The Cotton Crown: Natural Hair? Yeah right!

I have heard this refrain so many times. It usually follows a conversation like this:

“Gosh your hair is so cool, wish I could do that.”

“Why don’t you go natural then?”

Then I get the usual barrage of excuses:

“I’m not mixed”

“It’s too unmanageable”

“It won’t suit me”

Hmm…

The truth is: going natural is not as daunting as one might think. The hardest part for me was making the actual decision and once I did that, everything fell into place. The experience won’t be the same for everyone, and one must remember that anything worth doing involves hard work. If you decide that you want to take the plunge at anytime and stop relaxing your hair, here are a few tips that will make the journey easier:

  • Do your research: I cannot stress this enough. Natural afro hair and relaxed afro hair are as different as night and day and as such, cannot be treated the same way. If you try to handle your new growth the way you handle your straight ends you. Will. Cry. Take my word for it. If you don’t want to lose combs and give yourself migraines, you have to do your research. People that make the decision to go natural these days are lucky. Lucky in the sense that as recently as three or four years ago, there were very few resources that available on natural hair. Now there are numerous blogs, websites, YouTube channels and books that provide information on caring for all types of afro hair. All one has to do is type “natural hair” into the search box of Google or YouTube and they will be inundated with results. A few good websites and YouTube pages to check out are:

Leave in the Kinks

Curly Nikki

Black Girl Long Hair

Kimmaytube

This is by no means an exhaustive list. There are so many resources available for hairstyles, hair care tips etc… all at your fingertips!

  • Be realistic about your hair type: A lot of people I’ve spoken to, have told me that they would only go natural if they had hair like my friend Z’s. Now Z is mixed race and has defined spiral curls as a result of her heritage. The people I spoke to are not mixed. Why pine over something that isn’t yours and will never be yours? The key to happiness is being content with what you have and finding ways to work it. My point is, don’t go natural expecting to have Rachel True type curls if you know that it isn’t in your heritage. If it turns out that you do have that kind of hair, that’s good. If you don’t, that’s good too. You can always fake it with rod sets and twist outs and such, but it is important to be happy with your hair the way it is naturally. Don’t spend time and money searching for a product that will define curls that really aren’t there. Frizz is a part of Afro hair. Deal with it!

  • Find a transitioning buddy: Transitioning is the process of growing your natural hair out and getting rid of relaxed ends. I will talk about this in detail in another post. If you’re fortunate enough to have access to someone that is transitioning at the same time as you or has already transitioned, it will make the process easier. You can swap tips and ideas, you’ll have someone to moan to when it gets tough, and you’ll be able to talk to her about hair stuff, long after your friends and family have gotten sick of hearing you talk about hair. Your transitioning buddy doesn’t have to be in the same area as you. In fact, with the advances in technology these days, she doesn’t even have to be on the same continent. If you don’t know anyone going natural, then don’t fret. A lot of YouTubers detail their natural journeys from beginning to present and you can follow them from the start. Most of them are happy to answer questions and might also agree to be your buddy if you ask nicely.

  • Surround yourself with hair porn: Find images of women with beautiful afro hair. Look at them daily, find a hair idol. When you feel like giving up, looking at the pictures will inspire you to stay strong. Le coil is an amazing site with gorgeous hair porn for all afro hair types.

  • Ignore negative people: Trust me, the world and its mother will try to dissuade you. They will tell you that you’ll look unkempt, unattractive, crazy… they’ll say anything really. However, once they see how fabulous and well taken care of your afro is, they’ll be eating their words and asking you for advice.

  • Be patient: This is probably the most important piece of advice I can give you. It will get difficult, you will get bored and frustrated, but the end result is worth it. Once you decide to go natural, you will want the big ol’ afro right this minute, but it takes time. with the right information and lots of care and diligence, you will get where you want to be.

Now these are only the basics, but know that going natural is a learning experience and a journey. It is never the same for two people so don’t take the advice given here as the last word on natural hair. Rather, do your research and use the information that you feel applies to you. Always ask questions and know why you do what you do to your hair.

“The Cotton Crown” aspires to be the definitive BellaNaija guide on natural hair. Expect to see hair care tips, hairstyle tutorials and common natural hair questions answered. Any questions concerning natural hair can be left in a comment and will be answered to the best of my ability.

Photo Credit: [source]

98 Comments on The Cotton Crown: Natural Hair? Yeah right!
  • BellaNaija.com
    BellaNaija.com July 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm

    In our quest to improve and vary content, We are introducing new features such as ‘The Cotton Crown’. This is for BN readers who have or are interested in natural hair. We are not attempting to impose it on anyone.
    We have other features for relaxed and ‘weave-tastic’ hair coming up. So something for everyone!

