When I look back to the beginning of my hair journey and why growing my natural hair was something I embraced, I often think back to the day that put everything in motion and eventually pushed me to finally and simply say ‘Yes! Let’s do this’. It wasn’t because I saw any representation of curly hair on magazines, TV shows or on people around me. NO. The fact is, I didn’t see any of that.
By the time I decided to embrace my curly hair I was tired of how my hair looked. It was dry, dull, it had no curl pattern, I had a flaky scalp and I didn’t know what to do with it. To make matters worse, I didn’t trust any hair professional to get me out of that rut. No… not since I was wrongly advised by one and did a keratin smoothing treatment that ended up making things worse.
At this point I was desperate, I was doing my own research set on finding a solution to my ‘hair Apocalypse‘ and my research tool of choice was Google.
A lot of bad things can be said about Google when it comes to misleading people with false or contradictory information about curly hair (or any other subject), but boy I am so glad to have it as a research tool!
With Google, the secret is in not accepting things at face value… you gotta dig deeper to get to the facts. Anyway, I can’t remember very well what I was looking for at the time, maybe some miracle hair product, the fact is, Google directed me to a YouTube video of a girl with long curly hair.
The moment that changed my hair journey…
That was the moment my eyes doubled in size in amazement and my mind reached another level of consciousness. Up until then, I didn’t know it was possible for me to let my naturally curly hair grow.
Heck… I didn’t even know that I was allowed to let my natural hair grow after relaxing it. I don’t know why but in my mind, I always thought it was like having a ‘deal made with the Devil’ – once it’s done you can’t go back. Plus, lots of people around me (hair professionals included) always told me my hair would fall out if I ever attempted it.
This was the moment that changed my whole hair journey and set me on a new path – a much more beautiful and healthier one. 🙂
This journey really opened up a new love for me. A true love for natural hair in all its textures, forms, curls and lengths. So much so that I created this blog to help other natural hair newbies and transitioners reconnect with the nature of their curly hair, understand their unique hair needs and build a hair regimen that supports healthy moisturised hair that retains growth.
If you’re not yet truly convinced why you should start growing your curly hair here are a few reasons I hope will finally make you swing over to this side of the fence.
#1| FREE OF SOCIAL STANDARDS
Up until now, and when it comes to our curly hair, we all complied with social standards of beauty that sacrificed our culture, our identity, our health and in many ways our self-esteem since we thought we were not pretty enough or would not be accepted or even loved if we didn’t have our hair done in a certain way. Aren’t you longing to be free of these chains?
Luckily, things are changing and these standards are slowly but surely eroding. Though things could be a lot better, the natural hair community is a big enough ‘club’ where you won’t feel lonely, in fact, it is a growing club with a significant representation in Europe and in the US (where it all started) and is causing a ripple effect all around the world.
There are natural hair events dedicated to celebrating the beauty of natural hair as well as giving curly hair care tips, introducing new products and more. There is hardly a month where you won’t have a dedicated event. It’s awesome! Join the club and feel liberated.
#2| CHEMICAL FREE
I’m sure that by now the burning sensation and lesion left on your scalp along with an intense chemical scent triggered by the use of relaxers are an indication that the use of relaxer is not a healthy choice. And it’s no wonder since they use very strong chemicals to straighten curly hair.
Among the damage they cause to our hair and scalp like thinning hair, split ends, breakage, dryness, scars, dandruff and more, studies have also found a connection between the use of relaxers and reproductive and hormonal issues (1 & 2).
Is it really worth to put your health (and that of your kids) at risk to conform to a social standard of beauty you’ll never reach?
One thing this natural hair journey will open your eyes to is how chemicals in your products can affect your hair health. As you ditch hair relaxers, you’ll also find a big number of hair care brands dedicated to bringing you products with ingredients that are as close to natural as possible and free of chemicals that negatively impact not just your hair but your health too. Here are 14 British Natural Hair Care Brands you can check up.
#3| SAVE MONEY
I know a lot of people say that ‘being a natural hair girl is expensive‘, but please don’t believe them. I have debunked a few myths about being natural and have shown you how you can go natural on a friendly budget if that worries you.
Here, you can download this Hair Budget Cheat List and Shopping List to keep your expenses under control.
Additionally, I have to say that being natural can be as expensive or as cheap as you want it to be. It’s just like the food you buy. You can go all natural and organic or you can go cheap with brands that are no good for your curly hair (please don’t), but there is a middle grown.
