Whether you’re transitioning, post-big chop, or years into your natural journey you will undoubtedly find yourself constantly learning about your hair as it evolves. Since being natural has become a “thing” there are countless products being released directly geared towards the natural, black community. I’ve been natural for awhile now so I wanted to share some things I’ve learned through this process to hopefully save you guys some stress, frizz and split ends!
Don’t get too wrapped up in what hair type you have. If you lined four women up who all have 4b hair, they will each require different products in order to keep their curls slaying all day! The truth is we are all individuals, from the coils in our hair to our toe prints. So while it is good information to have, it doesn’t make or break your natural journey.
Don’t compare your curls to someone of a different hair type (or period!!) If you have 4c curls, they’re not going to look like 3a curls no matter what product you put in them and that’s a BEAUTIFUL thing! I know that IG and YouTube are flooded with natural hair bloggers that have curls similar to mine but please know that kinky hair is absolutely beautiful. Rock what you got girl!
Don’t fall for the hype. Like I said, there are TONS of products coming out for natural, African-American women. So while there are more options for us, there is a whole new market for advertisers to exploit us. Not too get too preachy but be conscious of the brands you choose to support. Make sure they’re cruelty-free, high quality, and promote a message you can get behind. AND, expensive is not always better so don’t fall into that trap either!
Save money on your natural journey by subbing natural items for your hair products. Example, aloe vera is awesome for moisturizing our curls (and countless other things!) so if you wanted, you could easily replace your favorite moisturizing spray, pre-poo oil, or conditioner with natural aloe! I buy the big single leaves from Walmart or Kroger in the produce section for under $2!
Avoid sulfate at all cost, okay not really, but with anything coming in contact with your hair for sure. Sulfate can be found in the same soap you’re washing your 3 day old dishes with so keep that in mind when you brush off the sulfate hating frenzy that’s been so real in the natural community. It strips ALL the good oils out of your hair and we kinda need those to have our hair poppin’, just saying. So take the time to read your labels folks!
LEARN from other natural queens! No matter what hair type you have, there IS someone that has a similar hair pattern as you that’s more well informed on how to care for your hair properly. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, read blog posts, and stalk your hair crush on IG! This is the perfect time to meet other people who can understand the spiritual, emotional, and physical journey that is going natural. *Helloooo networking for all my natural blogging babes!*
Avoid using heat on your hair consistently. Curls and heat mix like oil and water, literally. Your head isn’t big enough for healthy, poppin’ curls AND constant heat being applied. I’m not saying using heat automatically makes your hair “damaged”, but if you’re in the process of trying to get healthy hair, the heat isn’t helping. If you have healthy hair already, I would still limit the amount of heat you’re putting on your hair. Remain diligent about using the correct products to combat heat damage. Bottom line, cut back on how much heat you apply to your hair and your split ends will thank you!
Pre-poo’ing sounds like something you would be cautious about doing but don’t be scared by the name! Basically it’s just conditioning your hair before shampooing it. This small step helps with moisture, definition, frizz, and preserves the natural oils in your beautiful hair! Because although shampooing is necessary, it can damage hair if it’s not protected! There are a ton of simple DIY recipes for a solid pre-poo mixture, essentially, a simple oil based mixture will suffice! If you don’t have any of the recommended oils (coconut, jojoba, avocado, almond, etc..) around the house, you can use aloe, banana, or even the conditioner you normally use! Once you’ve made your mixture, apply it to your hair for at least 20 minutes or overnight, depending on your hair’s needs. Don’t overthink it, just do it!
Trim your ends when necessary, I know you hate it, but it’s a necessary evil in order to maintain healthy hair. You don’t have to trim your hair excessively in order to keep them healthy but you should get at least 2 trims a year in order to continue healthy hair growth!
Be patient. Going natural is a p r o c e s s and must be treated as such! If you expect to know everything about your curls just because you did a big chop, you’re going to be disappointed immensely. ENJOY the journey, the learning, the highs and lows that come with going/being natural. Don’t be afraid to replace things that aren’t working and stay true to things that are!
Ultimately, rock what you got and be damn proud of it!
With Love + Coconut Oil,