I’m always getting questions about my afro textured hair; from what hair dye I use to what products I recommend. But there’s one question I get more than any other: Have I always been natural?
Well, here’s the thing: Natural is such a broad descriptor. Have I ever regularly used chemical straightener/relaxer in my hair? No. Did I straighten my hair on a regular basis in the past? Yes. Now, depending on who you ask, some might say I’ve always been natural and some might say that I’ve only been natural after I stopped straightening my hair. But there’s one thing that we can all agree on: Relaxing your hair is the antithesis of being natural. So when women who have had their hair relaxed for years go natural, that means they’ve stopped using chemicals to straighten their hair and have started embracing their natural curls.
So are you considering letting your hair do its thing and going natural? Here are 10 things you should absolutely consider before putting down the hot comb and throwing out that relaxer.
Remember: Every Natural Has Different Hair TexturesMost of us don't have perfect, bouncy corkscrew curls that you might see black women rocking in commercials and printed advertisements. Some of us have hair that is a lot more gravity defying than others, some of us have hair that is more limp, some of us have very little definition in our curls whatsoever. No matter what your texture is, there is no natural way to really change it. So you might as well embrace it instead of yearning after hair you will never have. Source: WENN
You Aren't As Restricted As You Think You AreIf you think that your styling options are limited with natural hair, uh, you're wrong. Dye it, grow it out, blow dry it, accessorize it...you can do so much more with natural hair than you ever could with chemically straightened hair. Source: Shutterstock
Consider The Big ChopThe Big Chop happens when you cut off all of your chemically straightened hair and are left with nothing but the new growth. This is the fastest way to rock natural hair but it is a big decision. There's no going back, so make sure you're ready to deal with ultra short natural hair for a while. Source: Shutterstock
Or Try TransitioningIf the thought of chopping all of your relaxed hair off terrifies you you're definitely not alone. Instead, simply grow out your relaxer over time. Don't use too much heat while you wait for the new growth to take over! Your hair will be ultra delicate during this transitioning period. Source: Shutterstock
This Is What Your Hair Will Feel LikeDry. Dry. Dry. Dry. Dry. I never knew just how dry my hair was until I stopped getting it straightened all the time. It got even worse after I started dying my hair red. Listen, conditioning is no joke. Use a deep conditioner regularly, wrap your hair up at night, fall in love with coconut oil and avoid shampoo full of sulfates. Your hair will thank you. Source: Shutterstock
Not Every Product Will Be Right For youSo you see a bunch of natural hair ladies raving about some product. You go pick it up and are disappointed with the results. You try again and again and something still isn't right. Don't let your confusion lead to delusion: That product just doesn't mesh well with your hair! Let it go and find something that you can trust. Source: Target.com
You Might Deal With Annoying CommentsThis varies depending on who you're surrounded by, but you might get disparaging comments from women who aren't natural who might prefer your relaxed look better. Some might call your natural hair too harsh or even ugly. Your family might not like it and your friends might question your judgement. On the flip side, you might deal with people fetishizing the hell out of it. Someone might even touch it without permission. You have to roll with the punches but don't be ashamed to defend your decision to go natural. Source: Shutterstock
Your Hair Is Inherently PoliticalThere's a reason why afros were more than just a style in the '60s and '70s. You might not go natural just to reject European standards of beauty or to make a statement, but letting your hair fly natural and free is still considered brave and edgy to many. Source: WENN
Brush Up On Your VocabIf you're following a lot of natural hair bloggers and vloggers, it might seem like they're speaking a different language sometimes. Brush up on your abbreviations so that you know what a co-wash and a TWA are. Thats conditioner wash and a tweenie weenie afro. CurlyNikki.com is a great place to start. Source: Shutterstock
Be PatientI know that many people can get so frustrated with the new maintenance of natural hair that they are tempted to go back to relaxers. But you have to be patient with it! You won't regret it. If you let your hair do its thing you'll be so happy with the results and growth in the long run. Source: Shutterstock
Are you considering going natural? Have you recently gone natural after using a relaxer? Have you stopped straightening your hair? Tell us in the comments!