. This will go a long way to help you achieve beautiful, healthy hair.
Do not neglect inner health
Sometimes we focus so much on what we can see externally and neglect our inner health. Eating healthy foods, taking supplements, and physical exercise are all very important and contribute to achieving healthy hair. There are many supplements on the market for hair care, but it is also wise to consult your health care provider before using them.
Thinking of taking supplements for hair growth? Check out these CurlyNikki posts:
- Natural Hair Growth Supplements – 6 Helpful Points to Keep In Mind
- Natural Hair Growth – Should You Be Considering Vitamin Supplements?
Hair growth takes time
This can be hard to take in, but in reality, our hair will not grow “long” overnight, so we need to be patient. There are many products on the market and YouTube videos, promising massive hair growth, but you must be wary of them. While the products and information may work well, you cannot escape the process of time.
The hair growth cycle actually has three phases, which are anagen, catagen, and telogen. The anagen phase occurs over approximately two to six years, the catagen phase lasts between one to two weeks, and the telogen phase also called the resting stage, lasts three to four months.
There is also shedding. You will experience shedding from time to time, and that is normal. When shedding becomes extreme, then this is a cause for concern. Excessive shedding can be due to stress, vitamin deficiency, pregnancy, menopause, etc. To eliminate the possibility of a serious health issue as a cause for shedding, consult your health care provider.
There are different hair types
There are so many hair types: straight, wavy, coils, coarse, thin, or thick, etc. It is important to know your hair type because each type requires different treatment.
Coupled with hair type is being aware of its porosity. Porosity is the ability of your hair to keep and absorb moisture. You can test your hair to determine if it is high or low porosity. When you place a strand of hair into a glass of water for a few minutes, if it sinks, your hair porosity is high; however, if it floats, you have low-porosity hair.
High-porosity hair dries out easily, so it is important to moisturize regularly with leave-in conditioners and follow up with hair butter or oils to help seal in the moisture. Low-porosity hair requires little maintenance because this hair type can absorb and keep the right amount of moisture.
One important thing to note is that all hair types need deep conditioning treatments from time to time.
Want to find out more about hair porosity? Read Hair Porosity: What Is It and How Is Black Hair Affected?
Natural hair treatments
A cheap leave-in conditioner can become a valuable treatment for your hair. Just add oils, shear butter, cocoa butter, and other ayurvedic herbs to your conditioner and it becomes very nourishing for your hair. You also have the option of making your own leave-in conditioners, shampoos, and deep conditioners with natural products.
There are natural products you can grow and use, such as moringa, ochre cactus, aloe vera, and hibiscus. Other great natural products are olive oil, coconut oil, fenugreek, eucalyptus oil, almond oil, clove oil, Jamaican black castor oil, black seed oil, peppermint oil, and the list goes on.
Read more about fenugreek in our recent post: 5 Excellent Benefits of Fenugreek for Hair Growth – Ayurvedic Hair Care 101
On those days when you are tired, jumping into bed without properly securing your hair can happen. This should never be an option because it can cause your hair to dry out. You should always secure your hair by using a silk scarf or bonnet whenever you are going to take a nap. You can also use silk pillowcases as another layer of protection for your hair.
These are some things I learned during the five-plus years of my return to natural hair. I hope they are helpful and can make your journey easier!
Hi, my name is Seigrid Spencer. I spent 20+ years in the administrative field and six years as a secondary school teacher. I now work as a Virtual assistant – writing content, proofreading and editing, and providing administrative support. It is always a pleasure to share information that will educate and inspire others to make the best decisions.