    • Nonssss November 15, 2013 at 11:06 am

      please i’m natural and ive got a problem. my scalp is very
      dry and very prone to dandruff. I recently dyed my hair wine and I
      don’t know if that’s one of the reasons why I have dandruff. I also
      live in a region that has salt water…so I use salt water to bathe
      and wash my hair. Please i’d like to know how I can cure this
      dandruff and what I can do to take better care of my hair in the
      future. thankyou

      • Erinma April 11, 2014 at 5:12 pm

        hey, I have issues with dandruff too. What i’ve found out is that a lot of shampoos with sulfates are very drying, so if you use a shampoo with that ingredient (sodium Lauryl sulfate) put a conditioner on your hair and let it sit for a few minutes before washing, or use a conditioner to wash and spray tea tree oil on your scalp (massage it in). That helps me cut down the itchiness.

  • DUDU July 20, 2010 at 1:02 pm

    Two thumbs up Bella!!!

  • JPrat July 20, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Cool stuff…so all of una did you hear? they are not imposing o, just ideas….so before all of you come and bite Bella’s head off. :)

  • Q July 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Fantastic bella,i transitioned over 7 months now & i love it all the way!!

  • NappturallyNigerian July 20, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    This is a great post! I’m Nigerian and natural too. Check out my blog :-)

  • Mz.T July 20, 2010 at 1:11 pm

    Yes! Finally! This is really cool. I’m so happy that there’s a growing awareness about natural hair in Nigeria.
    Can ya’ll pleaseeee do a feature on locations where naturals can get suitable hair products? That’s like my biggest problem with being a natural in Nigeria, its really hard to find suitable natural products for my hair. Thanks! :)

  • KemiPen July 20, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing b/c I recently decided to go natural…I already know about “Leaving in the Kinks!” …so the additional ones will further help…

  • Ifeoma-adiagwuagwu July 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm

    Yep, I support the motion…lol
    Just joking… Seriously,I am interested in natural hair, so it will be good.

    Thanks bellanaija.com :)

  • Ms. ATL July 20, 2010 at 1:57 pm

    Wonderful! I went natural a few years ago, and am sad to say I mostly hide it under weaves, braids, wigs. I just haven’t learned how to style it myself (which i will attribute to laziness mostly). Hopefully your tips should move me in the right direction. I dream of going at least 2-3 months without fake hair on my head :D

  • Yona July 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It’s so exciting to see that Nigerians are finally getting with the natural hair groove. About time!
    I’ve had my hair natural for about 9 yrs now (wow, that just made me feel really old). Sometimes it’s felt like a nightmare to be honest but most times its been really gratifying. Best of all it’s always been mine. I’ve never been prouder of my hair than when its been natural and even on the down days I can’t imagine ever going back.

  • Yona July 20, 2010 at 2:16 pm

    It’s so exciting to see that Nigerians are finally getting with the natural hair groove. About time!
    I’ve had my hair natural for about 9 yrs now (wow, that just made me feel really old). Sometimes it’s felt like a nightmare to be honest but most times it’s been really gratifying. Best of all it’s always been mine. I’ve never been prouder of my hair than when it’s been natural and even on the down days I can’t imagine ever going back.

  • Elle Woods July 20, 2010 at 2:47 pm

    Nice. Glad to see a feature about Natural. Its been 2 months since my last perm and i cant wait to see what my hair looks like.

  • Marian July 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    I been natural for 4 years now and I love it. This is a step in the right direction Bella. Your website keeps getting better and better. You have motivated me to blog too. I thank you.

  • Natural Afrodisiac July 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    These “basic” suggestions are excellent for anyone who is deciding to go natural. I’ve been natural for 12 years and I wish I had all these resources that people have now. Take advantage of them!

  • shubby July 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    nice article. i transitioned for about a yr and half and just recently went back to relaxed. I realized it was more important to me to have healthy growing hair than have natural hair. I never intended to wear an afro and was always in weaves and braids anyway. To me, it wasnt worthwhile so i’m back to relaxers with more emphasis on having healthy hair.

  • konnie July 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm

    good good. it is nice to have a guideline. I have been natural for 2.5years now. It too some getting used to it but I have never looked backed. Actually my whole family cousins include are natural oh witht the exception of one person.

    My motivation? I didn’t want to turn bald ….had noticed a balding trend on people.
    Good artical.

  • sprawlings July 20, 2010 at 4:35 pm

    Been Natural for a year now, I must say I am loooooving it, Don’t get me wrong ooh! it can be a daunting experience and you’re right everyone has discouraged me including my father who used the word “unkempt” and not finding a husband, lol

    But its bn an experience, thanks Bella and Oshokeme

  • Candey July 20, 2010 at 4:58 pm

    I’ve been natural for a little over a year and I’m loving it. I’ve been relaxing my hear since i turn 13 and now I’m 29. It’s been a long and challenging process but now I’m getting the reward: a black and healthy hair, i the most amazing thing: it’s MINE!
    Thankx Bella i’m loving more and more your Blog!

  • omogekofo July 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    every one here is praising the natural stuff…
    lets be real ladies….
    it is so so difficult to maintain.
    especially by ladies like me who find it so difficult putting a comb
    through our hair no matter how well relaxed……
    not to talk of natural hair…..mshewwwww…

    i am waiitng for what to have to offer on other kinda hair…

    hair like the the ones that need no maintainace at alllllllll.

