You’ve already read part one right? Good. Let’s jump right in to Truths 8-15.
Truth #8: Practice new styles despite your experience level.
Flat twists? Braids? Marley twists? Cornrows? The thought of us doing it yourself can make you shudder. And yea it can be nervewrecking at first attempt but what I want to encourage you to do is to just try it. Do it on a day where you have a bit of time to just practice and if it eventually doesn’t go as you thought then do your go-to style. But don’t let it intimidate you out of trying. You may surprise yourself after pushing yourself to practice enough. I never would have thought that I could do a bomb flat twist as my early ones were a complete flop but I’m getting better and better at it. So can you if you just try!
Truth #9: Retention is just as important as hair growth.
We can become so obsessed with massaging our scalp, moisturizing our scalp, and taking supplements that we forget how important it is to make sure we are retaining our length. Take care of the ends of your hair. Keep them moisturized too. Try to tuck them away as much as possible. Cover your hair at night or use silk pillowcases. What’s the point of growing your hair as much as you can if you don’t do much to retain it? That’s why many women feel like their hair doesn’t grow. It does! They just aren’t doing enough to retain their length. Your ends are just as important as the roots of your hair.
Truth #10: There will be people who criticize you.
Lawd. I can guarantee you that there will be that one person that will side eye you about going natural. There will be negative comments asking why you’re doing it and about how much prettier your hair was when it was in ____ style. At the end of the day, block out the negativity. This is YOUR hair. YOU’RE the one taking care of it. And unless these people are about to pay to have a beautician to do your hair every day, then you shouldn’t have a care in the world about their opinion. I’ve had people including family members that brutally criticized my hair only to come back later asking me how I do my twist out so well because they’re going to try it themselves. It happens all the time. So let the negative comments roll of your back. For many of us, we’re just now learning how to do our hair while there are women of other textures that have been knowing how to do their hair since they were kids. Cut yourself some slack.
TRUTH #11: THERE WILL BE PEOPLE WHO WILL WANT TO TOUCH YOUR HAIR.
Cue Solange. Don’t touch my hair. You do NOT have to allow people to touch your hair. It’s your hair and no human needs to be petted. You can be polite about it (I’m sorry, I just don’t feel comfortable with people touching my hair.) or you can be unapologetically real about it (Um no I don’t know where your hands been. Do I look like I’m a part of a petting zoo to you? *look up, look down, side eye, and walk away*). I will leave your decision of your response to your discretion. There is a difference between a polite curiosity yearning to be educated and downright rude. You’ll know the difference, Queen.
TRUTH #12: YOU MAY GO THROUGH A SUPER NATURAL PHASE.
It’s normal, trust me. Suddenly it’s like you become obsessed. You’re buying a bunch of different products without even allowing enough time to see if it’s working for your hair. You’re watching youtube videos into the wee hours of the morning. You’ll be putting every kind of pantry item in your hair from yogurt to honey to vinegar to bananas and looking for new ones. Saturday literally becomes wash DAY as in the whole day is practically dedicated to you trying new stuff on your hair and 15 step regimens. You take way more selfies than you use to just to show off your hair. You may even catch yourself preaching to other women about how they should go natural. It happens…and that too shall pass because…
TRUTH #13: YOU’LL CALM DOWN AND REALIZE IT’S JUST HAIR.
Something will go off in your mind to realize that you’re stressing out over hair. HAIR. That’s all it is. It will grow no matter you do (see truth #9). That doesn’t mean you should be neglectful but that also doesn’t mean that you should put your life on hold for your hair. Make your hair regimen fit YOUR schedule. Who cares if that girl likes her relaxer better than wearing it natural or cuts her natural hair off just for fun? Let that girl be great. You don’t want anybody putting you down for being natural so why make her feel bad about not having a relaxer or getting a hair cut? You will eventually chill all the way out and just learn your hair to just do what’s needed to keep it healthy without having an anxiety attack over it. There’s much more to life than having long hair. (But the selfie thing mentioned in Truth #12 may not go away…just saying.)
TRUTH #14: BE PATIENT BECAUSE IT’S WORTH IT.
This is the only time that I will say that going natural isn’t for everybody. If you don’t have the patience to change your regimen so that you can have healthy natural hair then it may not be for you. And that’s okay. Nothing wrong with that. It’s your hair. Decide how you’d like to wear it. But if you decide to go for it, know that it’ll be worth it. You’ll look back at all your lessons learned and be proud of how much more knowledgeable you are about caring for your hair yourself instead of relying on somebody else to do it. You’ll be happy that you can pass down the knowledge and experience to your own daughter so that they’ll know from the jump what they need to do with their hair. It is worth it! It’s frustrating as hell sometimes but it truly is worth it.
TRUTH #15: EMBRACE THE HAIR YOU HAVE.
Like I’ve said before, there’s only one you. Your hair is unique. Embrace it. Love it. Show it off. Do not hunt for a perfect product that will make your hair look like someone else’s. You’re wasting your time because there’s no such thing as a non-permanent healthy chemical product that can change your hair texture to a different natural hair texture. Instead embrace what you have. I use to ambitiously hunt for a product or way to have Traci Ellis Ross hair. I had to stop and realize that my hair is will never look like hers because our hair genes are just different. With all the time I wasted hunting for a magical product, I kick myself for being so naïve. Lesson learned and now I rock my 4b/4c hair like no tomorrow!
So those are the 15 truths I’ve learned about going natural. Did you learn any of these truths yourself the hard way as well? Did I miss any? Let me know in the comments section and share with your curlfriends =)