Natural Hair Diaries: Going Natural?! How to Make the Decision with CONFIDENCE!Saturday, January 03, 2015
Today I will be starting a new series on this blog entitled the "Natural Hair Diaries". Since eliminating the flat iron from my everyday routine in August of 2014, I have finally gone 100% natural! I absolutely LOVE my natural hair now, and think it's time to share my journey with you all.
Today I will be discussing a pretty basic topic: why I decided to go natural. As discussed in my Biotin Journey posts (Click the links for info on Week One, Week Two, Weeks Three & Four, and Months 2 & 3), I suffered several setbacks in my hair growth journey due to heat damage from flat ironing on a weekly basis. Though my hair is not relaxed (and has not been for about six years), my hair texture is stretched due to continuous heat usage. In addition, I dye my hair red, meaning that my hair faces additional damage from the chemicals in hair dye. After noticing significant breakage (especially on the nape area), I decided that I had to make a choice: either I would continue to damage my hair and be forced to go completely natural after it all breaks off, or I could go natural immediately and possibly save some of my length. I struggled with the decision for about two months, going back and forth on what would be best for me. During this time, I reduced the temperature I set my flat iron at from 370 degrees to 320 degrees Fahrenheit in an attempt to alleviate the amount of heat damage to my hair. I did notice that my hair was softer, but continued to notice breakage. At this point, my hair was looking pretty uneven and was extremely dry. I finally decided that it was time to go natural, and went to the Beauty Supply Warehouse not far from where I live. After purchasing the As I Am Twist Defining Cream, I was ready! Using coconut oil as a moisturizer and the As I Am Twist Defining Cream as a styling product, I used the shingling method to define my curls. And, on August 24th, 2014, I wore my natural hair out for the first time since childhood!
One of the biggest struggles I faced while making the decision to go natural was my own confidence in my ability to look "good" with my natural hair. I highly suspect that for a lot of other women of colour, wearing their curly hair in public is nerve wracking simply because Black hair is not always accepted in larger society. So anyone out there who wants to go natural, but is afraid of what other people will think, here are my tips for making the decision to go natural with confidence!
1. Surround yourself with positive role models
If you look at the majority of commercials/advertisements for hair products or styling tools, you will see images of women with straight or wavy hair. Women with very curly or "nappy" hair tend to be more prevalent in the "before" picture than the "after" picture. I found that this contributed to my lack of confidence in the beauty of my natural hair. So, I surrounded myself with images of women with hair like mine who were confident in their hair! Check out these women on YouTube, who have beautiful hair and offer great advice on how to care for it!
These are just a few of MANY natural women on YouTube that I enjoy watching. Not only are their videos educational, but they also remind me that my natural hair is beautiful, and I don't need to be ashamed of it!
2. Do your research
If you're used to wearing your hair flat ironed or relaxing it, going natural is going to be quite the transition. You will find that the products you used to use simply do not work anymore, and as your hair becomes healthier you will find you need to use different techniques in order to keep it healthy. Also, natural hair does not always mean healthy hair! If you don't take proper care of your natural hair, your hair can end up in worse condition than it was before. If you've never been exposed to the world of natural hair, it can be super overwhelming! YouTube is a great resource on how to wear your hair naturally, and how to transition to natural from relaxed/severely heat damaged hair. Check out the YouTubers below for more info!:
Also do your research when it comes to the products you put into your hair. Make sure to read reviews or watch reviews on YouTube to hear and see what the product does for other people. If you're on a budget like I am, this is an especially important step so you make sure you don't waste your money on products. If you know what you're getting yourself into, it's MUCH easier to go natural with confidence!
3. Make sure you're ready!
If you're like me, and are very nervous about wearing your natural hair out, don't do it before you're ready. While I don't think it's okay for anyone to dislike their natural hair, I know what it feels like to be in that position. Take your time and learn to love your hair for all its kinks and curls. When you wear your hair out with confidence, people will have no choice but to appreciate your ability to wear your natural hair out in a world that doesn't always appreciate it. Don't force yourself to do something that makes you overly anxious or nervous, but also know that there will come a time where you have to be brave and take that first step. Mentally prepare yourself, and when you're ready, go with confidence!
I hoped this post has been helpful for you all. If anyone has questions, feel free to send me a message!
Cheers to confidence in your natural beauty!
- xoxo, Jayy
Interested in learning more about my hair story? Click here.