    • Frenchbeau August 21, 2010 at 10:48 pm

      U want very low maintenance? I suggest u try the amber rose look

    • Project Embrace June 19, 2012 at 2:43 pm

      Every good looking hair takes time and effort to maintain. The amount of money and time needed to fix a weave or have a perm is the same if not more than it takes to have good looking natural hair. Its easy to comb natural hair if you know how to treat it properly. Going natural for me is loving every bit of me just the way I am, not apeing white women’s hair before I consider myself beautiful.

  • Fatima July 20, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Any type of hair needs maintenance. If short hair needs more maintenance because it has to be perfectly styled and you can never put it in a bun. The lesson natural hair taught me is you have to be patient. After my hair grew out to a certain length everything became easy. The versatility is amazing. I can straighten, if I want I can do braidouts and have a nice curly style. Or I can just pack my hair in a bun and add a flower for style. The decision is yours, I am the only one in my family with natural hair. It is definitely a process and not everyone is ready for that yet. Take your time.

  • Oshokeme July 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm

    @omogekofo: There is nothing like no-maintenance hair. Maybe low-maintenance, but definitely not no-maintenance. Even women that rock the bald look have to get frequent trims to maintain it and this is the lowest-maintenance style there is. This column is really only about natural hair so I’m sorry I can’t answer that question for you. I’m sure Bella has more posts written by people that are knowledgeable on the subject coming up. Sorry :(

  • Z July 20, 2010 at 6:39 pm

    Myth #1- It is so difficult to maintain.

    Untrue, it’s just a different form of maintenance from relaxed hair. For example, for a lot of naturals, combing hair is just an exercise in tears and futility. Detangling your hair requires a different process (running water, conditioner, fingers, a very very wide tooth comb, perhaps). So when that comb starts breaking, it’s prob a sign that you shouldn’t be using it lol.

    For Nigerian naturals looking for products etc, check out the Kinky Apothecary- http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/pages/The-Kinky-Apothecary/120837131266405

    Sweet article, Kinky Keme ;)

  • Bola July 20, 2010 at 6:55 pm

    I have been natural since 2007, i have an online store where I sell products for natural hair, I will be opening a natural hair store in Nigeria soon. I also have a youtube page “arrebiy” where you can follow my natural hair journey. I love being natural, i will encourage people to try it!

  • burramint July 20, 2010 at 7:15 pm

    this is great!!! i’m excited for this new part of bellanaija!! yes… and check out naturalsaturdays.blogspot.com for some naija naturals too!!

  • Ms. ATL July 20, 2010 at 8:00 pm

    @ sprawlings: you feel me! my mum once went on a 20-minute rant against my hair, and my brother-in-law went as far as saying it’s the reason why i’m single. *rolls eyes*

  • Molicious July 20, 2010 at 8:04 pm

    Ofe, love the article, biba sent me the link to your blog, love it! I’m in month 7 of my journey and I’m excited, gonna go for the big cut in december or Jan of next year.

  • http://westafricanhair.blogspot.com/ July 20, 2010 at 8:25 pm

    Well, for die-hard relaxed chics tryna stay relaxed, long, and healthy check my blog out.

    http://westafricanhair.blogspot.com/

    One day one day, I might go natural! Till then!

  • Jumoke July 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm

    LMBO at all these people promoting their stuff.

  • Gam July 20, 2010 at 9:05 pm

    Cotton Crown….eh…now i’m offended.

  • Eni July 20, 2010 at 9:39 pm

    Well, as a natural hair advocate and the Person of the Year 2009 for
    bglhonline.com (yes, my bragging rights), I have to say that I am very
    impressed with these responses from Nigerian women.
    The last time Ink Eze wrote an article on natural hair on here, it was a completely
    different thing. So to see us come from the point where we were totally ignorant and
    against our own God-given hair, to now embracing it and being open-minded and
    even encouraging one another brings gladness to my heart! Now I look forward
    to the day everyone will love every inch of who they are notwithstanding.
    (I’m REALLY joyed!)

    @westafricanhair Science and experience have both proven that relaxed hair
    cannot be healthy (borderline healthy at best). It can be pretty& long but absolutely
    not healthy. Relaxer permanently alters the hair shaft in order to alter the physical
    structure of the (coily/curly) hair. Which in this case, is damage as the hair cannot
    return to its older form.
    Also think about it, properly relaxed hair loses much of, if not all of its elasticity.
    Elasticity is the measure of how hair would stretch and return to its normal state.
    Hair elasticity is a good quality in any hair type. It is not exclusive to only coily/curly
    textures (Even caucasian hair possesses the elastic quality).
    After all the chemical restructuring and series of iron/heat straightening, the hair
    loses more elasticity. (Think what happens to a rubber band when it is stretched past
    its resistance point. It SNAPS!). Hence the breakage and thinning out in hair that has
    been chemically relaxed. In concert, hair that has lost its elasticity it is indeed, damaged.

    I had to scientific there and my reason is not to tell anyone what to do with their hair. It’s
    just hair right? My thing is whatever you choose, be informed for it is not what ON your
    head but what’s IN your head.

