Going Natural? What You Need To Know
Natural hair has gotten a lot of hype in recent times and some people just can’t understand why everybody is all psyched about it. Let me just say it’s a common misconception that going natural is a new thing.
You see, natural hair has been a very significant part of our African heritage since time immemorial. I mean, there was no relaxer in existence all those time and our ancestors got their hair going fine and happy. But maybe not so happy sha (means: though), if you think of the stress involved in working the kinks in the hair.
If you’re thinking_ ‘common Nike, that’s far-fetched now’_ OK, let’s move a little closer to present times, I’m sure you definitely agree there are people whose religion prohibits them from get their hair relaxed right? And still they keep their hair well and even sometimes fashionably.
What am I driving at? Fear Not!!!
Source: Igbo Curls
Yes, the fear factor of ‘what will I look like’ or ‘can I handle it’ is one of the first things that come to mind when going natural. So, hey sister, let go of your fears.
And also don’t hold yourself back because you don’t want to be stereotyped as ‘team natural’… Lol. Personally, I too don’t like when people assume I started my natural hair journey just because many women are going into it.
There’s this belief that natural hair care only concerns the female flock, nuh uh! Why else do you think guys are raving about their beard gang movement too nowadays.
There are guys who keep afros too and it’s natural. They work hard to keep their hair in good condition too you know.
What is New About Natural Hair?
Since many of us had our hair relaxed early in life, I excluded, it’s a bit hard picturing what being natural will be like. And even though like I mentioned above, natural hair has been around for quite a while there is indeed a lot that has changed about.
Let’s start with the method of caring for it. If you can still remember, before you started using hair relaxer, it was probably very hard managing your natural hair. In my case, the ‘hair dressers’ usually feign having many customers in line waiting to make their hair whenever they spot I and my mum coming. Lol, yes, my hair broke quite a number of their combs. Mum had to start making my hair herself when you caught the hint.
But now I’m on my natural hair for about a year and few months, and managing it hasn’t been any easier. It’s all in the products you use really. And this is among the important things you really need to know to make your natural hair journey as easy as possible
What You Need To Know When Going Natural
OK, there are quite a number of things you need to know. It is usually important to look before leaping in everything we do. When I wanted to go natural, I had to exhaust so many data watching several videos on YouTube and whatnot.
Trust me it can be very frustrating, especially after you’ve watched the video up to about half of it and discover the lady making the video is not really hitting on the important topics. So let me make things a little easier for you. Below are some of the basic things you need to know to ease your natural hair journey;
How to Start. Big Chop or Transition? : Some people are very bold and they go all bald African Queen style when they want to start growing their natural tresses.
It’s a common ideology that you need to do the big chop when going natural. Yes, that’s true. But big chop doesn’t necessarily mean you have to go bald to start either.
You don’t have to do that if you’re not comfortable with it. You can go with the transitioning method which I will explain to you in one of our future posts.
But transitioning is simply growing out your natural hair before cutting off the relaxed ends.
Hair Texture: This is a getting-to-yourself kind of journey. You might not know the exact texture your natural hair will turn out to be.
Many of the pictures you’ve seen of natural hair might get your hopes up and crush them right back when your hair starts to grow.
So be patient with yourself and love yourself. The same way people are different, so also our hair types are different.
The good part though, is that hair types aren’t that many. So there’s something for everybody.
Moisture: This is another really important thing to know before going natural. All natural hair, especially the kinky ones, need moisture, lots of it.
I usually keep a leave-in conditioner handy to ensure my hair gets moisture when it needs it. For this I prescribe using Midas Naturals’ Kiwi Crème Leave-in Conditioner. This gives the best of all results.
This leave-in conditioner is made from natural extracts by an African woman who has gone through the natural hair process and helped others go through it easily.
It’s a very trust worthy product! And moisture my dears, is bae!!
Expect Shrinkage: When you start your hair journey and notice your hair shrinks and looks shorter/smaller than the actual length, you have nothing to worry about. It’s normal.
Every one experiences shrinkage when dealing with natural hair. At least almost all naturals have shrinkage to some extent.
You may have 50% shrinkage or even as much as 80%. I haven’t really bothered measuring the amount of shrinkage I have. I know the length is there. For some people even when they are at about 10 inches of hair, it looks like they have about 3 inches of hair when their hair is not stretched out.
So depending on your hair type, although you may have a good amount of hair, it may not really look like it!
However, if there are times where you want your hair to look more stretched you can use braid outs, twist outs, roller sets, banding, and African threading to extend your tresses. As your hair grows longer this will be less of a problem. [as advised by BlackNaps].
