Have you already joined the natural hair movement?
I definitely have! It’s no longer just a fad or something fashionable to do; it’s a way of life. Think about it – people are shifting to organic, avoiding harsh chemicals and preservatives in food, beauty and hair products.
While the natural hair community will welcome you with open arms, we haven’t been too quick to thoroughly equip you before crossing over. I speak from my experience as a new natural back in 2015. I was a doe-eyed deer in headlights. I had watched many tutorials and read through blogs and forums but I still wasn’t prepared enough. There were some crucial things that no one ever talked about.
If you have read the blog long enough, then you know that I have never used a relaxer. However, I had decades (two to be precise) of heat damage. My hair was bone straight even after I washed it. It never shrunk. In short, I might as well have had relaxed hair. In 2015, I started transitioning to natural hair by eliminating heat and gradually cutting off the heat-trained ends.
Throughout the process, I kept wishing someone had warned me about what lay ahead. There are things I wish I knew before going natural and would like to share them for beginners and novices who might be stuck in a rut.
1.You Might Have to Moonlight as a Bank Robber
Okay, maybe you don’t need to rob a bank. The alternative, however, is to have a trust fund! 😀
Seriously, hair products can be really expensive. This is especially true in Kenya. Most of the products that are good for your hair (carefully selected ingredients) are north of KShs. 500/ $5. Those that are cheaper are likely smaller in quantity. While that might seem beneficial in the short term, it is actually more expensive in the long term. In addition to the price, you tend to wash your hair about two to four times within a month. You need a couple of basic products which will run out the more you wash, moisturize or style your hair.
On the other hand, you don’t have to break your bank if you refuse to be a product junkie. If you are going natural, hair products aren’t the solution to all your woes. You can still have healthy hair with a minimum number of products. Pick what works for you and save your coins sis!
2.Natural Hair is Time Consuming
If you are transitioning to natural hair and would like to know how to style natural black hair at home, you have your work cut out for you. Washing your hair takes about half an hour or more if you haven’t settled on a routine; consider that it is advisable to pre-poo before wash day; add in some deep conditioning time, rinsing and styling using one of the natural hair tutorials.
We can agree that natural hair is relatively more time-consuming than relaxed hair…unless you’re always in braids. On the flip side, you don’t need to do the most every time you have to wash, moisturize or style your hair. Spread out the process and you could squeeze in some productive activities in between. For example, you can throw on a turban as you pre-poo or deep condition and go grocery shopping or for a meeting.
3.Natural Hair Tutorials WILL Backfire
This is my favourite one because of how utterly disappointed I was the first time it happened.
You always think that your hair will be amazing just because you follow every step of those YouTube natural hair tutorials. The truth is that it doesn’t have to. Hair differs in texture, porosity, thickness and many other factors. A product or tool that works well for someone might backfire horribly for you. So before you look at natural hairstyles photos and get your hopes up, pace yourself. Learn to try out the tutorials and tweak them often until you can find what works best for you.
The Learning Curve
There are many more things I wish I knew before going natural. The good thing is that I have learnt how to work around these challenges. You can check out this video where I shared a bit more.
AS LONG AS YOU ARE NOT A BEGINNER, I’M SURE YOU HAVE SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU KNEW BEFORE YOU JOINED THE NATURAL HAIR MOVEMENT AND STARTED ON YOUR JOURNEY. WHAT IS IT? HOW HAVE YOU WORKED AROUND IT? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS SECTION BELOW. 🙂