So you decided to take the plunge and grow your hair natural. As daunting as it may seem, try to enjoy the process. Read on to see a few tips.
The line of demarcation
The demarcation line is the point where your new growth (natural hair) and relaxed hair meet. It is very common for hair to break due to that reason and many women choose to do the big chop early on in their transition for that reason. It is not very easy looking after effectively two hair textures. However, with gentle care there is no reason why you cannot have a transition period which suits you. There is no rule which applies to everyone beyond being healthy and growing healthy locks.
Style: Whether it is twists, braids, extensions or weaves, you do can transition to natural hair if cutting your hair and wearing it short does not appeal to you. The one thing to remember during your period of transition is to maintain the health of your hair and scalp.
If you choose to do styles such as twists and braids without extensions you will be able to wash/condition and moisturise your hair more often. However, this may be a daunting prospect for some.
Weave or extensions might you suit you best. I know that washing your hair when it is tucked away is not always easy. However, you may maintain your scalp with moisturiser but light scalp oil concoctions.
Dry hair is the main enemy of both relaxed and natural hair. However, slathering on cheap petroleum and mineral oil filled ‘moisturisers’ cause more harm than good. They clog your pores and attract lint and dirt. Natural oils are the best scalp and hair moisturiser and coconut, avocado and jojoba are a great start.
Steps- Maintaining the health of your hair
Important- I remember that when I embarked on this journey, I was very nervous and uncertain. Unsure whether I would suit natural hair (looking back I cannot believe that I was afraid of the hair growing out of my very own scalp). For the first three months, I played around with shampoos and attempted different styles with twists, braids and plats. One thing I would say however that is that during those months, I cared very little about length. I just wanted healthy hair which to me meant thick and shiny hair. To that end, I devoted many hours trying new products and ways of washing my hair and trolling the internet for knowledge. Places like curlynikki and blackgirllonghair were priceless as was kimmaytube.
Everyone’s hair differs and if health as opposed to length is your goal, you will instinctively know when you find what works best for you.
Give yourself a nice head massage- Even when I had natural, I tried to spend some time during the week looking after myself, with a head massage and anti-cellulite treatments. With our busy schedules, we sometimes forget to pamper ourselves. In a way, the early months of transitioning may seem daunting in terms of time spend trying to make your hair behave. I suggest you enjoy the process of finding out what best suits your hair. Make the world all about you.
Shampoo/ Conditioner- Early on during my transition period, I decided to use products that are as natural as possible and have as little silicon as possible. Earlier shampoos included Aveda and conditioner, Giovanni (the latter is to date still my favourite leave in).
Night care- It would be worth investing in a silk scarf or a silk pillowcase. The latter is better if you don’t like the turban look in front of the other half. I ‘pineapple’ my hair as advised my curlynikki and occasionally make 4 loose twists, pin them et voila!
As a parting point, enjoy your hair. Whether you decide to keep your hair relaxed or you make the transition, enjoy it and take care of yourself.