    Oshokeme thankfully, has given the basic rules of kinky hair but there’s so much
    more to be experienced! My own thing is LOVE YOUR HAIR. It’s the greatest
    commandment!

    x

  • AfricanChic July 20, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    You go Bella! Not so sure about the name but thank you so much for this new feature. I am so tired of Nigerian ladies talk about how they cannot go natural or they can’t wear their own hair because of numerous stupid excuses. The most annoying one being that they are not mixed race. I have many friends who are not mixed race and in fact have no relatives that are mixed race and have long hair. I mean long as in past their bra strap. So please ladies let us put away the misconceptions, the stereotypes and all the other negative stuff we have been fed about ourselves and let’s get to work. if you want healthy, natural long hair, get to work!!! Stop letting other people limit you!!

  • marian July 20, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    Lol @ Gam.
    yeah I had to turn ‘em 2 words around in my mouth for a minute!

  • Jackie July 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm

    This is lovely, am 17 and am transitioning, to the cries of the hairdresser that I cant manage it. Thank you for giving me back my hope. Will be looking forward to more updates.
    : )

  • Ore July 20, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    This is a great addition to the Bella Naija blog. Naturals in Nigeria need all the
    resources we can get.

  • Nma July 21, 2010 at 12:44 am

    U know Bells…i have been waiting for u to feature this. Its about time o!
    Naija babes tend to get so consumed by weaves and ignore what beauty they
    have underneath. I am not sayn dont rock ur weaves (i do too)….but know that u have
    options….even better options. U dont have to be mixed to have that lovely
    wavy afro look! Just go on youtube and u’ll see tons of tutorials on styles and upkeeps
    I personally cannot wait for my hair to get longer. 7 months thus far and going strong!

  • Olivia M July 21, 2010 at 1:47 am

    No, thanks!

  • Olivia July 21, 2010 at 2:33 am

    Pretty cool Bella! My daughter just recently requested to go natural….(I guess my mountain of wigs and weaves just scared the poor girl! Lol). I’ll check out some of the sites. My hair is naturally curly so maybe I’ll consider it too at some point.

  • Nicole July 21, 2010 at 3:07 am

    Curlynikki’s site rocks! I’ve learned a lot from all the info shared on there.

  • africanqueen July 21, 2010 at 5:04 am

    mehn was that transition stage was hard for me because i was locking my hair so it was rough and the neegative people too plenty bad belly i guess. its funny because most of them now are considering natural hair after seeing my locks. but mehn its rough i no go lie

  • pbaby July 21, 2010 at 7:27 am

    Thanks so much for this article. I just decided to go natural.

    I am in the transitioning period, and currently have my hair in braids so I don’t
    look a hot mess.

    Thanks for the websites, I’ll definitely check it out.

    Great job Bella!

  • Doll July 21, 2010 at 8:49 am

    iv been natural for a year plus, not because i wanted cotton crown or afro hair or whatever, but because relaxers were killing my hair, making it light with stunted growth, but now, my haoir is groing, its healthy and it has body and am so happy with it

  • Ginika July 21, 2010 at 8:55 am

    Nice article. I must say without blowing my own trumpet that I have a very very gorgeous and beautiful afro…lol I started growing it in oct. 2007. I stopped relaxing and then cut off the relaxed ends after it grew for a year. I condition it regularly like twice a month when it is not braided or weaved up- By the way the weave thing is beacuse it helps my hair grow and gives me options in terms of styles. I have very black and full hair. I know when I just condition it ppl always feel like going natural.

  • Bomgirl July 21, 2010 at 12:26 pm

    Nice. People you don’t need anything special for your hair. Abi conditioner dey naija, coconut oil dey, shea butter dey, water dey, aloe vera dey. Those are the basics, no need to buy expensive products unless you want to. Natural hair can be a pain in the ass, so can relaxed hair. Just educate yourself and you’ll be fine.

  • obi July 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    THE BEST PRODUCT FOR NATURAL HAIR IS NATURAL SHEA BUTTER (ORI IN YORUBA, OKWUME IN IGBO). ITS ALSO VERY GOOD FOR RELAXED HAIR. MELT IT IF IT IS TOO HARD AND MASSAGE THOUROUGHLY INTO HAIR

  • Rexie July 21, 2010 at 3:33 pm

    This is great… Its bin 2 months i got my last perm. The process is going slowly so patience definitely is needed. I always used to get a perm at least every 3 weeks cause my hair always felt so due and i thought to myself ‘ooohh it must be growing so fast’ but now i have stopped perming it is definitely taking its time.lol… Would be visiting the links for tips..Great one Bella.

  • Susan Majek July 21, 2010 at 3:47 pm

    It’s very encouraging to see so many women going the natural hair route. I have natural hair that corn row and hide under wigs. I’ve been doing this for several years now. Last weekend, as it’s now so hot in Maryland, I knew it was time for me to stop wearing wigs. Hair dressing is expensive here in America, so I gave it a shot myself. It looked ok. I wouldn’t wear it to work like that, but I’m working on it and in time I will be able to style my natural hair myself. I encourage other people to join the revolution. Love the hair on your head!

  • Jumoke July 21, 2010 at 4:04 pm

    I am natural but I disagree with @ Eni. Relaxed HAIR can be healthy just like natural hair can be unhealthy. It is the way that you take care if it that determines the health.

