So I was scrolling through my Facebook memories and realized it’s my naturalversary. I have officially been natural for 6 years! Whew, what a journey. It’s funny because I was so adamant about never leaving the creamy crack. I never thought I would have the patience to deal with natural hair but, I’m glad I stayed the course.
After a year of transitioning and 5 years of being fully natural, my hair is the strongest and the healthiest it’s ever been. I am so in love! Not to mention, the growth! To celebrate my natural hair journey, I wanted to share some insight with my fellow naturalistas. Here are 7 things you should know before going natural
First things first, patience. Nothing teaches you patience like a failed twist-out. Imagine spending tons of money, time, and effort just for shrinkage to ruin the hairstyle you imagined. It’s tough and not for the weak. However, it triggers your creativity. I’ve tried some styles I’ve never tried before because when you’re on a time crunch, you just have to make it work.
Going natural taught me how to be nurturing. As I mentioned before, patience is virtue when it comes to maintaining your natural hair. Being natural taught me to pay attention to detail. Working through every kink to detangle and have a seamless style takes a lot of care. You have to be strategic with the products you’re using, as well as the tools you use to distribute those products. Your hair will tell you everything you need to know if you listen to it.
I’ve learned the true definition of healthy hair. I measure healthy hair by the curl retention after each hairstyle. Someone else may feel they achieve healthy hair once they reach a certain length. Some think their hair is healthy when their hair retains moisture. The truth is, healthy hair is going to have a different definition for anyone you ask. As long as you and/or your professional stylist have created healthy hair goals that are specific to your needs, that’s all that matters.
RELEASE YOURSELF FROM THE SHACKLES OF LENGTH I know almost everyone has these “waist-length” hair goals. Length is not an indicator of healthy hair! Don’t hold on to those split ends trying to achieve your length goals. It can damage your hair in the long run.
Growth isn’t as complex as we’ve made it seem. Create a regimen and stick to it. Protective styles are your friend (as long as they’re actual protective styles. My stylist recommends a hair trim at least every other month to promote growth. The more you stay on top of it the fewer problems you’ll have.
Lastly, Patience. No, really, I had to say it two times. Wash day alone will have you contemplating if ‘the natural life’ is really for you. It takes some mental preparation for those days. What helps me is turning it into a self-care process rather than treating it as a chore. Whatever you do, Don’t let it get to you, trust the process!
Find you a routine that works, a stylist who cares, an ounce of patience and you will be well on your way. It took some time to find my footing but I’m so grateful I persevered. Are you natural? What do you love most about being natural? Did you do a big chop or did you transition like me? Would you like to see my hair care routine or the products I used?