I never really thought about going natural until I began my quest for waist length hair. At the time I just wanted to have relaxed waist length hair, I tried many methods to keep my hair strong and for it to grow at it’s full potential. One of these methods was stretching my relaxer; December 2006 I stretched my relaxer for six months. That was the longest that I had ever gone without a relaxer and my hair was not unmanageable at all. In fact I was obsessed with the texture and appearance of my new growth. I had hand in hair syndrome. The thought of being natural intrigued me. So I began my research. I was on every natural hair friendly board on the WWW and I would stalk the hair albums of natural women. Then one day I just took the plunge…
“I’m going to go natural.”
I am 3 years in my natural hair journey and have bra-strap length hair.
It has not been an easy one at that and this will be my third attempt at it. I have learned a couple things that have allowed the transition to be a lot smoother and easier then my first and second attempt.
Water is your friend: Water is the heaven of all moisturizers. I wet my hair every day and it has been a life saver. Natural hair can get extremely dry and the fact that my hair is colored causes it to get even drier. My hair is never thirsty and I’ve even noticed increased growth when applying water to my hair daily.
Heat is your enemy: Well not necessarily your enemy, but too much heat is not good –relaxed, transitioning, or natural. I choose not to use heat more then once a week because I do not want to lose my curl definition–by consistently applying it. And when I do use heat, a heat protectant is used prior to the iron touching my hair.
Protective Styling is queen: Protecting my hair through certain styles has helped my process drastically. I no longer have to worry about dealing with the two or more textures or what I am going to do with my hair. Buns, braids, weaves, twists, twist outs, cornrows, wigs–are all examples of protective styles
Block the Haters Out: Don’t share your natural journey with individuals who are going to discourage you. Nobody has to know–except those who will provide positive reinforcement. When I started my journey, I was lucky to have supportive people like my mother who was natural at the time, so I never really had to deal with it at home. But my (ex) man at the time was a different story. Excuse me?, how does my hair affect your well being?
Enjoy the Journey: Embrace your natural curls, take pictures documenting your journey, play in your hair, come up with homemade concoctions, and most of all have fun!