|Photo Credit: Uptown Magazine|
So, yesterday I was talking to a good friend and she was sharing with me what was lacking, in her opinion, on some natural hair blogs. She said she's thought about going natural multiple times and even acted on those thoughts before. However, when looking for advice she turns to the blogs and even though most natural hair blogs are full of information she still struggles with finding the perfect post about advice on exactly what to do after she makes the decision that she will finally go natural for good.
I felt her pain and reacted immediately by coming on here to write a post. I want all my transitioners out there to be able to use this post as a introductory guide to starting their natural hair journey.
First of all, CONGRATULATIONS on your decision to go natural. There is no day like the present and there will never be "the perfect time" to transition. TODAY IS THE DAY. Walk away from the creamy crack and past lifestyle of succumbing to society's standards of beauty. Create your own standard today. Do what you feel is beautiful and EMBRACE your natural texture whether it be kinky, curly, coily, wavy, or a mixture of all the above. LOVE your texture. It's uniquely yours.
So, now that you've made the decision to go natural, now what? Where do you begin? What products do you use? How often do you wash your hair? How do you start your own regimen?
Take a breath....and check out these tips.
WALK AWAY FROM THE HAIR SUPPLY STORE! DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT BECOME A PRODUCT JUNKIE. Your pockets will thank you me later. This is often the first place transitioners spend a lot of their time. They get caught up in the product hype and the next best thing. I too was at this point once, but I quickly learned that the most important thing is finding the key products that work the best for your natural hair. Once you find that product stick with it because you have found your staple.
Transitioners: Here are three great products to start your natural hair journey. Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Moisturizing Conditioner, Aubrey Organics GPB Glycogen Protein Balancing Shampoo and Macadamia Deep Repair Masque. After deep conditioning you need to seal your hair follicles with oil. I recommend sticking with Vatika Coconut Oil.
Find a regimen that works best for you. Check out this post I wrote a while ago on making your natural hair calendar. Once you get into a routine natural hair life becomes more manageable. Click here to read "Natural Hair Calendar"
Heat is not your best friend anymore. Direct heat on your transitioning coils will create a heap of damage and more of a headache for you in the long run. The only time using heat is acceptable while transitioning is if you are using a over head dryer, which is great for locking in moisture when deep conditioning or doing a hot oil treatment or when setting a twist out. Stay away from heat as much as possible and you will begin to see your true growth potential. Try a no heat challenge like I did. Set a goal for yourself..."I will not use heat on my hair for 5 months." Once you have reached the goal and see the results you will be forever changed.
Develop patience when caring for your new natural hair. Detangling, styling and the entire washing and conditioning process will become frustrating at times. However, patience is needed to get through the transitional process of growing out your natural hair. Having two textures is a difficult process to go through. You're excited about your new natural coils but then you have stringy, breaking permed ends. You will get frustrated, but it's OK! Keep pushing through.
Get a haircut regularly. To speed up your transitioning process go to a professional salon every three months to get your hair trimmed or cut. I recommend cutting at least three inches to promote growth. Your hair will continue to break tremendously if you do not get your hair trimmed regularly. Getting a hair cut every few months was what sped up my entire transitioning process. My hair reacted to the cuts and my natural texture soon began to grow out even faster. Damaged ends will only continue to move up the hair shaft if left alone. The sooner you cut the damaged ends the better chance you have of growing longer, healthier natural hair.
When transitioning there are TONS of DO's and DON T'S. Click here to read my list from a previous post.
Let's be honest, beyond all of this practical information there lies something that is even more critical during the transitioning process and that's finding and keeping the motivation to stay on the journey. There will be good days and there will be days when you want to run back to the salon and slap on a perm fast! Check out this article I wrote about finding and keeping motivation during your transition from relaxed to natural. Click here.
Styling can be the most difficult part of transitioning; especially if you're not use to doing your hair yourself. As a new natural you will have to slowly learn how to experiment with your own hair. No one knows your hair better than you. Take the time to figure out what your hair likes. Creamy stylers vs foamy stylers OR two strand twists vs flat twists. It's all about experimenting. Click here to check out my Youtube channel for some natural hair styling tutorials.