Know when you wanna start a new healthy diet or exercise routine? Yes?! Well, you start looking into it, you do a little bit of research, but what you initially discover gets you so apprehensive and reluctant that you abandon your intentions and focus your energy on something else. I wholeheartedly believe this has happened to ALL of us, and it will continue happening to me if people keep telling me I can’t have any bread or carbs (LOL). It’s just not happening! Anyway, I believe a similar thing can happen when people are considering letting their natural hair grow. Let’s have a look at 4 statements that can make you too scared to go natural.
It doesn’t take a very deep investigation into what taking care of curly hair entails for you to encounter a few brow raising practices that can make you put the reverse gear and head off to a different path. However, first appearances can be deceiving and you need to look deeper in to get to the truth of the matter.
I know this because when I first looked into transitioning to natural hair, I too couldn’t imagine myself doing some of the things I am now doing. I know I have tried to help you see and face the realities/challenges of what having natural hair is about, good and bad, and I’ve done this by talking about the myths of natural hair, by alerting you to what not to expect when transitioning, by talking about naysayers and how you can to face them and I have even talked about the cons of having long natural hair which seems to be one of the main reasons some people wanna go natural.
However, I have never talked about the things I normally do in my hair regimen that on the surface can make you hold tight to the relaxer life. You see, a shallow knowledge of natural hair and of the things we often do to take care of it can make having natural hair harder, impossible, disgusting or maybe even unwanted.
What are these things? Well, nothing mind blowing really. It’s just different to what most people are used to doing. Let’s have a look at some of the statements you hear that can make you cringe.
#1| I Haven’t Combed My Hair In A Year!
I hear and read this all the time. It may sound strange to someone who is new to natural hair, however, this is something many of us do. But, before you too run away from this page let me just say that we do comb our hair. The difference is, we don’t use the same tool as you.
For those of us who make statements like this one, you must understand we don’t normally use a comb or a brush to detangle our hair. No! We use our fingers. They are excellent tools, and if you think of them as teeth in a comb you’ll be able to use them in the same manner, with the added advantage that you’ll be more sensitive to tangles and you’ll be able to work through them much better, rather than force them and possibly causing hair breakage.
Nevertheless, I must say I finger detangle my hair now that I am natural just as I did when I was transitioning, but I find that sometimes especially after a wash and go, I must use a wide tooth comb after I finger detangle to make sure there are no tangles left. Yeah, wash and go‘s are quick and easy, but they can cause a lot of tangles.
#2| I Don’t Shampoo My Hair!
Yes, you heard it right the first time. I don’t shampoo my hair, but you don’t need to feel disgusted by this. When you hear this please understand that we do wash our hair, just not with a regular sulphate shampoo. These dry out our curly hair and we’re best staying away from them, thus the statement.
How do we cleanse our hair then? The main concern when choosing our preferred hair cleansing method is to adopt one that will not leave our hair dry and vulnerable to breakage. You can go for a low-poo or sulphate free option which uses gentle surfactants and offers a more conditioning experience for your hair.
Some people also do conditioner wash or co-wash as we like to say. Conditioners have a lower amount surfactants which help to clean our hair and scalp. Several brands have developed cleansing conditioners as they are much gentler on our hair than shampoos. However, there are some things you should be aware of when co-washing your hair, read them here.
Another option would be to go completely natural (no-poo) and use, for instance, a soap nut shampoo or baking soda (you can find more no-poo options here). As you can see, we don’t actually go without cleansing our hair we just don’t use that bubbly shampoo you’re used to.
#3| I Don’t Use Heat On My Hair!
Would you be even more shocked if I told you I haven’t used heat on my hair for nearly four years? Are you now pondering the possibility of having no more straight hair and letting your blow dryer and flat iron gain rust and dust? If so, you should hold your horses for a minute and listen to me.
The statement may be a little misleading, that is why looking beyond the surface when it comes to natural hair is important. I actually haven’t straightened my hair in nearly four years, but that’s is a personal choice I may talk about in the future. Will I do it one day? Definitely. When? I don’t know, maybe when I find a professional I trust. I do, however, use heat when deep conditioning and, on rare occasions, to speed up the drying process of a hairstyle.
When you hear a statement like this it is normally associated with straightening your hair on a regular basis. Anyway, you don’t need to follow my steps. Plenty of naturalistas straighten their hair, you just need to do it safely. Choose your tools right, avoid many of the common mistakes and don’t do it frequently as you risk heat damage and that means losing the curls you’re working hard to get.
#4| I Don’t Colour My Hair!
I actually don’t colour my hair…with chemical hair dyes. No. I use henna a natural plant dye, and if you haven’t heard or know much about it, you can read it all about here. I have coloured my hair in the past (when I had relaxed hair), but I find that having to do the same process every couple of weeks is tiring and expensive. Thus, why I only did it twice.
Now, the first and main reason I use henna on my hair is to cover my grey hairs. The second one is because it’s inexpensive and the third and final one, is because it conditions my hair and works as a protein treatment strengthening my hair. You should try it too, here’s a recipe for you. The only thing about henna is that it won’t lighten your hair colour.
You can still use chemical hair dyes to achieve the looks you want, but you would need to be extra vigilant and nurturing on your hair. Dying means you open the cuticle layers of your hair and permanently alter the structure of your hair. This means your hair is drier and more vulnerable to damage. Make sure you prepare your hair before doing this treatment to get the results you anticipate.
Well, these are four of the frequent statements you can normally read or hear about natural or transitioning hair that can shock, surprise or deceive you. However, as you can see things are not as dramatic as you may think them to be. You have choices, and they’re all meant to help you nurture your curly hair back to health. If you’re considering going natural don’t be scared by these statements. Remember:
“Everything that is worth doing begins with being scared.”