4 Tips For Surviving The First Few Months Of Natural Hair (Transitioning & The Big Chop)

Hey!

I've been digging through my archives for pictures of my first year of natural haircare. When I say first year, I mean: my transition to natural hair (with all its ups and downs..mostly downs), down to my big chop and afterwards the first few months of tending for my fresh, all natural, lush, springy, glorious, fantabulous Tiny Winy Afro

(Ps - I come up with my own words because English vocabulary is too limited, innit?! Fantabulous is a feeling ...it's when you are sipping on a chilled Fanta on a sunny Nairobi day, cool breeze in your natural hair and all! Plain fabulous! Hence Fanta-bulous! )

My first year of haircare was full of fantabulousness! I had sooo much fun with my hair. I would spend my Saturdays detangling, deep conditioning, hot oiling... literally loving on my strands, one by one! This is what I learnt:

1. Love your hair type!!!

When I transitioned, I was constantly bombarded by images of women with 3a / 3b hair (See pics below)...

3C hair pics sourced from around the web.

3C hair pics sourced from around the web.

..while really what I had was 4 C hair, (see pics below). Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with being one hair type or another, but I realized that for styling tips and basic motivation for hair length, I would be best off loving a hair texture that was similar to mine. In fact, I would print pictures of hair styles I admired and hair lengths I aspired to and literally paste them on my wall! Yes, clearly I was pretty focused on seeing this journey THROUGH! 

4C hair pics sourced from around the web.

4C hair pics sourced from around the web.

2. Learn The Lingo/Cover Your Bases!

No seriously, I spent my first year of haircare learning how to braid my hair and how to do faux buns, yarn locks and two-strand twists. It was a tonne of fun learning from the YouTube natural hair community. (Check out my own channel here.)

Most importantly, you'll need to put together a weekly hair regimen. Check mine out here for a few ideas and step by step guides.

Stick to the process and be patient. Learn along the way. Check out these posts here for lots of tips and tricks on how to grow out your hair. Check out these posts here for some styling options.

 

3. Have A Visual Journal

I'm glad I took lots of pictures because now we get to reminisce on days gone by together!! Also, let me tell you, there's lots of embarrassing pics that have just not made the cut.. because remember, we are all self-respecting fashionistas around here!! Hahaa!!

Two-strand twists with faux hair for added length.

Two-strand twists with faux hair for added length.

Two-strand braids with extensions,

Two-strand braids with extensions,

Three-strand twists with yarn.

Three-strand twists with yarn.

Two-strand twists on my TWA, I started from the boorroommm..!! 

Two-strand twists on my TWA, I started from the boorroommm..!! 

4. Have Fun!

Your first few months of natural haircare can be a little daunting because you still need to learn all the vocabulary, and then buy the right products. It can seem like an expensive venture and that it would be lots easier to slap on some creamy crack (relaxer)! Buuttt, all that research and exploration is part of the fun. My own experience taught me to love myself more - to be more aware of what products I was applying on my skin, to exercise often and to eat clean!

Natural hair care is a journey of self-love ladies! 

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How's been your natural hair journey thus far? What have you learnt? If you're in your first few months of natural haircare, how is it going? I'd love to know! Leave a note in the comments section. 

Love love and love!

Tabitha.