The first time I attempted to go natural in 2003, I had no clue of what being natural meant, to say the least. I had no understanding of how to care for my newly coiled, kinky hair which led to my re-relaxing my hair. This current time, I disregarded all preconceptions about natural hair and dove end, open-minded, head first! Although, I’ve learned a lot of things through trial and error, as well as through the help and support of other ladies online, there are some things that I wish I knew BEFORE I decided to go natural
1. Wearing tight braids for an extended length of time won’t cut it!
*when went natural the second go round, I thought that wearing individual braids and extensions would be great to wear being that I was transitioning. This is right, although, mine were often too tight! Though I got them redid every month to two months, the tightness around the edges and nape of my hairline led to thin, bald spots. Also, I noticed spots of thin area’s at other locations. Since I’ve given my hair a long break from braids,etc. that tend to pull through tension, causing stress to your scalp and hair line, I’ve seen growth!
2. Water is good, not bad
*this might sound funny, but while growing up, my great grandma use to tell us “child, dirt grows your hair!” Sadly, most of us believed that, limiting our washing to once a month. After going natural, I learned that water is actually great for your hair, including washing. A clean scalp promotes growth as well as hydrates the hair. In addition to washing, rinsing and using water based products helps natural hair retain moisture, promoting growth and health.
3. Split ends has to go
*again, some in black hair circles do not believe in trimming split ends, especially on natural, chemical-free hair. Some natural hair specialists have quoted the same. I’ve found that even though most naturals do not wear their hair straight where un-evenness can appear noticeable, trimming the ends of natural hair is a must. The ends of hair is dead and have a tenancy to split over time. If not cut, these ends may split up the hair shaft, leading to further damage.
4. All natural hair products are NOT good
*we tend to think that because a product claim to be created especially for natural or naturally curly black hair, that it must be good for our hair. This is far from the truth. Some products that are highly publicized through media, television and magazine, have been found to have ingredients and chemicals that work adversely against natural hair such as alcohol.. All should diligently read the ingredients on the back of an item before buying, natural product or not. Your hair deserves it. Make sure that they are natural and considered good for natural hair.
5. Moisture is life and death to natural hair
*while wearing various weave protective styles, I thought that my hair could go without frequent moisture treatments. This ultimately led to dry, deeply tangled hair, after taking my extensions out. As you know, this can lead to breakage, especially when transitioning. Whether transitioning or after the ‘big chop’, all hair, especially natural hair need’s moisture on a regular basis. One of the best forms of moisture is water. Hair craves and thrives on water but it has to be sealed into the hair shaft. This can be done with butters, creams, oils and other sealing products.