Tangle Mess? Fear Not: Just in case you don’t know, natural hair gets tangled a lot!! You might be worried about how to deal with that. But there are wonderful ways to work through that.
Adapt a hair wash schedule that involves detangling and deep-conditioning. Mostly I’ll just advice you to save more time by using Brazen Curls Avocado and Banana Detangling Co-wash. It wraps up your washing and conditioning in one.
This Detangling Co-wash is one of the best products made by Midas Naturals and they are Bellafricana Verified.
You might be wondering why I’m all about Midas Naturals. Trust me, their products are of very high quality. I don’t know about you, but I love quality stuff.
Plus Midas Naturals is very customer-centric. So tell me, who doesn’t like attention.
Your Scalp is Important Too: Many people care for their hair without really worrying about their scalp. After all it’s the hair that’s visible to everybody right?
This is so wrong! You can lose a very high percent of your hair due to bald scalp. In my books, bald scalp means bad hair.
The simplest way to care for the scalp is to use oils which also work perfectly for sealing in hair moisture.
I advice you use Baobab Oil for your scalp’s health. Baobab oil can be used to treat or prevent dandruff/dry scalp, eczema, psoriasis and rosacea.
It helps your skin (scalp included) and hair regeneration by improving skin elasticity and healing damaged hair.
Baobab oil also contains Vitamins A, D, and E to help with dry winter skin, hair and nails, and it is packed with Omega 3, 6, and 9.
One of the surest places to get good quality Baobab oil is from Aweni Organics. Aweni Organic is a Bellafricana Verified brand that produces quality hair care and skincare products, you can click on the link above to checkout their listing page or you can visit their website here (Aweni Organics).
If you’re not getting this whole Bellafricana Verified thing, you can find out what being Bellafricana verified is HERE.
Hair Growth & Shine: OK this part can be a little tricky. Don’t expect your hair to magically grow overnight to the length of all the other thriving naturalistas out there.
They’ve done their due, you need to do yours too. You have to employ explicit care for your hair and use the right kind of products.
Generally to improve the growth and shine of your natural hair, you want to apply as much coconut oil in it as possible.
The amazing part of this is the wonderful smell coconut oil has. There are some coconut oil that smell horrible *shudders*. I fell victim of using some in the past.
They start off smelling nice but after the first day you buy them, they start smelling really repulsive. They also make you hair stringy. Please beware.
But if you use really good hair products you might (MIGHT) not need deodorants anymore. They just make you smell so delicious. Take for instance the coconut oil produced by OrganicLife Plus. It’s so so amazing.
It feels perfect on the hair and you even feel like you’re wearing a royal crown walahi (exclamation in northern Nigerian)! You can get yours from Beautifully Nappy.
Lol, some of the people I hang out with usually say; “Nike you’re starting to smell like food o. You will just pass by and start making someone hungry like that.”
The truth is if you use all these amazing hair care products I’ve mentioned and some other really great ones too, you will always get the Queen feeling.
So you’ve got good hair and amazing smell just like that. *wink* Plus you’re Queening all the way.
Touch Less: Keep your hands off your hair!!!! Touching your hair every other minute will lead to hair breakage. It is not a very easy task to desist from touching your hair. Also, there’ll be many people who will want to touch your hair. Unfortunately this is not healthy for you.
Acceptance: Some people you know might not be very receptive or like the new way you want to keep your hair.
Some might think you’re going natural because you’re broke and can’t buy relaxer anymore (I got this a lot).
Expect things like this and more. You just have to embrace keeping your natural hair as a lifestyle. For instance say, as an eating regimen such as being vegan, being a vegetarian or going on a diet (e.g. juice cleanse) etc.
You will notice all of this is usually about promoting your wellbeing. So also is keeping your natural hair. It’s a way of promoting your well being, especially in the long run.
Overall you need to find the best products to use and you can always come to Bellafricana to learn about products of all categories that is of good quality for your use.
For all aspiring to go natural, I say, welcome on board. You will love it. For those not going natural I say keep up the healthy hair work too.
And for those wondering: since keeping a natural hair requires such amount of work Why Should I Go Natural?
Watch out for my next post and we will take a look at that.
For more trusted quality hair care and skincare products, checkout these really awesome stores:
Mint Organic Care
Buy Quality From Inner Beautee | Call: +234 8078770777 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any question? Kindly post them in the comment box below.
Thanks for reading, I wish you all a terrific hair day.