I haven’t done a hair specific post in a while and this post idea has been sat in my mental draft box for a ages so I thought I would get it out there and help where I can.
First thing is first. There is no right or wrong way to go natural however there are some things that you should get into a good habit with from the start and this post is my top 5 useful tips.
Whenever I talk to someone who is going natural (or just gone natural) about being a natural hair blogger they often respond with ‘Oh I’ve just gone natural and I don’t really know what I’m doing!’
Well… don’t worry, if you’ve found yourself here because you don’t know what you’re doing with your natural hair I have some very useful starting points for you. The truth is, none of us knew what we were doing and so we had to learn. With blogs like Afro Glory it’s just a little bit easier to find content specific to your needs.
This post ‘How To Go Natural’ is my top 5 steps on things you should look into, develop or understand at the very beginning. The reason it’s called a hair journey is because it’s a very personal experience if you ask me and that’s exactly what it is. Your journey will be different. Some products that work for me won’t work for you and vice versa so I am just throwing you some of my main top tips as a foundations for going natural.
The best place you can be when you first going natural is on YouTube! There are so many fabulous men and women on youtube with tutorials, routines, how to’s and product recommendations. I understand the irony of recommending a platform that isn’t a blog (because I am a blogger not a vlogger) but I just have to be honest. If you’re a first time natural you will find questions answered in more detail on a blog but to see how things are done YouTube is great.
One of the most important parts of my hair care is having routine. Everyone will have their own routine including things like how often they wash their hair, the products they use, when they trim their hair, the brushes they use (if they use brushes at all)… but take a deep breath because you don’t need to know this all at once!
First thing you need to decide is when you will wash your hair. Natural hair doesn’t need to be washed as frequently as other hair types because moisture retention is super important for natural hair to thrive. Moisture and natural oil produced by afro hair can be stripped away with frequent washing.
I wash my hair once every 2 weeks but other people may go a whole month or 2 before washing their hair. You need to decide what feels best for you and what will work best for your hair. Then go from there… other early decisions I made were:
- no chemicals in my hair products
- no hair bands with metal on
- buying an afro comb
- Finding a good leave-in conditioner
I wish wish wish someone had told me when I first went natural about caring for my hair while I sleep. It was something I didn’t learn until about a year after going natural. I think because I wasn’t asking the question I didn’t find a solution to problem I didn’t even know I had! Get your note book out and jot this down… cotton pillowcases will absorb the moisture out of your hair while you sleep, if your hair is in direct contact with the pillowcase!
Thats right! Like a moisture thief in the night! Don’t fret though, I still sleep with a cotton pillowcase and I’ve listed 4 solutions here:
- Use a silk pillowcase
- Use a silk head scarf to wrap your hair at night
- Use a pair of tights to wrap your hair at night
- Secure a silk scarf over a cotton pillowcase
I personally use tights because you can control the tightness, there is a lot of material to work with and it doesn’t slip off at night. I don’t find silk on my face comfortable at night (especially when it’s warm), which is why I have never had a silk pillowcase. Like I said before, everyone is different.
I don’t know how everyone else was feeling about their natural hair when they first went natural but I loved having mine out! I was like a peacock! I just wanted to show off my beautiful, natural and strong hair… especially after having chemically damaged hair for so long! My unhealthy relationship with my hair before going natural gave me some terrible habits that took me time to break. One of those unhealthy habits was never giving my hair a break.
Protective hairstyling is so important for natural hair. It has many benefits some of which are:
- prevents breakage
- aids moisture retention
- aids growth
- protects your hair from the harsh weathers (including direct sunlight)
so… find a protective hair style that works for you. My go to protective hairstyle is dutch braiding (two long plaits down the sides of my head). If your hair isn’t long enough to plait yet, then you can always use head wraps, braiding, weaves, wigs… or one of the many other protective hair styling techniques. Make sure you mix things up though as wearing the same hair style over and over can cause folical damage if there is tension in the same place on your scalp all the time.
You’ll find with some research that this is a sensitive subject amongst the natural hair community. Some naturalist will recommend finding your hair porosity and others will tell you it’s not even necessary to know. I spent a long time not caring about porosity, what it meant or how it would affect my hair care routine… after all I had just spent a lot of time working out what worked for me already!
The reason I am putting this as a starting tip for how to go natural is because once I did figure out my porosity I was able to work out a better hair routine for moisture retention.
What is porosity? Porosity is your hair’s ability to absorb moisture and is broken down into three categories: low, normal and high. If you have low porosity it means your hair finds it harder to absorb moisture but once it has, it is great at retaining it. If you have high porosity it means your hair is great at absorbing moisture but great at losing it too. I found that I have high porosity and what that changed for me is how I seal in my moisture. I use castor oil after deep conditioning my hair to create a barrier over the hair to slow down the rate at which I lose moisture.
I would recommend, when you have some spare time and you want to learn how to keep your hair moisturised and healthy to check out some youtube videos on finding out your porosity.
I hope you have enjoyed reading my top 5 tips on ‘How To Go Natural’
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