I know, it’s no longer news that one out of every 5 ladies you know is thinking of going natural. Even the guys are not left out of the trend as they now know that coconut oil and the legendary ‘Anointing Oil’ (Olive oil) is the next big thing in the hair industry. The other day I was going through my twitter feed and a conversation between two tweeps got my attention. One of the guys was thanking God that natural hair has come to stay because ladies are no longer interested in Brazilian hair so their money can be saved. Another replied him saying that He better start thinking of investing it into the coconut oil business because that is one of the quickest ways to make money now in Nigeria.This is how hot the natural hair trend is.
Today I want to share my little experience as a naturalista and I hope you find this informative. I love being natural. Even though my hair is barely 1 year, I have learnt a lot about my hair and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. While I’m still mastering the art of taming my mane, I must admit that the road to achieving a bouncy, moisturized, curly hair is not easy at all. Although reading other people’s experiences via blogs helped a bit but there were still a decent amount of things I didn’t understand until I embarked on the journey myself.
So, in the hopes of making your natural journey a little less tangled, here are a few tips and tricks I wish someone had told me:
1. YouTube is your New TV
I am sure some of the naturalistas can attest to this, from twist-outs and flex-rod sets, to wash and go’s and, if you’re ever in need of a hair step-by-step or a little styling inspiration, YouTube will quickly become your go to. During my transition, I was yearning for knowledge so I became exposed to a lot of bloggers, experts and hair celebrities. I advise that you to watch a lot of bloggers who have More than just 2-minute how-tos videos to make your journey a smooth one. This virtual, natural community will keep you inspired, up-to-date on the latest trends and occupied for at least an hour. Don’t however get disappointed if your result doesn’t come out as nice as theirs. Those people are just gurus and I don’t how they manage to keep up.
2. Common Food Ingredients Will Become Hair Products
When I started my natural hair journey, my mum and sister were literally tired of me. I spend my time trying everything I have read on the various blogs I followed. From olive oil and mayonnaise to avocado and egg whites, you’d be surprised just how many hair nutrients and moisturizers can be found right in your kitchen cabinet. My transitioning stage gave me the opportunity to try different things and know what was good for my hair and what wasn’t good. This is my small conclusion on using homemade ingredients for your hair; anything that is healthy and safe for you to put into your mouth is also good for your hair.
3. Wash and Go’s Aren’t Really Wash and Go’s
When I made the decision to go natural I had this vision of life made easy with my hair. I envisaged that I would wake up, hop in the shower, scrub down my hair and be on my merry way. Once my hair started growing, I realized it was a different ball game entirely. Here’s what a wash and go consists of for me: Wash, condition, detangle, moisturize, twist, wait a few hours, untwist, diffuse, moisturize and go. All in all, it’s about a four to five-hour process if you factor in air-drying time. There are times where in this midst of this process my mum is irritated and telling me to quit this natural hair thing because she can’t see reasons into why I should go through this long process just for my hair.
4. You’ll Approach Strangers for Hair Tips
Okay, I have not done this, but a lot of people have approached me about how I take care of my hair anytime my protective style is down. I walked into a bank to do some transactions and the next thing I know is that a stranger is trying to strike up a conversation, inquiring on my products of choice and hair care routine. Now there’s nothing wrong with asking another naturalista about hair maintenance but be careful to never open the conversation with the always brazen, “Can I touch your hair?”
5. You Hair Will NEVER Look Like the YouTube Video
So you’ve bookmarked the video, bought the recommended products and dedicated the latter part of your evening to an intimate one-on-one with your hair. Two hours later, you realise the end result is nothing close to the girl in the video. This has happened to me a lot of times and my sister keeps wondering why I have to bug my head about a particular style. Here is what I learnt from my experience;
• Lesson No. 1 — no two naturals are the same. What works for one person might have a different endgame for you. But instead of becoming intimated, frustrated or throwing your hair in the go-to bun, take it as an experiment gone wrong and embrace the chance to better learn your hair type and figure out what works for you.
6. Shrinkage and Frizz are your Best Friends
When going natural be prepared for major shrinkage and frizz at any given moment, particularly the day of or after a wash. For the records, my hair can shrink for Africa and my mum as usual thwart me with words saying “after all the stress and products we still cannot see the growth”. The day her words changed was the day she saw me stretching my hair and she was marveled. Some good solutions to combating frizz and shrinkage is to find a good moisturizer and keep it close, try a blow-out/twist-out, and only undo your twists when your hair is completely dry
7. Going Natural is The Best Decision
No matter the hair type, length or definition of curl, there’s something about wearing your locks wild, natural and free, and having unlimited hair options that are totally awesome. So despite the kinks, literal and figurative, embrace your mane and do what works for you.
I hope I didn’t bore you to death with this post. Let me know what you think?
***Hugs and Kisses***