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Well you have thought about it for a long time and in fact done nothing else for at least a year maybe. You’ve dropped the usual hints to family and friends, work colleagues… and then you finally do it – you’ve big chopped! Wow!
You could hear a pin drop as you arrived at your mom, or went to work – the look on people’s faces some surprised, some perplexed and some with looks of disgust and why? And then there are the natural Nazis who greet you with a huge big hug!!! And you’re relieved – at last somebody likes you!
You attempt to give a detailed explanation on why you’ve chopped off your lovely long relaxed hair and explain why you’ve ditched the creamy crack! Even so the look of disbelief is evident on their faces. Mom nods her head; sisters give you the ‘sorry look’. Men though have a better reaction – even so – You feel you just can win – but you can!
Stand strong – it will get better those who oppose you now –very soon will be giving you secret glances of admiration and favour. They will be amazed on how quickly it grows (especially in the first two years!), the curl, the texture the uniqueness of it all. They will soon be amazed on how beautiful natural hair can be … my mother was amazed and couldn’t believe that as a child when she put my hair in four plaits – that she was seeing beautiful rich natural hair again! Yours will be too! Not only her but colleagues at work, the rest of your family and total strangers in the street! I can’t get over how many times I have been stopped by folks in the street – just to say – hey “I love your hair”, “please give me some of your hair – mine won’t grow’ ‘I love your hair bun’ I just love your hair.” And men “hey – that’s great no chemicals!” I’ve even been followed around in the supermarket – It’s all good!
As the movement gathers around the globe on this natural hair – even TV has recognized it and is already putting ads with natural haired ladies! The very friends and family who put you down – will unashamedly join you – get ready to be shocked!
And you know what, even if they never appreciate it – it’s your hair – you can do what you what with your own hair, enjoy it – it’s beautiful! Isn’t it?
So after weeks and weeks and months of deliberation, you finally took the plunge! You’re going to go natural yeh!!. That long relaxed hair is going to be pruned it’s going to get trimmed and trimmed until it’s about 3 inches long and then you’re going to go for it! Yep – it’s done – you’re natural! You peer at your natural strands they are about 3inc long maybe more… you zoom in on your texture – its smooth, its straight its curly perhaps tightly coiled, oooh its soft, its fluffy – it’s your hair and your excited – this is gonna be good! You can’t wait to see what the next few weeks and months is going to bring you as you excitedly examine your new natural hair probably for the first time in years!
Six months down the line and you’ve got yourself an afro, you’re got puffs, and you’ve got braid outs and you’ve got twists…. The momentum of hair products is now filing your bathroom cabinets and bedroom! Plus other places you care not to mention right now! Like the rest of us you are fast becoming a product junkie you grab the latest hair product that you read would help grow your hair make it silkier, softer, longer, smoother, elongate or stop those curls from shrinking into a tight ball ! whew!
For some this is a trying time a mixture of feelings after two to three years when perhaps expected growth did not materialize, you’re worried – its breaking and you’re not quite sure how you will handle this, well don’t despair – help is at hand…
I’ve learnt going natural takes patience – lots of it! You have to put the work in and that includes time, clever time management.
To be happy natural my list includes:
Wash and condition every week, set aside a time to do this.
Steam the hair every 10 days to infuse moisture into the hair, this provides stimulus to the hair follicles and improves growth if done regularly, regular steaming also helps with dandruff and itching..
Plait or twist the hair every night, no excuses!
Moisturise every day and add your favourite oil, don’t forget the evenings…
Cover your head for bed with a silk scarf and silk pillowcases will further stop friction to those tresses.
Do what makes your hair happy – just because someone swears by olive oil doesn’t mean your hair is gonna like it!. Listen to your hair – be happy to be natural!
Be sure to take vitamin/mineral pill everyday and include biotin
Every sixth or seven weeks do something different – if you have had your hair out – now keep it in a protective style like twists or braids, buns or a wig! For four weeks at time. Give your hair a complete rest. Then start again!
Yeh that’s right! I love crochet braids – so will you!
Here are my reasons why:-
First of all buy your Kanekalon KK jumbo this is an easy to braid synthetic hair –which is the best hair ever – it really feels good and behaves like real hair that is blown out!
The hair itself is very cheap and very economical. Best of all – you can do it yourself.
You cornrow your own hair then start crocheting. Using a crochet hook, pick out a few strands of kanekalon hair, thread it through a space on your scalp through a section of the cornrow and knot twice – there, your done – move on to the next section!. (You will need a crochet hook, look for examples on utube but you can see my utube pics here The whole process should take you about 2 – 3 hours! After which you’re free to trim, cut and style or straighten the hair out even more should you please..
If you choose to go to a salon – like I did the second time around, be careful because they tend to cornrow in too many rows – and you could end up with extremely thick hair! In the end I had to get a pair of hair thinning scissors to reduce the bulk! Just do it yourself at home it’s far less stressful, or enlist a friend to help! Anyway when it’s done, cut it to your desired length. Results are beautiful bouncing synthetic tresses, that can be straightened with an hairdryer or curled or just left to hang – whatever you choose it will look very natural! Crochet braids are totally protective, you’ve cornrowed your own hair yourself so it’s not tight! Believe me that’s a bonus! You’ve had minimal outlay so you’re not out-of-pocket especially if you’re a student or on a low-budget!
Some people may prefer to leave some hair out – this is your choice. It makes for no detection at all. My hair hates being left out – it responds by breaking off – it loves company! It’s no problem to wash this hair and don’t forget to moisturize as usual!
When removing the braids which is very easy, don’t forget to comb out gently each section of hair and do a thorough detangling with your fingers, then comb and wash very gently, being careful to not tangle the hair as you massage your scalp. This hair usually keeps for a very long time and whilst there is some shedding it’s nothing major. Six weeks is usually the norm but you can go for longer if you please.
Results: longer hair in a very short space of time! Happy growing! What’s your favorite protective style – and why?
First stop relaxing your hair! Take the time to educate yourself about natural hair and the products. When going from relaxed to natural – decide if you want to do the big chop or grow it out. It will take guts to use this path or just rock your natural hair along with the relaxed ends until it grows out to a sufficient length of your choice, just remember to trim as you go. Then when it gets to a length you are happy with probably 5 or 6 inches do the cut yourself or get a barber to do it for you!
I have to warn you though depending on your texture (I myself wasn’t warned about this neither did I observe it anywhere) but if you are 2 to 3a/b/c working with these textures and moisturizing your natural hair should be breeze. There should be no breakage. However if like me your natural hair texture falls within 4b/c it can be a little more challenging to manage You will need to do clever moisturizing morning day and night to ensure there are no breakages at either side of your head.
Some people might prefer a trendy look while they transition – so opting for a salon for a gentle blow out and flat iron might be more to ones taste and be less stressful to you, but be choosy about the hairstylist you choose – any rough handling could loose you precious tresses!! I personally transitioned for one year. Had I been aware of my hair texture I may have done the big chop earlier on if only to reduce the trauma involved in caring for two types of hair on my head! if you can – wait for as long as possible – if anything you will avoid the TWA unless of course you wanted that!
Your hair will look weird though, with the two textures – just find an hairstyle that works like pin curls, braids and braid outs..