Here’s hoping the days of debating whether or not natural hair is a fad or a movement are over. By now most people realize that natural hair is here to stay in all of its curly, coily, fabulous glory. There are a plethora of blogs and websites dedicated to giving the general public what earlier generations lacked – information on the maintenance and care of natural hair. But still, many women enter their transition with fear and concern that they’re somehow doing it all wrong. Allow me to be your helpful and friendly guide into this brave new world. These are my 5 simple, easy do’s and don’ts of natural hair:
- DO educate yourself on your new hair texture. Begin by familiarizing yourself with the ABC’s of natural hair blogs – Afrobella.com, Black Girl With Long Hair, and Curly Nikki. Then move forward to YouTube, where vloggers like African Export, Kimmaytube and Naptural 85 are dispensing their hair wisdom in video form. Discover expert stylists like @LovingYourHair on Instagram. If you take the time to do some preliminary research, the process of transitioning and doing the Big Chop (or not) becomes way less daunting.
- DO know that there are so many products on the market to suit your needs. Back in the good ol’ days (like pre-2007), many naturalistas found store shelves lacking and primarily had to shop online or try making their own products at home. Now many mainstream retailers like Target and Walmart realized there was a market of product junkies to cater to and you can find once online-only brands right there in the store. Now you can stock up on brands like Oyin, Karen’s Body Beautiful and Alikay Naturals from Target shelves all over the country!
- DON’T compare your hair texture to others. That’s where so many of us get caught up, wanting our hair to look like or grow like someone else’s. There are myriad reasons that someone else’s hair might grow longer or at a faster rate than yours. We all have individual textures, and ideally, the point of going natural is to love your hair, to restore it to health, and to embrace your individual beauty for what it is. Be patient and love your hair, and you’ll see how beautiful it truly can be.
- DON’T comb from root to tip. Reverse the way you comb your hair to reduce pulling and pain! I only comb my hair when it’s wet and saturated in conditioner, and I comb from the tip of my hair up to the root. A wide tooth comb or specialty comb like Ouidad’s Double Detangler can make the process that much quicker and easier. Detangling your hair shouldn’t be an exercise in torture, no matter your texture!
[Photo Credit: Chuck Olu-Alabi]
Contributing Editor, Patrice Grell Yursik is the creator of Afrobella.com, one of the first blogs to celebrate the beauty of natural hair and ladies of all skin tones and sizes. Affectionately called the Godmother of Brown Beauty Blogging, Patrice takes her readers inside unique beauty, fashion and cultural experiences