While going natural has become the new “wave” it seems that what is often left out of the conversation is what you need to know and how to prepare for the actual journey of going natural. There is also not a lot of information out there about what happens once you are natural. So we compiled this running list for you to capture the real essence of the top 10 things to know before going natural to help make your journey that much easier. Pretty much… this is all the
SHIT I would have known before making the jump of faith.
Top 10 Things To Know Before Going Natural
1. Do your research: That doesn’t mean just hop on Youtube for hours looking up pretty hair tutorials (can you tell that is what I did). This means really looking into the science of hair so you will understand what is going to happen (especially if you are transitioning from having a relaxer forever). Why is this important? Because when products are claiming to work miracles on your hair, you need to know better!
2. Your Budget: Natural hair can be very budget friendly, or it can eat through your entire checking account if you let it. Early on you need to decide how much you are willing to spend in total over the course of a month, three months and a year. This is going to include money for natural hair events (all of them will be tempting, so pick and choose wisely), products, protective styles…etc. The price can start adding up quickly even for the most frugal naturalista… so set a number and don’t forget it.
3. Hair Porosity: If you are new here then I forgive you for not knowing about the importance that your hair porosity plays in your natural hair care regimen. If you are not new here.. you should know better! Understanding your hair porosity will help you figure out why your hair feels so dry so often. You need to know whether you have high porosity, normal porosity or low porosity in order to plan accordingly on wash day. Below are a few posts that will help you sift through understanding what works and doesn’t work for the porosity of your natural hair.
4. Hair Texture: It may be difficult at first to figure out your hair texture when transitioning from a relaxer. My hair texture went through about 3 changes as it grew out of my scalp. So it did take me about 13 months to figire out exactly how to classify my hair. And it is perfectly okay to have multiple hair textures on your head (trust me we all do! ) So pay close attention how your hair grows out of your scalp. It can be curly or coily… of if you’re like the millions of other naturalistas you’ll have a genuine mix of both!
5. Hair Growth Pattern: Okay… so this is where it gets a bit interesting. I honestly felt that when I had a relaxer that my hair grew super fast. I don’t know if it is because I always needed a touch up for the new growth, or my hair was playing tricks on my mind. Either way… its not likely! Your hair will have a specific hair growth pattern (this pattern can be affected by certain things like hormonal changes or medications) but for the most part your hair growth pattern will remain unchanged. Hair grows about .5 to 1 inch a month. You can measure your hair to see how much hair you are retaining because that is the key to growth! Measuring monthly will give you a good idea on how much your hair is growing consistently. To be completely honest tho… after a while this won’t really matter to you as long as your hair is happy and healthy!
6. What works for you: This is going to be key! You are going to be a product junkie. I know it is hard to accept that so soon, so early…but the first few months of being a natural I went over my budget consistently and bought everything on the shelf. Don’t do this! Why? Because not everything is going to work for your hair. You are going to have to make decisions based on what ingredients play nice with your tresses. Some people will have issues with coconut oil, shea butter, proteins…etc. So take a look at the ingredients before making any purchases and pay attention to what those ingredients do to your hair. This will also help you learn what ingredients to avoid, and save you on some money when walking down the beauty supply store aisles.
7. Your Hair Type: Hair type is different than hair texture and they are often confused. While your hair texture is curly or oily, your hair type is a slew of mathematical craziness. Not a huge fan of hair typing, but it does make things a bit easier in the beginning of your hair journey when you are just learning about your strands. Do some research (back to step 1 of course) and find out what hair type you have whether it is 3a or 4c will make a big difference in how you buy products and how you apply products to your hair. It is also quite possible that you will have several different types of hair on your scalp just like you will have various textures on your hair as well.
8. Your Go To Style: I can’t tell you how many times I had to cancel going out during the first year of going natural. You have to have a set of 4-5 different styles that you can turn to in case of emergency! You need to know whether you are a wash and go kind of girl, or do you live and breath twist outs and bantu knots. I knew from the very beginning that I would never be a wash and go kind of girl, and although that saddened me after watching hours of wash and go tutorials on Youtube (don’t do that) I learned that I loved twist outs and puffs were my def go to style. As I gained more years in the natural game, I learned that a quick protective style option was also great to have if my hair wasn’t completely dry. This way I wouldn’t miss out on any activities outdoors because of my hair.
5 Ways To Fix A Failed Twist Out
9. Your Hair Density/Volume: This one is still a bit tricky for me at times because of the various textures and hair types I have on my head. But figuring out the density and volume of your hair will help with picking your go to style (see how everything is connected… wink). Density and volume will affect how a style turns out, and how log it takes to achieve it (think of higher and lower drying times)
10. Build a Simple Effective Regimen: Create a simple yet effective regimen that fits your lifestyle. You don’t need to have a ten step regimen for your hair to flourish. When I started my natural hair journey my wash day was an all day thing. Why? I was doing way too much ! Granted my hair did well… but it wasn’t necessary. Deep conditioning and pre pooing for hours was taking up precious life time that I’ll never get back. Especially when I would go run and sweat out my hair in minutes. As long as the basics are being achieved in your regimen you can make it yours. There is no right or wrong!
What key step do you think you are going to struggle with the most? Why? Share your thoughts with us below!
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