In theory the decision to return to natural is a simple one. But many fail as they weren’t mentally prepared for the journey. This blog contains the key tips I used to stay on my loose natural hair and then my sisterlock/loc journey.
TIP 1 – Find a support network
Having a collection of supportive people that can offer advice, inspire, inform and console you are vital to a successful hair journey.
When I decided to set my natural hair free I joined the online community at www.nappturality.com, where I found a groups of woman who gave me much needed support. At the time there weren’t any naturals in my circle. This group of women gave me a real confidence boost when my twist outs failed, when I managed to make a gel/cream paste concoction which turned to flaky cement while I was at work.
Joining a private(ish) forum meant I could learn and growth with like minded individuals who would happily speak for hours about natural hair. This brings me onto my next point…
TIP 2 – Don’t be a hair bore.
Yes, natural hair is fabulous. Yes, natural hair is versatile. Yes, the chemicals in relaxers can cause major problems, but you know what. Everyone on Facebook, Twitter, in your local supermarket and at dinner do not want to hear about it.
The beginning of your natural hair journey is full of discovery and you will find amazing articles/videos that really excite you. But please do not start handing out tidbit of natural hair knowledge unless asked. I know it’s hard as you are so excited, but realise this. You are not the first person to return to natural. This information existed before you discovered it. Those that you feel you need to educate about their hair, don’t want or need your advice. They have the right to do whatever they choose to with their hair the same way you do with yours. If anyone has a natural hair question, they will ask you please don’t preach at them.
Don’t bore people with hair chat. Share what you find with your natural hair network who will appreciate and happily discuss the information you have found.
TIP 3 – Everyone will not like your natural hair and some will try to discourage you
At each stage of my natural hair journey there have been people that have advised against each thing I’ve wanted to do with my hair. Some people were blatantly rude with comments such as “it won’t suit you”, “you will never get a good job with hair like that”. There were also people that were very subtle and will give you a back handed compliment such as “your curly hair is nice, but I loved your hair when it was straight”.
Mentally prepare yourself for this and remember why you choice to return to natural. I remember the first day I went to work after having sisterlocks installed. I was a bit nervous as my hair was spacey with scalp exposed in many places. One “helpful” colleague walked up to me, stared at my new look and said she preferred my old hair. I responded by letting her know that I preferred my hair like this way and my opinion was the only one that mattered. She didn’t need to know that what she said stayed with me for a while and made me a little more paranoid when I ventured out the following day. This is the point when I turned to my support network as mentioned in the first tip, a support network is very very very important.
Tip 4 – Follow those with hair like you
This does not mean follow the most popular natural hair celebrities but people with hair like yours. Nothing makes a new natural feel more disheartened than trying to achieve a look/style that just isn’t designed for your hair. Your hair is unique and will do its own thing. Tips form those with hair like yourself are more likely to work compared to a wash and go tutorial by a loose curly natural if your hair isn’t loose and curly.
Tip 5 – Love your hair as it is right now, not what you want it to be
Loving your hair as it is right now without constantly wishing it was longer/thicker/curlier/fully loc’d will mean you get more from your journey. My picture at the top of this post shows that hair grows and when cared for by the right people it will flourish. The structure of our hair will not change without chemical intervention. There is not cream, gel or spritz that will change you hair, so why waste energy trying to make it conform?
Enjoying your journey will mean you will be patient with your hair, let it do what comes naturally to it and will spend less time frustrated. If you struggle with this, reach out and someone will help.
I hope this post is helps someone at the beginning of their journey or something that is struggling. Please share any tips or comments you have below as anyone that reads this is searching for help and support.
Thanks for taking the time to visit my blog, this post was longer than planned.