“We don’t go ‘natural’ we return. ‘Natural’ is where it began.”
Natural hair is the new black. Gone are the days when natural hair was associated with words like unkempt, uneducated, and unprofessional. It is considered a fashion trend and a mode of self-expression. The confidence exuded by women wearing their mane, bantu knots, twists outs, flat twists, and locks is rising exponentially. Further, seeing lustrous, well-moisturized hair with perfectly laid edges is enough to give one the nudge to transition from relaxed to natural hair.
Beyond the desire to be in the loop of healthy natural hair, several have transitioned as a result of heat damage or breakage due to chemical treatment. However, with natural hair, there is more than what meets the eye. The transition process in itself is a learning curve for most women as the hair itself requires commitment and re-education.
The journey often starts with research. The search for information prompts you to check out the ‘naturalistas’ gang on every social media platform. Among the resourceful YouTube channels and Facebook pages are Nywele Chronicles, Craving Yellow, and Tricia’s Naturals. While gathering the necessary information, you come across all the natural hair-friendly products available from creams, gels, oils, sulfate-free shampoos, and conditioners. Also, you familiarize yourself with terms such as 4A, 4B, and 4C hair, TWA (Tiny Weenie Afro), LOC (Liquid-Oil-Cream) method, and LCO (Liquid-Cream-Oil).
With all the abundance of information available, one can be enthusiastic or confused. The psyched-up individuals end up purchasing whatever available products that promise a smooth walk while for the less-bothered sisters, the product-junkie bug never really bites them. However, along the way, some products will favor your hair texture but others will disappoint. Before investing your hard-earned money in the wrong products, ensure that you understand your hair texture since this will help debunk what will and what won’t work.
The desire to have Erykah Badu’s hair and rock Lupita Nyongo’s or Issa Rae’s hairstyles is immense. However, before heading to that nearby Kinyozi to get that big chop, it is necessary to understand the nitty-gritty of healthy natural hair.
- Minimize heat as it can lead to dry and brittle hair that is prone to breakage
- Moisturize and seal. Natural hair loves to be moisturized
- Ensure your spritz bottle has water or rose water and oil such as coconut, olive, and castor oil
- Sleep in a satin bonnet or scarf to keep the hair from drying
- Trim the hair at least twice a year to ensure growth
- Avoid strenuous hairstyles. Maintain the edges by having low manipulation hairstyles. In case the edges are lost, apply castor oil
- Be patient with your hair
While natural hair appears to be healthy and easy to maintain, that is never the case. The cost of maintenance is slightly on the higher end when compared to relaxed hair. Before contemplating joining the natural hair gang, understand there will be bad hair days, long hours spent during wash days, stubborn edges that just won’t lay, and tough hair that can’t let a comb in.
Despite the learning journey if the urge to switch back to relaxed hair is there. It is okay to give in. Whether the hair is relaxed or natural, as long as it is healthy and makes life much easier for you, it is beautiful. Do you hunnie!