    • MiMi Collins September 22, 2010 at 5:10 pm

      I get your point. Puttign a chemical in your hair on your scalp can damage the scalp.

  • Folusho July 21, 2010 at 4:07 pm

    Okay shea butter does not work for everybody, it just leaves my hair very oily. Some of us need products that have been put together for our hair.

  • Eni July 21, 2010 at 6:58 pm

    @ Jumoke, you can disagree with me, it doesn’t change facts. Yes, natural hair can
    be unhealthy if not well cared for. The same goes for ANY hair.
    Relaxed hair, on the other hand, is barely healthy at its best (and that’s if it’s not
    completely stretched out, i.e. relaxed). Well-relaxed hair could be pretty & long
    (or even full if your natural hair was extra full), however its resistance to damage
    is very low if not non-existent.

    Why do you think relaxed hair is more susceptible to damage from dyes, heat
    and the like? It’s not a coincidence, lol.

  • Bibi July 21, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    I love this new feature! I’ll definitely be coming back to read more. I’ve been natural for almost 2 years and it has been an interesting journey. One day I took my weave off and saw the condition of my hair – it was thinning and breaking really badly. I just went to the salon and cut it all off and that’s where my transition began. I also started doing loads of research and I learnt about the harmful things a relaxer does to my hair and scalp! No more for me. I have been doing corn-rows, braids and twists to take me through the growing process. Learning about looking after natural hair requires patience but it is so worth it to be free of unrealistic weaves and burnt scalps!

  • http://westafricanhair.blogspot.com/ July 21, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    I know Eni, natural hair is just unrealistic for me (for now but I’m considering it though it would be mostly braided if i went natural, I hate combing) because my hair is like four heads worth of hair. And its also long I would have to have a low cut (which I’ve rejected in my life) in order to maintain it.

    There are a lot of relaxed women who have maintained healthy relaxed hair see hairlicious.inc and keepitsimplesista.com who hair are down to their backs.

    Just being true to myself and those of us who are not brave to go natural (yet)!

    Thanks for all the info sha.

  • Bola July 21, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    Woop woop!! I’ve had short natural hair for a year now & wow….the freedom! Looking forward to the new stuff on Bella Naija!

  • Ed110 July 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Yayyy!!! love this new feature. Been natural for over a year now and loving it!!

    (My mum’s hating it though…)

  • yetty July 22, 2010 at 12:23 am

    awwww..i started relaxing my hair when i was 1, u can imagine since then i havent had a hair cut after reading this article am gonna go natural for 2months its furstrating though but am gonna try i need a long hair desperately lol……tired of weaves nd braide (theyv re tooheavy to carry)

  • Jumoke July 22, 2010 at 3:02 am

    @ Eni first off it is not a fight, lol. And here is proof of my point. When you relax your hair you break down the protein bonds in your hair. Hair is made up of protein entirely. You can rebuild it immediately using protein treatments. That is why naturals can surivive with putting oil on their hair and go. And relaxed heads need more specific products. But to say that relaxed heads cannot handle whatever and are more suseptible to damage is an entirely false statement. You need to visit hair blogs like that girl suggested or even check youtube and you would see women who are relaxed with hair dyes in their hair. Also their hair is extremely thick and long. What part of that is damaged? Knowing how to take care of your hair determines the health not if you are relaxed or natural.
    PS. I am a natural and my hair can’t handle hair dyes.

  • Jumoke July 22, 2010 at 3:21 am

    Lastly science proves that hair elasticity can be rebuilt by having a healthy protein moisture balance. So if relaxed hairs can rebuild elasticity then it surely can be healthy.
    Lastly ladies don’t think just because you are natural you can straighten your hair all the time. Natural hair can become damaged form falt ironing. You should never straighten on the highest setting. And make sure you use a ceramic flat iron and always flat iron when your hair is clean. When you hair is oily it can burn faster under the flat iron.

  • Detoy July 22, 2010 at 7:47 am

    Thanks for this article. Ive been natural for 10 months and seeing this just made me feel i shouldnt give up! Its easy to get discouraged especially when you dont have easy access to natural hair products.

    Please where in Lagos can we get natural hair products?????????

    Thanks

  • nikki July 22, 2010 at 11:01 am

    i love the post,it says it all but TRUTH BE TOLD there is difference between a 100% nigerian hair and mixed race nigerian hair so i am hoping we would see different kinds of natural hair especially pure 100% nigerian in the cotton crown posts.#okthanksbye

  • Ije July 22, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Considering that “Nigeria” is an arbitrary amalgamation of numerous tribes exhibited by 200+ different languages, how can you say there is 100% Nigerian hair and hair that is not 100% Nigerian hair. Does that even make sense to you?? Abeg, if you aren’t even familiar with the texture on your own head without a relaxer, then you can’t make an educated opinion about the hair textures of 140 million people.