There is also the case that when you go natural you save more money because you’re not going to the salon every week to straighten your hair and every 6 weeks to apply a relaxer, which can fork a significant portion of your monthly income.
If you still argue you spend less money on relaxed hair then I have to tell you, you really aren’t taking care of your hair. Relaxed hair is by imposition damaged hair and you need just as much (or more) TLC to make sure it stays relatively healthy. Why do you think so many ladies with relaxed hair suffer from breakage and not being able to retain hair growth? Why is it their hair never grows past a certain point? Overwhelmingly, the reason is bad hair care. That’s why you save money.
#4| MAKE YOUR OWN PRODUCTS
If you’re a curious mind who likes to mix things and make concoctions you’ll be joining the right group, there is a lot of DIY’ing for those who like it. Many have even ventured into producing and selling their own products successfully as is the case of brands like Shea Moisture, Flora & Curl and Cioccolatina (SheaButter Cottage’s brand).
As mentioned before you can save some money doing DIY, but you can also make some if you decide to sell your own successful recipes. Here is a set of DIY recipes for your entire wash day, but you can have access to my free resource library here, where you can find lots of recipes.
#5| STOP CHASING UNICORNS
Going natural means you can finally stop chasing unicorns. Though having a little bit of this attitude towards chasing your goals and keeping a youthful attitude towards life can be a good thing, the same thing doesn’t apply to your hair. Not when you’re trying to achieve something that you’ll never have. You’ll just keep failing while attempting to have it and even damaging your hair, scalp and health in the process.
If there’s anything hair related you should be chasing after is having your natural hair healthy and strong. Your chances of achieving this goal depend entirely on you unless, of course, you have some health condition. Here are 3 things you need to do when going on a natural hair journey that will help you succeed.
#6| HIGHER SELF-ESTEEM
It may sound crazy to hear this, but one of the biggest benefits I got from letting my naturally curly hair grow was a higher self-esteem. Yes, after all the sacrifices we did to get our hair to remain straight – all the nauseous scent of chemicals, the burns, the scars, and what not – here I am telling you that your self-esteem, pride and posture will increase 10x fold.
I understand that relaxed straight hair, extensions, wigs and the whole shebang can give us confidence, but not like the one you’ll get when you fall in love with your curls and wear them proudly (be it on a good hair day or not).
This time you’re not hiding behind something that is not truly your hair. It’s like your true-self has been set free, no more pretending. Still, I don’t wanna lie to you, there may be times, particularly in the beginning of your hair journey, where you may be pissed off at it with all the learning curves and its swinging moods, but even those will become cherished moments. Promise! 🙂
#7| YOU CAN STILL HAVE FUN
If hair is an expression of yourself and you like to play with colour and hairstyles that require the use of heat, know that you can do this too with your curly hair. Many naturals choose to stay away from colour and applying heat on their natural hair out of fear they will lose their curls and/or damage their hair. However, if done carefully and by a professional, you don’t have to miss out on the fun. (some naturals have mastered the art of straightening their own hair, this means mo’ money in the bank!)
Truth be told, you do have to take some extra measures to ensure your vulnerable hair is not dry and weak and you don’t wanna make these practices a frequent occurrence or you will definitely lose your curl pattern. Anyway, the main message here is that you can still have fun with your hair but without all the lye application every 6 weeks. Awesome, right?!
Being a natural girl these days isn’t as rare or as difficult as a few years ago. Back then there was little to no help or information. There were very few professionals who could work with curly hair and natural hair care brands weren’t as easy to find or as many as today.
These days you have a black natural hair model on Victoria Secret’s runway, you have a Miss USA with natural hair, you have mainstream hair care brands like Pantene reaching out to fulfil the needs of kinky hair textures and a multitude of natural hair care brands.
It is obvious the natural hair community is growing and is causing a ripple effect as it grows by forcing others to change perceptions and acknowledge the uniqueness of curly hair. Not all is perfect, by all means. Though the movement is growing it’s not breaking down wrong perceptions, prejudice against curly hair and social standards of beauty fast enough.
Still, the more we are, the more we’ll feel represented and the faster we’ll help break down these ‘walls’. The eccentric, extravagant and the hype will hopefully become the new normal. Don’t wait for others to take the first step. Take the first step and soon you’ll see others like yourself all around you.
Ready to take the leap? My email course Boost Your Hair Moisture will guide you while you take your first steps and make sure you always have your hair moisturised. For more on avoiding common mistakes as a newbie, you can read my 3-part email series that starts with this post: 3 Mistakes You’re Making When Building Your Natural Hair Care Routine.