By Wini Nduta
1. Do your research
Watch YouTube videos. Go to curly hair meet ups. Join natural hair forums online. Expose yourself to what is out there. This will help you decide what is best for your hair. You will also get to see common denominators in the advice and this will guide you on what to include in your journey.
Natural hair needs moisture. For the girl with the big chop, invest in a spray bottle and use it to spritz water on your scalp daily.
If you decide to go the long term transition route, you need to remember that relaxed hair can get water logged so if you decide to spray water on your hair, go easy. Moisturize weekly.
3. Deep condition
Focus on moisture based conditioners. Leave it on your hair for 30 minutes or more depending on your schedule. You can buy from the beauty supply shop or make some at home with yogurt, honey or avocado. There are so many DIY recipes online that you can try. Try to deep condition every week for best results.
4. Trim your ends frequently
A little length off your hair gets you more comfortable with the idea of curly hair. The relaxed hair will break off anyway, so this will make sure it doesn’t damage the hair that’s left.
5. Stay away from heat
Your natural hair during transition is very fragile. When you use heat you might cause damage on your new growth yet this is what you are trying to avoid. Give away your blow-drier, curling wand and flat iron because you will not need them for a long while.
6. Be gentle when detangling
The line of demarcation is point where your ‘growth’ meets the relaxed hair. It’s very delicate and needs extra care. Detangling can be time consuming so this is the best time to listen to that album you got last month but haven’t gotten around to yet.
7. What products should I use?
Use the products you were using before so that your hair has some stability. New products can be a shock to your strands or scalp, especially if you have sensitive skin. Also, from your research you will be able to decide what products you will need
8. Lower your expectations
There is a lot of content out here on natural hair, be it photos, videos and articles and it’s easy to get caught up. Focus on having healthy hair and the length will follow. You might also get a ‘natural hair role model’ and feel less-than when your hair doesn’t grow out like theirs. Make sure to take their advice but do not compare your hair to theirs.
9. Focus on positivity
You will most definitely get negative comments even from those closest to you. Find an online forum and connect with other naturals for support.
10. Be patient
You might get tempted to relax your hair again because it’s so much easier and it’s what you are used to but stay strong. You might feel like you are alone, but you’re not. Enjoy the process.
Enjoy your journey.