  • Ayoola (10 years natural) July 22, 2010 at 7:39 pm

    You can get some hair products from this place called Casa Bella at the Palms Mall, Lekki (just make sure what you get is free from petroleum and mineral oil – these are bad for your hair). You can also get 100% shea butter and some other natural product (can’t remember the name) from Quintessence at Falomo Shopping Center in Ikoyi. If you travel to the UK or to the USA, you can get some Carol’s Daughter hair products (Tui Hair Smoothie is great!) and also the Shea Butter hair cream from L’Occitane, which always does a great job at making my hair very, very soft (and I have real kinky hair). It’s the one product I always make sure I have even if I can’t get the others, I will always go out of my way to get this one. Check out http://www.loccitane.com for store locations.

    Remember – combing your hair when wet makes it much easier to do. It doesn’t have to be sopping wet but at least it should be sufficiently sprinkled with water to ease the combing. Also if you braid your hair into 7 or 8 ‘calabar’-style plaits the night before, that will help keep your hair stretched out overnight so that you don’t have to wet it in the morning before combing. The final rule-of-thumb? Condition, condition, condition moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.

  • Precious July 23, 2010 at 6:57 am

    am Nigerian and i actually just did my big chop. To be honest since i made my decision to go natural, its being a jorney but i love, and i really dont even ever want to go back to relaxers. I agree with you on the USE YOUTUBE AS A GUIDE, it will so help you, and am loving my tiny afro now lol

  • cherchezlacurl July 23, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    Hi – Nigerian natural hair blogger here as well! Glad to see so many Nigerians embracing natural hair!

    I have to say, there is such a myth about African hair texture. It’s not only ‘mixed’ people who have loser hair texture – I am not mixed with anything (dad = osun; mom = ondo) and I have like 3 different hair textures; loose wavy in back; tight wavy in middle and kinky fro in front. I have to cosign @Ije: Nigeria is so ethnically diverse. It’s a bit of a generalization to assume we all have the same hair texture. Besides, I think that, more than hair texture it is the ‘structure’ of your hair and the density of hair that matters, i.e. fine/coarse because that determines how susceptible your hair is to breakage, whether your hair has that ‘silky’ look, etc. – of course the two are related, but it is possible to have a looser texture that is fine/low density that doesn’t look as ‘ideal’ – At any rate, I am a fan of all types of natural hair, so hair texture really shouldn’t be an issue.

  • cherchezlacurl July 23, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    PS – I also cosign on The Kinky Apothecary :)

  • Bunmi July 24, 2010 at 10:10 am

    Hi,
    I am a Nigerian ( as you may have noticed from my name) but I live in Holland. I wear my natural hair and I have a system to deal with the changing weather conditions over here. During summer, I always wear braids or do weaving while for the colder periods I put in extension to avoid my hair breaking. I use aloe-vera and other natural hair creams like Dr. Miracle’s and I can tell you , my hair is fabulous:). It is about 10 inches long and at times when I want to be very African, I leave lose and pull it up. You need to see the looks I get on such days. Though am not mixed, I tend to have very soft hair, which was why I stopped with perming about 12 years ago ( my hair moves with the wind, so it’s useless to go to the salon to set it).
    Of course, we all do not have same hair texture but one thing I can tell you is that going natural is one of the best hair decisions i have ever made. Why not try it:).
    Have a good one my people.

  • A’Babe July 24, 2010 at 11:53 am

    Gone natural for about a year now. First, I chopped off the perms and then went on low cut for a while, now I am on sythetic dreads, This will give my hair the chance to grow. Like really grow before I think of other options like locking. I use olive products. She butter has this smell… Let’s face it. You want to look au naturel without being repulsive. I use organics carrot oil when I wash, which is once in three weeks, the I use their tree tea oil every other day, because it relieves you of itchy scalp and it has a good perfume too. Then I use Dr. Miracle’s nape cream for great front hair. It could be a real daunting task, keeping it natural but I like it when people say, oh I love your natural hair. Gives me a bit of a mistyque feel. I jsut smile and I know I am different in every crowd. Way to go girls. Kink is in

  • KoralK July 24, 2010 at 4:27 pm

    Does anyone know of a shop in Port Harcourt to get natural hair products. I just big choped today…took it all off…and i need to start up with the right stuff.
    Thanks

  • Folake Kolawole-Taylor July 25, 2010 at 2:30 am

    Love it!

  • MzDaniel July 25, 2010 at 5:11 am

    @ those who talk about hair textures being 100% Naija or mixed and whatnot, I totally
    agree with the cherchezlacurl. My hair is loosely wavy at the back. Lightly curled at the crown with
    perfet spirals in the middle and Kinky hair only above my ears and I am not mixed with anything
    my sister who has been natural for about 5 yrs also has loose spirals like baby’s hair
    and we are both Ndi Igbo/ Delta girls. Go figure.
    We (Black ppl) have been lied to about our hair so much. Half of us have no clue what our real
    hair looks like.
    Also, lack of proper haircare for Natural hair can alter the true look of your hair. Regular
    deep conditions and proper moisture balance does wonders! :)

  • uchechi July 25, 2010 at 8:15 pm

    Wow..I’m actually getting a hair cut in a few weeks cos I’m tired of relaxed hair as my hair keeps falling off. Happy to read this article and know their people out their who think natural hair is cool and sexy.

