If you are dying to go natural but haven't figured how to yet, these pointers will set you off on the right foot.
Growing up we learnt that relaxed hair is acceptable. Natural hair is unruly and difficult to manage. -You know, being the hair that actually grows out of our scalps and all -
Information was at an all-time low in times past, making natural hair unbearable for both the hairdresser and the owner...well, grower. As things change and technology demystifies the global world, information becomes widespread. In a society full of status quo, it's rebellion to accept what is naturally given. It doesn't have to be that way.
Here and there people are embracing their natural hair, learning in the process. Encouraging others that it's okay to be natural. If you're nervous and scared, it's normal. Breaking out of a norm can be frightening. But know that your hair is what makes you unique. If you're thinking of taking that step, you're in the right place. And today, I have for you 5 ways with which you know you're ready to be a natural.
1. Ingredient search while you shop
Whenever you go out to buy your products, the first thing you look out for even before the brand name are the ingredients. The first five ingredients are very important. Water should in most cases be the first item on that list. Never petrolatum please! You're conscious of sulphates, cones, parabens, petroleum based substances etc.
You understand the science of natural hair, how each ingredient affects the overall health of your hair. All those things are really not good for your hair, natural or otherwise. They weigh down the hair, block beneficial nutrients and even air from entering into the hair and scalp, and cause excessive build-up. Ever wonder why women are afraid of water touching their hair for fear of smell?
Yeah... That should speak for itself.
2. Patience is your virtue
The entire process of being a natural like detangling, styling, wash day can be time consuming, because you're aware of the frailty of your kinks and coils, you handle it with utmost care and attention.
The ability to detangle your hair without yanking it out of your scalp from frustration is truly a gift from heaven. For some, like me, patience is learnt. When you have a goal in mind while handling your hair, you tend to be gentler so you don't set yourself back a couple of months.
There will be several points in your journey you'd feel like your hair isn't growing or progressing. Being patient helps you relax and focus on the fun parts of being natural rather than the end goal. It's a journey not a race.
If you're the kind that takes special care of your natural "due" hair underneath your relaxed ends, you're on the right track.
3. You're not afraid of change
Going from relaxed to natural can be very intimidating. You've spent all your life with easier to handle relaxed hair, now to the complete opposite? No tail comb anymore? Unbelievable! Shrinkage? Ugh, what in the world is that?! Sounds ugly!
Some people feel so intimidated with their natural hair that once those little coily strands start sprouting out of their scalp it's straight to the chemicals (pun intended).
To help ease the fear, you've done some extensive research, your mind is prepared, not much will surprise or frighten you because whatever challenges you might face as a natural, there's another natural out there who has gone through it and has found a solution. Although his/her method might not work for you, there's a comfort in knowing you're not alone.
4. A new experience, a new you
When I became natural I was completely fed up with my relaxed hair, it cut so much, and it was lifeless and scanty. I'd always run and hide it underneath weaves and braids. I wasn't confident in my own natural hair. It was quite embarrassing. That was when I decided I'd had enough, I wanted to love myself, my hair, and I wanted to be comfortable in my own skin.
I did a big chop in a fade and I loved it. I even dyed it up a bit as I was on roll. I got compliments. I would leave my hair in a scattered uncombed mess but I still felt good. That was the best decision ever. I could cut my hair again but I've got a few hair goals I'm aiming towards, maybe once I attain those goals I'd do another big chop and start over...maybe not.
As my hair grew longer, became more tasking and a new job came along, the criticism increased "why won't you relax your hair", "hmm. This your hair isn't looking neat oh, please go and do something to it". Truly it was frustrating but they didn't bother me much. I'd developed myself in doing my hair myself, corn rows, braids, wigs.
I'm more confident in myself and at peace that my hair is in good hands, my hands. My baby girl would even enjoy the new me, no hairdresser pulling on her hair and making her cry on top of making hair.
5. You're willing to try new products but not become a product junkie.
Being natural is all about trial and error. The products used on relaxed hair may not benefit naturals, meaning you'd have to start all over.
If you've been doing your research, you'd have encountered people say "what works for me, may not work for you". It's completely true. In my opinion that's how product junkies are born. People who want to try any and every product that has ever gotten a good review. You don't have to. Isn't it disorienting and confusing? Besides it leaves a major hole in your wallet. Being natural doesn't have to be expensive.
Create a simple regimen; pre-poo, detangle, co-wash, deep condition, air dry, moisturise, seal and style. Once you can do that, your hair will adapt to it and flourish. If you want to try something new, you can switch out the products used in one of the steps of your regimen for a new product. That way you can easily observe if the product works or not. It's the science of constants and variables.
Combining several new products into a regimen at once can leave you confused in locating a failure or success. Luckily for products that don't work, natural hair meet ups are organised regularly where you can swap with other naturals.
My regimen is mostly natural. Water and oil mix is my moisturiser, flaxseed gel or whipped shea butter my styler and sealant respectively. I say mostly because the only non-natural products I use are my conditioners and sulphate free shampoos. Deep conditioners are homemade. Henna for strengthening. Saves me lots of cash. It works for me.
If being a product junkie is convenient for you, it's a free world, be my guest. No judgement here.
More women are embracing their natural hair every day. Thank God for the Internet and YouTube, information on care and maintenance have become readily available.
Being natural can be for everybody, but we know ourselves better than anyone else does. We have priorities. If you're thinking of making that change, this article is for you. It might not answer all your questions but it'll let you know if and when you're ready to take the plunge.
If you're not, it's completely fine. Take your time, in your own pace. And if you feel you'd never make the change, relaxed hair can be just as beautiful and healthy. You can adapt some naturals' techniques to your hair and I guarantee you, you'd love the results.
Do you have fears and reservations about being natural? Share in the comment box below.
Omo is Simple. Complicated. Blogger. Music Lover. Food Lover. Life Lover. Nature Lover. Love Lover. Suffering from wanderlust. Explorer. Main goal in life? Happiness. www.sabayonng.wordpress.com