How is your new year resolution holding up? Does it include going natural? If so, here are 7 things to consider.
1. WHY ARE YOU GOING NATURAL?
Ask yourself this question and write down your answer; be honest with yourself. Whatever your reasons are (no to ‘creamy crack‘, set good example for my daughters, want my baby curls back, etc.), no one needs to know unless you want to share 🙂
Come back in 3-4 weeks (yes!) and answer the question again without looking at your previous answer. Natural hopefuls typically experience the #teamnatural high in week 1, but it will have waned by the end of week 3. Compare your responses. Do they align or contradict? This step is very important as your answer will be your motivation to continue as a naturalista when (not if) you hit a setback.
2. ARE YOU READY FOR THE COMMITMENT?
If you speak to a naturalista, s/he will tell you that natural hair is a full-time commitment. You need a set schedule for washing, and moisturize and seal must be your motto.
None of these girls ‘woke up like this’ as the styles above are twistouts and braid out styles, enhanced with a curl defining product. Also, be ready to spend a bit more $$$ on hair products. Drugstore brands may not suffice to tame your mane.
3. KNOW YOUR CURLS, EMBRACE YOUR CURLS
It is very unfortunate when natural hair enthusiasts go natural, thinking that they will have type 3a/b/c hair and to their disappointment, they have type 4c hair.
You must know and love your curl pattern before you go natural, particularly if you’ve been relaxed from a young age. I suggest stretching your relaxer for at least 10 weeks to get a good sense of your curl pattern.
4. YOU ARE WHAT YOU KNOW – EDUCATE YOURSELF
The resources on natural hair are extensive and overwhelming. If you are a newbie, I suggest checking out some these natural hair blogs/vlogs for starters. Ensure to make an informed decision and familiarize yourself with some common hair lingo (big chop, transition, TWA, TLC (not the girl group 😛 ), cowash, etc.).
YouTube is the BEST and WORST resource for natural hair care. It is the best because it contains useful information on tips and tricks on natural hair care. It is also the worst resource, as it is ground zero for the ‘product junkie’ epidemic.
Prospective (and tentative) naturalistas should note that products hailed by vloggers are usually sent to them as free samples and it is best to research the products before purchase. Also, opt for natural products over commercial ones since they are the key ingredients in ‘holy grail’ products.
6. BE PREPARED FOR THE STARES, GIBES, AND NEGATIVITY
In the past few years, natural hair has gained wide acceptance particularly in the Black community, but keep in mind that change is not always easy. Be prepared for the gibes and negativity, which ranges from ‘is everything alright?’ to flat out ‘your hair is ugly!’ particularly if you have type 4c hair. Ensure to surround yourself with like-minded individuals who will support and encourage you.
7. PATIENCE IS VIRTUE
Rome was not build in a day, so you need to be patient. Here is a YouTube video from notable natural hair v/bloggers on the secret to long natural hair. Hint: it starts with ‘p’ and ends with ‘e’ 🙂
FINAL NOTE: WILL I (EVER) GO NATURAL?
I am not ready to go natural, as I am still learning about my hair, but I do plan to go natural in the future, to eliminate scheduling my hair around a relaxer. I will most likely transition by gradually cutting off the relaxed ends. I don’t think I can ever ‘big chop’ as I have had shoulder length hair for over a decade.
Are you going natural? Have you tried to go natural? Do you agree with Jess @MahoganyCurls on hair typing? Share your thoughts below 🙂