  • Miss Lola July 25, 2010 at 11:08 pm

    After 16 years of my mom taking care of my hair, I got it permed (when I started living on my own). And, to God who made me, I regret it till this day. My hair used to be very kinky when I was little, but as time passed by it became more and more manageable. After two weeks of getting a new perm, my hair becomes unbearable and it falls.

    I can’t bear cutting my hair, so I will keep cutting off the tips until all the “damaged” hair is gone.

    For all those that wants to go back to being natural, I say- GO FOR IT!

    Good luck!

    Miss Lola xoxo

  • Kinky Apothecary July 26, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    Great article, I’m really loving this Cotton Crown idea!! And thanks Z and Cherchezlacurl for the Kinky Apothecary mention!

    Blog is finally up and running, and I’m having another workshop this weekend- http://thekinkyapothecary.blogspot.com/

    (Shameless plug, sorry!)

  • Paige July 26, 2010 at 5:06 pm

    Great article!

  • Paige July 26, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    Great article! This is needed for Nigerians wishing to go natural.

    I am also Nigerian and natural. You can check my blog (paigetheblogger.com) for pictures of my natural hair journey, as well as information and tips on going natural.

    I appreciate comments and suggestions – we are here to learn from each other

  • naturescourse July 26, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    We are a natural hair salon here in Houston. I loved this blog so much I had it posted on our business page created with Facebook. These words of encouragement need to be heard of all. Thank you so much for taking the time to write about something very important to our #naturalhair community!

  • Uchechi July 27, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Hi Osokeheme,

    I want to know the best method to go natural. Is it by shaving off your permed hair or letting it get due and trimming off the permed hair?

  • Oshokeme July 27, 2010 at 6:33 pm

    Hi Uchechi,

    If you don’t mind waiting a bit, I’ll be addressing the transitioning process in my next post. I’m glad you’re thinking about going natural :)

  • TallChica July 28, 2010 at 6:02 am

    @ a’babe..there are ways around the shea butter smell. I just came back from Nigeria after attending my sister’s graduation. All you need to do is add some sort of fragrant essential oil and make it more spreadable/malleable by adding vegetable glycerine. I made mine with peppermint and jasmine essential oils and VOILA! away with the smell.

  • ananya July 28, 2010 at 7:32 pm

    +1 for kinky apothecary

    My friend gave m the blog link sometimes ago so i sent nibi a message (i hop you don’t mine me using your name here). She was lovely took some time to write me a really long email explaining what she thought would be good for me and asked about my lifestyle and routine. When i finally ordered (after considering for a LONG time) se arranged for next day delivery and even made sure the delivery guy had change. Good customer service is rare in 9ja, so i always have to make noise when i come across it

  • ananya July 28, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    @Uchechi, she also did a piece on transitioning to natural hair which i am finding really useful, also her piece on basic natural haircare

    http://thekinkyapothecary.blogspot.com/2010/05/getting-kinky_09.html

  • lisa July 29, 2010 at 1:47 am

    I’m soo thrilled to see lots of people considering this!I decided on my own sometime in january 2 stop relaxing my hair,cut it all off but did braids and weaves 4 a while.Few wks ago,I let the lion out! Bliss..frm d weird looks I get 2 d strange things and shapes my hair does.It’s being very interesting albeit a lil stressful but not more stressful 4 me than braids n weaves.walking in the rain? Aaaagh,the freedom! The websites listed above are gr8 but YOUTUBE has got the juice..so many natural hair ‘gurus’.when you see girls as black as they come with hair to their waist,you’ll be motivated. I can’t wait to be home this christmas to stand out from my friends with their pricey brazillian ati indian weaves n whatnot.Looking forward to the shock on their faces…then they’ll know why I stopped posting pics on facebook! Lmao!
    By the way,weaves and braids do damage your hair especially the hairline.If you think your hair LOOKS healthy relaxed? You should see it when natural but straightened. For when I want to switch up my look,I wear a normal wig with a satin cap sown in.And if your hair is as short as mine is,a good gel will be your best friend.CONDITION,MOISTURIZE and DETANGLE ONLY WHEN DAMP OR WET. Great products:Keracare line(Canadian) and Kinkycurly curling custard. Hope this helps!
    Loving my kinks:)

  • Lita August 1, 2010 at 12:08 am

    Another Nigerian Natural here, checking in (7 years and counting) :-)

  • Lita August 1, 2010 at 12:13 am

    Just to say- 1) Another co-sign on the different textures thing. I have anything from a loose-ish curl to serious zig-zag naps and am 120% Naija. 2)I’m always amazed by people getting defensive about any attempt to discuss or support natural hair. Its the default! We’re in a mad bad place that it takes some special re-education (myself included) to be able to take care of our hair in its original state. Especially wwhen the alternative is rarely particularly attractive or healthy.

  • Chiro August 5, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    Well done on this article! This is definitely very encouraging cos I just started transitioning my hair from relaxed to natural since April! My transitioning buddy is in the States and I’m in London and we exchange ideas all the time. It definitely helps to have her encouraging me cos there are days I just want to give up and relax it all!! I’m sure some of you will feel me on that one!

