I cut my hair in December, 2013. I did it for mainly two reasons: I had wanted to cut my hair for the longest time so I could stop dealing with the stress of coping with two hair textures (soft and coarse) at the same time. Then there was also the fact that my mother had traveled and was no longer around to stop me from cutting the hair.
As if that was not enough, I went a step further and dyed my hair brown, much to the shock of everyone around me. Well, now that I think about it, maybe it was not so much shock as it was exasperation. After all, they already thought I was ‘crazy’ and unpredictable so, their response was more likely a ‘this girl has come again’ resignation.
The irony of it was, I was just as unsure as they were concerning my plans for the short hair. Although I cannot deny enjoying the freedom of having water on my head during every shower. Still, I could not say clearly if I would keep the low cut or re-grow it. It took a few more months of uncertainty before I decided I wanted to grow it out and keep it natural. And by the time I made this decision, I had made too many rookie mistakes that led to poor growth and unhealthy hair.
The journey for natural hair newbies seems easier these days, especially with tons of YouTube videos available, but I will add to all that by sharing my own personal experience of things I wish people had told me before I made the journey. So, if you are about to go natural or merely playing with the idea, here a few things you should prepare to do.
Be Flexible With Hair Styles
You will try to style your hair a certain way and end up with something totally different. If you are lucky, it will be an interesting new style to rock. The rest of the time, you will have to think of something else on the spot, ending up with a head wrap or a wig. Flexibility and a sense of humour are necessary for your sanity as a naturalista.
Be Health Conscious
Except you think ‘it is just hair’, (and sometimes, it is just hair) you will probably want a nice looking head of hair. After all, part of the point of going natural should be to grow healthier hair. And even if you are blessed with genetically luscious hair, you will still need to take care of your overall health in order to reach your hair goals. This would involve a healthy diet and an exercise routine in addition to your hair regimen.
Be Firm About Your Hair Decision
You need to be sure that you want to go natural. This certainty will help you firmly withstand the barrage of negative comments and opinions from a lot of people around you. It could be from colleagues and acquaintances, to family and friends. Also, learn to resist the pressure from yourself and others to give up on your goals and go back to being relaxed.
With everything from protective styling to deep conditioning, you will have to get really creative. Sometimes, you will run out of products and have to improvise with ingredients from your kitchen, or potions on your dressing table. Be ready to think on your feet.
A proper hair care regimen takes time and devotion. Think about procedures such as wash day, deep conditioning, detangling and styling. You will also have to hang in there on bad hair days, when you make mistakes (and you will make your fair share), and when you are just tired of your hair having a mind of its own.
You need to focus on the health of your hair, and be happy with the texture and growth pattern nature gave you. Comparing yourself with other people is pointless.
However, I want to say that it is really not that overwhelming. As long as you are mentally prepared to learn and spend time taking care of your hair, you should be good to go. Don’t forget to share any advise you may have or any products or approach you have for your hair care regimen. Love to read from you, always.