I stopped relaxing my hair about 2 months ago and was previously in the transitioning phase. During a fit of hair rage, I decided to go through with the deed and become 100% natural. That was only 7 days ago and I’ve already learned so much! Here are the 5 things I’ve learned since becoming natural:
The ‘big chop’ isn’t always that big
Back in October, after a horrible curly weave experience, I decided to give the sew- ins a break and to cut my hair. I knew I wanted it short, but couldn’t decide on natural or chemicals; so I made an appointment with my stylist. BIG MISTAKE. She talked me into getting a relaxer and basically said ‘Natural? No, you’re not going to like your hair texture. Get a perm and I’ll make you beautiful’. I said yes and almost immediately regretted it. Granted, my hair was ‘laid’ but I could feel the stiffness, breakage and dry scalp after a week. Then and there I decided no more chemicals and to go natural. Last week, frustrated with the multiple textures I had going on (natural, new growth and relaxed ends) I grabbed a pair of scissors and literally cut the remaining out, which at this point was just the crown of my head. The ‘Big Chop’ isn’t always a head full of luscious chemically treated hair, when removed you’re left with the thick remains. Sometimes the ‘big chop’ is a few thin strands, hanging on curly roots, reminding you that you ‘need a perm’ to be beautiful. Regardless of the size of your chop, the feeling is the same: relief! No more chemicals, burning, harmful materials on your head. No more expensive weaves, wigs, bundles and caps. Looking forward to loving my hair, my natural hair.
Research Research Research!
The next night I spent researching on YouTube and natural hair blogs, here are a few of my faves so far: BlackGirlLongHair.com, CurlyNikki.com. I began taking notes and learning about what’s bests for our hair: like NO to grease and YES to natural oils and butters. YES to water based conditioners and NO to sulfur shampoos. I knew that going natural wasn’t going to be easy, but the more I read and listen the more excited I became and knew I had made the right decision.
Dear Hair Diary
I’ve learned that everyone’s hair is different. What works for you may not work for my hair texture, that’s why keeping a hair diary is a good idea. With a hair diary I can document the different techniques and products I’m using, what’s working and what’s not. Because I am at the very beginning stage this will cut out repeated missteps, failures and save lots of money!
4somthing hair and loving it
I didn’t know that the different types of hair textures were actually categorized. Honestly, I thought your hair was either straight, curly or nappy. Prior to my Big Chop, the perm in the back of my head had broken off and I was left with new growth. I’m sure many women of color can testify to not even remembering what their natural hair texture is. So when I removed the remaining perm, washed and deep conditioned my hair, I was very surprised to find soft, curly 4 something strands. With 4a, 4b and 4c hair comes lots of challenges, like detangling and shrinkage issues. Not complaining!
Water = Moisture
For the longest time I believed the less water on my hair the better. I’d go weeks without washing, conditioning or ever combing my hair, because it was almost always in a weave. By time I read my 3rd natural blog and saw this video I realized I was depriving my hair of its most important need, moisture! Water isn’t the enemy, not properly moisturizing and sealing your hair is what dries it and causes breakage. I have very dry hair so locking in the moisture will be a huge part of my regimen. Leave in conditioners and sealing oils will be my new best friends.
I’ll admit I was really nervous to debut my new look at work and out in public, but after just a few hours I felt confident and love my short crop. The next day after my melt down, I did go to a professional and she evened out my curls. I’m really excited for my natural hair journey and can’t wait to learn more about my hair! Check back soon for my Newly Natural starter kit and how the first week of my regimen went!