    But I’ve even discovered that my natural hair isn’t as tough as I thought it was, so I’m actually looking forward to when it really grows out and gets long!

    Let’s all embrace the way God created us and stop longing for what isn’t ours (straight hair)!

    ps: Thanks for highlighting all the rubbish excuses people give. I can’t stand it when they try to discourage me…afterall there was a time before the invention of relaxers and people got on just fine!

  • Ihuoma August 10, 2010 at 5:27 am

    This is the first time I’m commenting on bellanaija and I’m soooo impressed that so many Nigerian women are embracing their kinks, coils and curls! And I’m also very pleasantly surprised to see natural hair stores based in Lagos! Hopefully soon, natural hair will be the norm and not the exception, I claim it n’aha Jisos! Amen! lol! Oh and I’m natural too, have been since April 2008 and I think maybe I love my naps a little too much, I can’t stop touching my hair! lol!! Ladies, going natural is like falling in love (with the right man of course), it has it’s ups and downs but ultimately it’s wonderful and totally worth it!

  • Tamiko August 18, 2010 at 5:50 pm

    i’ve been natural since late 2008,at first it wasn’t a conscious decision,just dint wanna go thru da stress of relaxing it and getting burnt and all dat drama,next i wanted to do dreads but when it started growing out,i fell so in love with it and v been posponing d dreads ever since,instead i do kinky which looks like my hair ‘cos the attachment’s texture is close to dat of my hair.i v a close body that we trade natural hair tips and when m feeling down lifts up me mood and vice-versa and she introduced me to a blog that helped me alot and seeing so many other natural hair ppl keeps me goin,plus i get compliments frm ma salonists when i go to get a weave on,so i can actually switch looks without hurting ma hair.anyone interested can chk out the blog,it really helped me when transitioning http://www.blackgirllonghair.blogspot.com

  • Frenchbeau August 21, 2010 at 11:30 pm

    Very surprised and impressed by this article bella! More surprised by the responses and the number of ladies in naija rocking and loving the natural look. I honestly believed that if I was to return to Naija after a 10yr hiatus, i’d have to ‘weave it up’ (actually it’s more a threat from my mother, than a personal decision) but u ladies are proof that naija is on the bandwagon!

    I feel the commentator that sed the journey is like a new love – ups and down, I got all that nonsense comments about ‘y dont u go natural after u marry and my fav. ‘ur mirror is lying to u’. Believe me such negative comments builds ur level of self-confidence and bravery. I’m less self self-conscious because of it!

  • spoon September 15, 2010 at 5:26 pm

    I love this article, its clever, funny and it got positive vibes. I’m not reading 88comments but want to know: is it you on the pix? if so, then WOW! All the best!

  • MiMi Collins September 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    This is very helpful and true. I love the trem hair porn.

  • mbabazi November 8, 2010 at 11:01 am

    i wore my short colored rough textured natural hair for 2 years during uni 2 years ago and it was not common at the time so i got allot of looks.some weird but most admiration. i encourage people to check it out http://mbabaziannet.blogspot.com/

  • Ogo January 1, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I’ve been natural for YEARS. When in Naija, ppl sometimes criticize me but it doesn’t vex am b/c most of the women have BALD spots and/or depend on “attach” to feel beautiful. I don’t have that dilemma! ;)

    Key tips:
    Wash hair as needed!
    Do NOT braid “attach” too tightly.
    Use local ingredients like shea butter for moisture (rub in hands to liquify). And use natural BLACK Soap — not Dudu oh! — to cleanse.

    My dears DO NOT BE FOOLED. In Naija, ppl buy CHEAP foreign products but in USA ppl buy SHEA BUTTER and REAL BLACK SOAP and their hair is fabulous!

    My sistas don’t let anyone get you down! “God doesn’t make mistakes!”

  • Yasmin March 6, 2011 at 11:45 pm

    Your claim that one can only have a ‘Z’ patterned curl due to mised heritage is false. I consider myself 100% Nigerian and do not have a white parent yet I have a ‘Z’ patterned curl. Whilst my biracial best friend does not have a defined curl pattern. Hair is hair and it is misinformed to make such stereotypes. My friend for one feels like she is left out and ‘supposed’ to be graced with ‘good hair’ which has made her very unhappy in the past.

  • chi chi July 2, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    i have been natural for 2 years…i love the decision,yes, but i am trying to work on my patience with the hair…i want it to grow longer cos wat i bargained for was 12 months= 6 inches or at least 5…2 yrs=12 or at least 10 inches….behold it is 7 inches in some parts and 8 in the other parts..plus my hair is 4b/4c hair type so when i see u-tube videos i am not too pleased but ohh well,i have decided to forget the progress and deal with my weavons and braids….one thing is certain,i will not relax it…who knows,maybe 5 yrs down,i can rock really huge puffs…amen oo…i still recommend natural hair..as for me,going natural was my only option cos i wept when ever relaxers touched my scalp..as in real cry with tears…so i decided i was going to end all that embarrassment and love my real hair…despite all my nagging,i will not replace my nappy hair for any thing in the whole world:)

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