How's this very last day of March 2016 treating ya? I hope you're keeping well!
Now, let's admit it. Beginnings can be exhilarating, but they can also be difficult. Trust me, I understand! I was once a new natural, groping around in the dark for any piece of advice that would get me longer, healthier hair. Letting go of my permed hair was a tad bit difficult and I reconsidered my decision many times!
But again, trust me, over the past 4.5 years of being natural, I've come to learn that the beginning is the hardest part! Once your kinks and coils start to sprout, you'll fall in love with your natural hair. The length, health and fullness will blow your mind! It will be well worth it.
That said, there might be days when you see another babe with a really gorgeous head of permed hair, or maybe even one with a looser curl pattern (think of them stunning Ethiopian babes with halos of hair! *Gulp* PS- If you're Ethiopian and reading this, thanks for making the world a more beautiful place!)
The temptation to give up at the onset of your natural hair journey, is very much part of the process of embracing your hair as it is.
Here's what has helped me stay motivated over the years:
1. Take lots of pictures
Snap snap snap away! Be the selfie queen of them all if you'd like! (To see some of my golden oldies see my big chop here.) Pictures help you see how far you've come. You can track the health and length of your hair over time to see what works and doesn't work for your hair. For me, my natural hair anniversaries are key moments in my hair journey when I celebrate my hair progress. (See this post here for some pics)
2. Accept your texture
When I went natural, I had the Ethiopian dream. You know, long bushy halo-like golden curls that danced in the wind. Lo and behold! My curls are gravity-defying and as I've said several times, may very well have not tingled in a tornado! Resilient and steadfast, is how I'd describe my curls. That doesn't mean my curl pattern is inferior, it's just different and unique and that's fine. So rather than keep the Ethiopian dream alive, I drew motivation from curl-sistas with a similar curl pattern to mine. I drew inspiration from their journeys and learnt to see my coils as beautiful and desirable too! (To determine determine your hair texture, see this post here.)
3. Be consistent.
Build a regimen. I preach this ALL the time. Regimen building not only promotes moisture retention which in turn is great for you hair, but it also keeps your hair's health at its optimum. Healthy hair is nurtured over time, a one off deep conditioning sesh followed by months of serial braiding will NOT yield results. If you are consistently caring for your hair regimen, you'll see fantastic results! (See this post here for my regimen.)
4. Do your research.
Read blogs, watch YouTube videos, Goolge stuff. Information is power. The more techniques you know the better your hair care practices, and by extension your hair's overall health. Do what works best for you rather than jump on bandwagons. Our natural hair community has LOTS of resources, so don't be afraid to dig deep!
5. Connect with other naturals.
Find a curlfriend or three! Take pics together, build a community. Spur each other on! There's nothing more inspiring than a group of friends learning to love their kinks and coils together. Curl friends share tips and tricks as well as hair recipes. Curl friends are reflections of ourselves - as we see them looking fly, so we grow in confidence to rock our tresses!!
Are you newly natural? If so, how are you staying motivated? Have you been natural for a while now? What tips would you share with new naturals/transitioners to motivate them on their journeys?
(PS - I found these pics in my archives as I was looking through my laptop folders. I took them in May last year during my natural hair anniversary as I knew I'd need motivation along the way!)
LOVE & SUNSHINE