Going natural has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Despite not being a fan of relaxers or four-hour hair appointments, I have always liked the versatility of my hair. While I have been relaxer-free for over a decade, I made the decision of fully grasping the natural hair journey on my thirtieth birthday last year. Growing your natural hair takes time, money, and patience. Did I say patience already? Yes, plenty of that. If you are considering going natural but do not know where to start, here are a few general tips:
Stop frying your hair, literally. Think about it, you place oil in a pan and turn on the stove, anything you place on that pan will cook up. Same thing with your hair, applying heat to your hair will cook it up, creating damage in the long run. No blow dry, no flat iron. If you choose to diffuse, make sure you use a cooler air setting.
Practice makes perfect and trying new things is what will allow you to learn what works for your hair. I just learned to diffuse my hair last year, before then I had no idea what a diffuser was for (go ahead and judge). I had also never done twist outs until last year and I have learned that twist outs are not that effective on my hair, and that diffusing can be a hit or miss depending on how patient I’m being that day. I’ve learned to condition my hair and to do it often. Keep in mind that what works for me, might not work for you, trial and error is the best technique.
Having healthy natural hair is an investment, so spend the $$ to get the look you desire. OK now, when I mean having healthy hair is an investment, I mean it. I’m a low-budget type of gal, actually I have no problem admitting that I am cheap-o. When it comes to my hair, I have made necessary budgetary adjustments because I love the results I get from buying certain products. I try to buy products that are made specifically for curly natural hair, with as minimal chemicals as possible and these are not cheap. If you are not sure where to shop for natural hair products, start at your local beauty supply store, their natural/textured hair products aisle should have plenty of variety! Consider investing on a curly hair stylist too, your rizos* will thank you.
Embrace the joy and growing pains of watching your natural hair bloom. Some days you’ll love your hair, some days you will hate it. Embrace the frizz, embrace the shrinkage, embrace your texture, it is your hair. I lived my childhood and teenager years hiding my hair in terrible clinejas* and moños*, now I barely ever keep my hair up. I wear my curls wild and proud! There will be times where you might want to give up and resort to using the blow dryer, but don’t do it! I have been heat free for thirteen months now and I love it.
I have learned a lot while being on this journey to grow my hair as long as possible without the use of heat, chemicals or colors. What are some basic tips you can share for those ready to start their natural hair journey?
*clinejas: pig tails
*moños: hair buns