Natural Hair Series: Going Natural 101

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Solange Knowles's natural hairFor those girls who are thinking of going natural or just trying something new, let me give you some helpful hints to make sure you are fully informed about transitioning to being “natural.”

Terminology

“Going natural” or formally known as the “natural hair journey” is a transition from relaxed hair to one’s natural texture. There are many methods in which one can use to go “natural.” One of the most popular methods, which are used among more college students with tight curly hair, is “the Big Chop.” The Big Chop is a technique in which one chops or cuts her relaxed/damaged hair off, leaving only natural curls. By getting rid of her relaxed hair, it helps to stimulate hair growth and also speeds up the process.

Many women choose to go “natural” for many reasons. However, they all share two common results: hair growth and healthiness. Going natural can be a difficult task especially for those who often wear hair extensions, use hair dye/bleach, or relaxers/perms. In addition, for some “natural” women this may mean that she will avoid the use of heat appliances, specifically the flat iron. This may seem like a challenge already for those who enjoy doing the activities listed in the previous sentences, but it can be very beneficial. Although changing the color of one’s hair may look nice, your hair can suffer from it. It is extremely important to take care of your hair.

I chose to go “natural” because my hair was damaged from constantly adding chemicals to my hair like bleach/hair dye. I finally realized that even though my hair looked great in all those different styles, my hair wasn’t healthy. Going natural was not only a choice but it was definitely encouraged by others in order to restore the nutrients needed for my hair to grow.  I started my natural hair journey in January but Feb. 25 is when I finally did the Big Chop and now I’m officially “natural.” Since then I have been using the “trial and error” method to find products that work best for me.

Test it out

During my natural hair journey, I looked to YouTube as a tool to find reviews on hair products for natural hair. Currently, I use Cantu hair products for my hair. Make sure that you are shopping for products that will suit your particular needs. For instance, I chose to use products by Cantu because it works best for my hair texture and helps repair chemically damaged hair. It also includes Shea butter which acts as a moisturizer for my hair and scalp. For some women with textured hair like myself, moisturizing the scalp is just as important as washing hair. Without moisture, the scalp can become very dry and form nasty white-colored flakes known as dandruff.

Try out different products and compare with others to see which one gives you the best results. A side from Cantu products, I have done research about oils. Hair oils are also used to moisturize hair and stimulate hair growth. Some oils are liquids while others may be in a greasy solid form. Some of the most common used oils are coconut oil, carrot oil, tea tree oil, castor oil, argan oil and olive oil. Each hair oil has a focus to help stimulate hair growth. For example, I use castor oil which specifically treats damaged hair and reduces split ends.

Dress it up

Now that you have been informed about natural hair and finding out what works best for you, use your creativity to style your hair. Add a headband or a bright-colored flower. Sometimes the best hair accessory is the one that has many uses. A good example is a scarf. You can cut an old scarf to make a headband and tie into a bow. If you need more hair ideas, you can also watch hair tutorials for natural hair on the YouTube channel. Hair accessories are not the only way to dress up one’s hair. Wearing a range of different earrings, necklaces and bracelets can make your appearance look different than the day before, even if you wear the same hair style daily. Take a risk and try something new.  Express yourself!

Discovering True Beauty

As I am going through my natural hair journey, I have become more accepting of my hair. If you enjoy coloring or relaxing your hair, that doesn’t mean that you dislike your hair any less than someone who wears her hair naturally. However, it does help you feel comfortable with the hair that you were born with. Many cultures of women can easily find something she dislikes about her hair and admires about another. But it is a good lesson to look at yourself in the mirror and see your reflection as beautiful.

 

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