"You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman"
Taking the big step from perm/relax hair to natural curls
will be a fun, stressful, and exciting journey. Along the way, you will experience a sense of empowerment and self-confidence. Learning how to love your hair is tough, and it'll only be harder if you don't know basic tips to keep you on track. You don't want to end up on the "I Wish I Would've Known List" when it comes down to going natural
. Simple things like tracking down your progress and trusting your instinct will go a long way. We know that making this transition seems like the most natural thing ever, but boy can it be difficult as well. It's hard finding the right products that work on your hair type and texture. If you're a newcomer, you might struggle with how to style your curls in the awkward growing out stages. The many trials that come with going natural are enough to make any woman want to abandon the journey. But you should know that you are never alone. We have your back through the good and bad times. So, to help you out along the way here are ten things you should know before going natural.
Track Your Hair Growth
Sometimes we get so caught up in the act of going natural that we forget to track our hair growth
. This tip is something I wish I did because I'm not sure how long my curl length is now. After hearing stories from other women who are going natural the process is not always rainbows and butterflies. You will have moments where you feel discouraged because you can't physically see your hair growing. There are several ways you can track the progress of your curls for when you feel like nothing is changing.
Use Measuring Tape
If you invest in a useful measuring tape, it'll only take a matter of seconds to measure and jot down the length. What you need to do is take the beginning of the tape and start from the root of your hair to the ends. You must make sure that you stretch the curl all the way out to get its actual length. I would also suggest measure three points of your head, front, back, and sides. We are not all the same; I know some people whose hair grows longer in the front, others in the back. Measuring different sections of your curls will help you decipher where your problem areas are and how to fix them.
If you take the time to snap a quick photo of your locks, you'll see progress right before your eyes. The best times to take a photo is in between every four to six weeks. You will see the most changes if you spread the pictures out in a time frame of months. I feel it's safer to keep on a tight time frame that way if you do not see any progress you can switch up your hair routine. The last plus side is that keeping pictures can encourage you along your hair journey.
Create A Hair Journal
Creating a hair journal is by far the best way to track your hair growth. This tool is the combination of taking photos of your locks and writing down your length over time. Luckily, there are tons of apps on our smart devices that can do all the tracking while we sit back. A fan favorite seems to be the Hair Journal App. This application allows you to write down your feelings throughout your journey while using pictures to see progress. There is also a section where you can add product tags of your favorite hair care products. We can't forget to mention the countless videos of others on their natural journey and need-to-know advice. So, if you have any free time check out this app and many others that will help track your hair growth.
Every Curl Pattern Is different -Don't Compare
Okay, let's be honest for a moment, how many of us like to compare our curls to our friends, co-workers, even celebrities? This horrible tendency is something I wish someone would have told me not to do. Remember we all have different hair textures, lengths, and health. Try not to worry about how tight or lose your curl pattern is, keep in mind that it's ten times healthier in its natural state. While we are on the topic, don't compare anything when it comes down your mane with someone else's. If you're someone like me who experiences shrinkage, then you may not see the full length of your hair until it's blown out. On your natural journey, you will truly master the idea of being happy with your curls. Instead of focusing on how long or how coily your locks are, try to get a better understanding of your texture and how it works for you. It may help to follow people on YouTube and Instagram that has your exact hair type or very close. I'm just real; there is no point in watching videos of someone that you can't relate with at all. If you're following them for fun, then I understand, but we don't want you to deter from your hair journey. If all else fails to try to engage with new people that will inspire you to love your curl pattern. It would surprise you to hear all the excellent tips and stories from other natural ladies.
You Can Make Your Products
Any naturalists can tell you that the most expensive part of this journey is all the products you buy. If you take the time to research what works well for your mane, you can only purchase those ingredients. For example, curls do very well when they encounter coconut oil, so instead of buying a ten-dollar product that includes it, you can buy it separately in stores. You can whip up a ton of these recipes in minutes, and with tons of help from YouTube videos. You probably have most of these ingredients in your household, and if not, you can quickly get them online or at your local Whole Foods store. In a matter of months, you can create products that are amazingly effective on your tresses. This process can be addicting, so make sure that you leave plenty of room in your cabinets for all the great products you create. You'll save so much money when making your products, really wish someone would have let me know this tip beforehand. Thankfully I understand it now and can pass this beautiful gem on to you all.
Length Isn't the Most Important Thing
We can't deny it, the main reason why women want to go natural is that they want their hair to grow longer. But we are here to tell you that length is not the most important thing, how long your curls do not always determine the health. Thickness is a great way to know if your curls are growing and in a healthy state. But if you are natural and not seeing a dramatic change in length, it could be due to a couple of reasons. Sometimes the growth is not retaining, meaning your hair is growing, but the ends are breaking off at the same rate. So, make sure that you are going to the salon for monthly trimmings to avoid all split ends. Drinking water also helps, treating your hair goes further than just the products you use on your head. You want to moisturize the strands from the inside out, eating healthy veggies will help feed your follicles. When the cuticles on your head are healthy, it will promote growth and lessen the chance of breakage. In the long run, its best to remember that this is a journey and healthy hair is stellar hair no matter the length.
