I spent the weekend with one of my friends who is newly natural. It was kinda of nostalgic listening to her ask questions about every product under the sun. I remember how clueless I used to be when I first went natural. And I remember all the mistakes I made - but each mistake led me to learning more about my hair.
i thought it'd be fun to discuss the 3 phases of being natural. Hopefully our newly natural readers can have soe faith on this journey. Believe me it will be exciting.
PHASE 1: THE BIG CHOP, BIG REVEAL/FIRST TIME USER
For many of you, the Big Chop will usher you into this Natural Hair world. Whether you transitioned (grew you hair to a desirable length without adding chemical straighteners) or just took the razor to your scalp - you are here! I'm also including the BIG REVEAL/FIRST TIME USERS as some ladies have been natural for YEARS, but covered it up by wearing weaves or braids. Nevertheless, this is the first time you've had to take care of your hair and you may be clueless.
- Your family thinks your crazy for cutting off "all that pretty hair".
- You've chosen a natural hair maven to copy and she's you new hair idol.
- You and You-Tube have become best friends finding techniques that may work for you
- Oh SNAP, you became a product junky! Curl-definers, moisturizers, shine enhancers, you have them ALL!
- Oh yeah, everything needs to be natural - no parabans or sulfates, or heat, not here!
- Every natural hair girl you see you ask her about her regimine, making mental notes to try that process.
- Some days you love your hair, some days you hate it, and some days you are TWO STEPS away from going back to the creamy crack! LOL!
- You spend your lunch-break reading natural hair blogs like Natural in Nashville.
PHASE 2: Two Years Natural, thinking about making this a life decision
By second year of your Natural Hair journey you've got the hang of some things, but you still have questions. By now you've got a bit of length and you are trying new styles. You may even have a go-to look that you know is guaranteed to look cute and get compliments.
- You've visited a natural hair salon and she cut your precious strands too much claiming you needed a trim. You were MAD!
- You may have tried color or henna to enhance your style
- You've figured out that sometimes 'un-natural' products help.
- You've mixed some products in your kitchen, DIY is your deal!
- Your friends come to you for natural hair advice
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil is your best friend - it's in that spray bottle, in you kitchen, and even mixed in you fave shampoo.
- You don't mind giving away products to friends. Didn't work for you, might work for her.
- You have your 'go-to' blogs, you-tubers, and products.
- You still have bad hair days, but nothing that an elastic head-band can't fix.
- You think about LOC'ing your hair - you experiment with braids and extensions.
- Sometime, you still have hair envy - your curls just don't pop the way you want all the time.
I'm not saying that it will take you three years to get comfortable being natural, I'm saying by year three, I guarantee you'll be comfortable. By year three (and beyond) you've found the length that works for you and the products too. No longer the product junky you once were, you've become the guru for family and friends - you may even start a blog or a You-Tube channel.
- Some of you friends or co-workers can't remember you with relaxed hair.
- You've had your hair heat straightened and you weren't scared about it.
- Sometimes you are a know-it-all about your texture
- You are thinking about Re-Chopping your hair.
- You are no longer attached to the elastic headband, although, you know exactly where to find one.
- You wince at the sight of a lady with broken relaxed hair
- #TeamNatural #NaturalNazi - you don't care as long as you hair looks good.
- Your hair has converted strangers to start the journey
- A good trim, you know who can do it and when it's necessary.
- You family is finally happy with the way your hair looks.
Readers, where are you in your natural journey? What have you experienced?