So it seems like the entire world is going natural but you. Maybe you’ve tried to go natural in the past but just couldn’t figure the natural thing out. Perhaps you’re a long time natural who isn’t comfortable wearing your hair out, or you just don’t know what to do with the hair.
See the thing is, before you make any decision in life, no matter how big or small the decision is, you’ll need to first plan how you’re going to go about it. This means that prior to taking the natural hair plunge, you need to take some necessary steps so your natural hair journey will be smooth sailing.
So, if you’re thinking of going natural and haven’t been able to figure out how, here are 5 steps to take before you join the #TeamNatural Community.
1. Decide on how you want to go natural
Will you head to the barbers and have the big chop (cut your hair off)? Would you transition for a short period of time before cutting the relaxed part of your hair off? Or are you only comfortable with the gradual stages of long term transitioning where you take off a few inches at a time?
Whichever route you end up taking in the end, be sure it’s what you are most comfortable with. For more information and the pros and cons on 3 ways to go natural, click here.
2. Read about natural hair & its care
The natural hair community is so large that things can get overwhelming.
So to start, I recommend reading “The Science of Black Hair” and “Hair story: Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America“. The first book talks about how to maintain all textures of Black hair, while the other book talks about the history of our hair. I love the second book because it opened my eyes to the root causes of the hair controversies that we often hear about. These two books are a holy grail for every Black person, regardless of their hair texture, age or gender. So I recommend that you read them.
3. Be part of a community
What makes the internet awesome is that you can find online communities of people who shares similar interests with you. So even though you might be the only natural in your area and you’re starting to feel alone and discouraged, all you have to do is find an online community of Naturals who are always available to share their wealth of hair knowledge with you.
An online community that I’m actively involved in is “Natural Hair Babes.” It’s a Facebook group with over a hundred thousand naturals, who seems to be mostly Nigerians. With that many naturals, you can be sure to find at least one other person who lives in your area or close to you, who could recommend a salon or store that caters to natural hair.
To ensure that you get the best response to your questions on that or any platform, make sure you provide as much detail about your hair and lifestyle so you won’t end up with follow-up questions to your original question. But when it comes to asking a pressing question, instead of going on and on about your struggle with your hair, it is better to ask targeted and succinct questions. For example: How do I get soft hair? What is the best conditioner for 4c hair? My hair is shedding, how do I reduce the rate? This will ensure that you get targeted and succinct answers.
4. Go shopping
This is where the fun begins! I mean, who doesn’t like to shop? Now, I’m not trying to tell you to go spend money on things you don’t need; all I’m saying is that your new hair texture will require products and tools to help maintain it. To start, you’ll need coily hair friendly products and tools such as a good bottle of conditioner, shampoo, oils, shea butter, a large tooth shower comb, cute hair accessories, hair clips, and bobby pins. This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s enough to get you started.
5. Just do it
Get ready, set, GO! Now the action begins! Now that you’ve read all you can about natural hair and have seen hundreds of pictures online on natural hairstyles, it’s time for you to go and try these styles out yourself. Do you have a list of DIY (Do-It-Yourself) mixes that you’d like to try someday? Why not try one of them this weekend? Don’t know how to get the best twist out? Keep trying until you’re satisfied with your result.
Remember that no matter what decision you make in life, you have to put in the required effort to be successful at it.
Now that you know the steps that you should take before you go natural, you can now go and plan out your natural hair journey. I hope you put everything into practice and I’ll see you on the other side!
Photo Credit: Dreamstime/Sam74100