You Can Still Color Natural Hair
Against much popular belief, you can color natural hair
. We wouldn't suggest going for a blonde or platinum, but light browns and blacks won't hurt. Most women opt for semi-permanent rinse; this gives you the color your looking for without killing your strands. I would say go to a salon or see your stylist when dealing with dyes on your curls. Even though beauty supply stores have a million and one different semi-color treatments you don't want to risk leaving chemicals on your hair for too long. We suggest using at home dyes when going for a darker hue, anything lighter you should see an expert. Some things that we should warn you about beforehand is that coloring your hair can affect the curl pattern. So, be sure to stock up on plenty of moisturizers and leave-in conditioners. Hair with color loses moisture faster, and we need oils on our strands to prevent breakage. So, wrapping your hair after an in-depth conditioning session will be ideal. Make sure to skip the shampoo before you dye your curls. The natural oils on the scalp act as a buffer between the follicles and the coloring. If you keep these tips in mind, you should have no problems dying your tresses.
Know Your Hair Has A Porosity Level
I'm sure a lot of people have no idea what this terminology means because it was all new to me. But in simple terms porosity is the way your hair absorbs moisture. You can either have a low, medium, or high level and determining which you are you'll find it easier find products. If you have low porosity, this means your hair cuticles are tight around the cortex and will repel moisture. If you can relate to lower porosity, you should purchase a deeper conditioning
lotion for your strands. On the other hand, if you have a high porosity, this means your curls have gaps in the follicles. Open spaces allow for more moisture but also makes your tresses more susceptible to damage. If you want to test which level of porosity your mane is, try dropping a few strands into a bowl of water and wait for a few minutes. If the hair floats you have low porosity; if they sink it's at a higher level. This tip is essential if you want to see a tremendous change in hair growth, so test out your porosity today.
You Must Train Your Hair
Training your tresses is so important because our curls have a mind of their own. In lamens terms, our strands do what they want whenever they want. To counteract this process, we must develop strategies to keep them under control. If you want more curl definition to try wearing a bun at night, this technique will hold any style without straightening
your pattern. If you are someone with naturally frizzy hair, then stay away from excessive brushing or combing out your strands. If you want to see a change in the way your curls react you must be consistent in the routines that work for you. As time goes on, you'll start to notice how your curls respond in different settings. You should use heat sparingly or not at all if you want to see a dramatic change in your curl pattern. Also moisturizing your hair will help tremendously, and if you do plan on heat training
your hair make sure to invest in a great protectant. Don't give up on your natural journey just yet take some extra time to train that beautiful mane.
It's Okay to Make Mistakes
The natural hair journey isn't a straight path, its more like one with bumps, detours, and U-turns. The main point is that it is perfectly reasonable to make mistakes. Caring for your mane is a significant challenge you may stumble across breakage or dry and brittle strands. It is all a learning experience, and the more things you do wrong means there is only a matter of time before you get it right. I tell so many people that I went into the deep end the start of my journey. My hair would tangle so much because I was too lazy to unloose my braids and comb out the knots. But along the way, I started using a leave-in conditioner which leads to less breakage and split ends. The point of the matter is that all mistakes make us greater so embrace them. Your path may not be perfect, but it will surely be worth every step.
Ignore The Negative Comments
When you're walking along your natural hair care journey, you're going to have people who want to change your mind. I have had plenty of women tell me their stories and why it didn't work for them or why the style won't suit me. But the only person who needs to love your hair is you. So, ignore the naysayers, we all are different and its human nature to want to try new things. Just because something did not work for one lady doesn't mean the same goes for you. Try your best to link up with another woman on your hair care journey or follow accounts that you can relate too. You want to be free of any negative comments, and we know you can rock any look love!
Make Time for Styling
Styling natural hair
is going to take little extra time and patience, so you need to prepare well enough ahead of time. Please do not think you can condition your locks, do a twist-out before hanging out with your friends in the next few hours. Sorry love it's not going to happen, most styles require you to try overnight routines. The longer you let the curl or pattern stay in, the better it will look in the end. You must be smart and plan, and if you develop a proper hair-care routine styling will become a breeze. A good twist-out will last you about a week, so taking the time to do it right the first time will be very beneficial. You'll need time to style natural hair!
What Are Some Tips That You Have for Going Natural
It seems like everyone wants to have natural hair, it's the new "wave" as some would say. But the one thing that gets left out of the conversation is what you need to know before going natural. We want you to have the best natural hair journey possible no matter how stressful or emotional you'll get. Although it takes a lot of time to research critical things to know about natural curls, it's like a rite of passage. We would hate for you to take this big leap only to figure out it doesn't work well with your lifestyle. Before you hop on this trend, you should make sure that you read up on tips and are fully equipped to handle the process. If there is anything you should take away from this blog, we hope that you embrace your natural locks.
You have a whole hair community out there waiting to support you, so don't give up and enjoy your journey. If you are a naturalist what are some things you wish you knew before going natural? Let us know in the comments down below.