How are you!!? I'm super excited for some reason. I don't know if it's this raspberry tea I'm sipping on or what?! I'm just in a really good mood. I hope you are too? And I hope your week is going well.
Okay okay, on to today's topic: my top 3 tips for new naturals. Now I've been getting a good number of questions this week on how/where to start on your natural hair journey. As I always say, I know it can be really daunting at first. But not to worry, hopefully these tips will help you out.
1. Cut off your relaxed ends.
This is commonly referred to as the big chop. I know many of us hold on to our relaxed ends because we've never had short hair and feel like going straight for the big chop might be too much to ask for. When I first decided to go natural, I thought I would transition for two years, you know, grow out my relaxed hair and have enough growth not to look bald when I finally snipped my ends off. However, 8 months into my hair journey, I was itching to nurture my new growth. I couldn't stand the sight of my burnt, chemical-treated hair. I actually decided to snip off my relaxed ends rather spontaneously and boy, am I glad I did.
Holding on to your relaxed ends has its down sides particularly when it comes to styling. We all know how different our natural texture is from our relaxed texture. When I first went natural, I found that my natural hair was like a blossoming tropical forest - thick and lush, while my relaxed hair was like the dry windy Sahara - wispy and uninviting. As I was transitioning, I mainly wore my hair in braids that I installed myself because there was NO WAY on God's holy earth that I could walk around with my double textures! Haha!
2. Embrace the awkwardness.
Thinking about this now actually makes me laugh. When I first decided to go natural, I was so excited! Ask my friends! Oh word, I went around preaching the good news of natural haircare and most of my friends were like "*side eye* uhh okay". Looking back now, its probably because I had this tiny winy afro that I would spend hours nurturing like nobody's business! On top of it all, I looked kinda awkward when I tried to protective style. I'd wear my hair in two-strand twists that were scalpy (as in #sttrrruuugggzzz) haha! And I can bet you a fellow black sista must have cursed in her heart at the sight of my naps and kinks!
BUT, with hindsight, I'm really glad I braved the awkward stages of my hair growth. Trust me, your hair will grow. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Embrace your kinks for what they are now. Have fun with your new look, before long your natural hair struggles will be very different! :-)
3. Be confident and consistent.
Now this value applies to many aspects of life, (LOL!) including hair care. The misconceptions about black haircare and by extension black beauty are VAST. Embracing your kinks and curls is still considered revolutionary (yes, even in 2016) as many black women still hold on to Eurocentric ideas of beauty. Going against the grain is not easy and learning to accept our hair in all its coily goodness is easier said than done.
Trust me, I STILL struggle to fully embrace my hair all the time. All 20 inches of it! Sometimes I wish it was less coily and more curly. Sometimes I wish I had more volume and bounce. Sometimes I wish it was slicker. But you know what, it's not. And everyday I look in the mirror I remind myself that my hair is gorgeous just as it is. Nappy, kinky, coarse, tangly - whatever you want to call it! It is BEAUTIFUL. Speak life when you look at yourself in the mirror. In those silent moments when you doubt your beauty, remind yourself to be gentle with yourself and to LOVE what you see. Nobody can love you as deeply as YOU can love YOU. Be confident, flaws and all.
"You are as God created you to be. You are one of a kind, alive to offer a unique and special gift." ~ Iyanla Vanzant
As always, I'm sending you lots and lots of love and sunshine,