Lets Start From The Beginning, Shall We?

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Going natural.

A term I never really understood until I was 19.

Growing up I had done nearly every hairstyle in the book: s-curl, my hair stayed relaxed, braids (in order to get my hair to grow but it just caused damage), shaved sides and undercuts ( because of damage). You name it, I’ve done it.

There was a time I did the big chop in order to get rid of my side shave/undercut. My hair started growing out and I did nothing to it, I just let it grow. When I was at church, my mother’s friend asked me: “are you going natural?” and I answered “yes I am.” not fully grasping what the term really meant because a couple of months later I relaxed my hair for braids. Its crazy how we are socialized to think that certain hairstyles can only be achieved if your hair is relaxed.

Majority of my matric year my hair was just damaged, lifeless, I had a patch at the back, everything was just wrong! Later in the year I decided to do the big chop and never use relaxer again and I did this days before my matric dance.

My hair started growing out and I remember I started asking myself questions like “what now?” That is when I remembered my mother’s friend and the word natural she had used to describe my hair when it was at the same point all those years ago and it was at that point everything came into place. That is when I started researching what it means to be natural and that marked the beginning of my natural hair journey.

Being natural is a process of trial and error.

We all have different hair types and curl patterns so what works for one person may not work for your hair. You’ll spend a lot of time finding the best oil for your hair as well as a regimen that works for your hair. You will make mistakes along the way and THAT IS OKAY! It is also a process of unlearning and relearning.

Find out what your hair type is:

Hair types are separated into categories ranging from 1a – 4c. I myself have a combination of 4b and 4c hair. Some people may have more than one texture in their crown so don’t feel pressured to put your hair in a box if you notice more than one texture. Knowing your hair type will also help in choosing the right oils for your hair.

Hair porosity:

This is another way of getting to know your hair in order to best take care of it. Hair porosity refers to how well your hair is able to absorb and hold moisture (moisture is very important when natural). Its divided into high porosity, medium porosity and low porosity (I’ll explain the differences between each in another post – so look out).

Hair regimen:   

Its important to have a hair regimen in order to help your hair grow and its also a good way to see what works best for your hair. Hair regimens vary from person to person. Mine goes as follows:

  • pre shampoo
  • shampoo
  • deep condition
  • protective style

OR

  • pre shampoo
  • shampoo
  • deep condition
  • treatment
  • protective style

As I said having natural hair is all about trial and error. When your hair is happy, it will let you know. Trust.

Going natural is a beautiful, fulfilling and important journey. Don’t be afraid to embrace it.

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Big Chop: September 2013
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June 2016
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