Tips and advice on going natural is one of my most frequent asked questions. I wanted to create a post dedicated to giving guidance for those considering this new venture or to those who've just embarked on it! This is a subject I've touched on before in my Natural Hair Starter Kit Post; where you'll find some additional tips I won't be going over in this particular post. The natural hair journey can be very complex, but also very rewarding if you stay true and believe in your journey! I'm here to help you guys out and hopefully give a little relief on your new endeavor! We have quite a few important tips to go over, so lets get into it.
- Patience-Patience is essential when making the choice to go natural. So often people are anxious to find what regimen works for them, what products are the best for their hair, so anxious for their healthy hair to grow in, so anxious to have long curls dropping down their back. A awesome quote I came across recently is "Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet"- Jean-Jacques Rousseau. It felt so necessary I share this quote with you guys, because it definitely applies to going natural! When starting your natural hair journey their will be plenty of times you question your decision. Maybe a failed hairstyle, maybe you purchased products that didn't give you the results you wanted, maybe it just seems like it's taking forever for your healthy hair to grow in. I'm here to give you reassurance and let you know...... I've been there...... I've done that! I've experienced the bitter side of going natural, but today I am reaping the sweet benefits of this journey. This is why I can sit here and tell you guys so confidently be patient during this process and it will end very rewarding. Patience is key!
- Everything That Works For Others, Wont Always Work For You-It's awesome that there are so many online resources to give guidance on caring and styling your natural hair. Keep in mind that just because something is a success for another person doesn't mean you'll be left with that same results. I remember when I first went natural, I was quick to purchase a product or try a style that had the next persons hair looking bomb. Of course with the expectations of achieving the same results. I learned quickly that I have to find products that work for ME and my hair through trial and error; And that's completely okay because it comes along with the natural hair journey.
- Experiment-Experiment and try new things! Being natural is all about stepping out of your comfort zone. Try different styles because that's how your going to discover what works for you! Try new products, try different at home remedies and methods. Doing these things will help you discover a regimen that works for you; You'll also be able to discover your go to products! Who knows maybe you could even discover a underrated product and bring awareness to it in the natural hair community!
- Invest In Your Hair- Don't sell yourself short by purchasing lower quality products to save money. And I'll elaborate to be more specific. Natural hair products typically run more expensive compared to other products on the market. Reason being is because MAJORITY of natural hair products have higher quality ingredients; Which ultimately will result in higher prices. I like to look at it the same way I do healthy food and Junk food! When you make the decision to live a healthier lifestyles your start buying food that's better for your body and although it's more expensive compared to the junk food you are use to buying you know it's healthier for your body. Same with hair products when you want to have healthier hair, you'll have to invest in products that will help you achieve that health. Invest in good quality products that have good ingredients that are proven to have good results!
- Stop Holding On To Damaged Hair- I will admit, I was definitely guilty of this when I went natural. Hints as to why I didn't do the big chop! I wanted to retain length, but I'm telling you CUT IT OFF! lol It took me 2 years total to grow out my damaged hair. Little by little I cut away the heat and color damaged strands! The sooner you get rid of the damaged hair, the healthier your hair will look. Wouldn't you want healthier looking hair that's a little shorter versus damaged hair mixed in with new growth? I personally wish I cut away my damaged strands sooner than I did!
- Stop Texture Discriminating!!!- Where do I start..... Oh I know!......STOP TEXTURE DISCRIMINATING!!! Texture discriminating is one of the biggest things I hate in the natural hair community! All textures are beautiful, it doesn't matter where you fall between the 2A-4C category, your hair is beautiful! I've seen a variety of different people with different curl types achieve beautiful styles and have healthy curls. There are no products or any style that is universal to only one curl type. All styles and majority of products are universal to all curl types. We have to come together as a community and make efforts to break this way of thinking. As a community we should be uplifting and celebrating what brought us all together in the first place and that's having natural hair! Remember that breaking this cycle starts with you! Let everyone know regardless of your curl type all hair is good hair and it's beautiful!
- Minimize Heat- One of the best parts of being natural is the versatility, so I know saying no heat at all is inevitable. I honestly don't think there is anything wrong with heat on natural hair as long as it's occasional and you take the proper precautions to prevent damage. Minimize straightening your hair to a few times a year. Straightening your hair on a regular basis will lead to having your curls heat trained; meaning that even when you wash your hair your curl definition will not come back because your strands are so use to being straightened. I typically straightening my hair 2 times a year with the exception of 2016 and this year because I made the decision to not straighten it until 2018! Make sure your heat is not set on the highest setting and make sure you use products designed to prevent heat damage.
- Be Careful With Color- It's nice to switch things up sometimes and color your hair . Keep in mind natural hair needs extra care, so when it comes to coloring your strands it's important to be extra careful! Coloring can lead to a lot of breakage, dryness and frizz. Try to avoid using bleach when lighting your hair because it can contain ingredients such as ammonia, which can be extra damaging to hair. Bleach is typically only required with lighter shades of color so I would recommend medium-darker shades to dye your hair. If your not familiar with what your doing, don't risk damaging your hair, go see a professional! Invest in products made for color treated hair!
- Deep Condition on a Regular Basis- Deep conditioning is essential when going natural! It's a critical part of my hair regimen and a major part of how I keep my curls healthy! Deep conditioning can help with restoring moisture, manageability and strengthen your hair to prevent things such as breakage! Definitely invest in good deep conditioners. Some that have been with me since beginning my natural hair journey is SheaMositures Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque, Apogee Keratin 2 Minute Reconstructor, One 'N Only Argan Oil Hydrating Masque and Beautiful Textures Rapid Repair Deep Conditioner.
- Essential Oil- A essential oil blend is a vital part of my hair regimen. It's another major part of how I maintain my hairs health and a major contribution to my hair growth. I've said it numerous times before, if I had to live with one product for the rest of my life for my hair, it would be a essential oil blend! Some of my favorite oils to blend together are olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil, jojoba oil and many more. Mix and play with different oils until you find the perfect combination for you.
I hope you guys found this post helpful! Be sure to share with anyone that's newly natural or considering going natural! As you embark on your natural hair journey, you will experience trial and error, ups and downs. This is what makes the natural hair journey so complex, but hang in their and overtime you will see the "sweet" rewards of embracing your natural roots!