So you've decided to go natural? (I'm guessing that's why you're here reading about what you should know before going natural).
In my seven years with natural hair I've learned a lot, and some of it I wish I had someone tell me along the way.
Going from straight, relaxed hair to embracing your curly strands can be a journey and I want to help make that as easy as possible for you.
Here are 5 things you need to know about going natural:
1. Once you big chop, you may not have the reaction you'd thought you'd have to your new style. This can be a major adjustment, especially if you're going from long to short hair. You may think you look completely different. You may love it or you may hate it (I hope not), but while you can't prepare for your exact reaction, you can prepare mentally by saying, "I'll be OK with whatever the outcome is."
2. Your family and friends may not like your hair. I realized this quickly once I cut my hair and my grandmother didn't seem too thrilled with my decision. She asked, "Can you straighten it?" and she said, "What did you do?" Long story short, not everyone will understand why you made this decision but that doesn't matter, and you shouldn't feel like you have to explain yourself to people. As long as you are OK with your next step...let the haters hate.
3. It will be trial and error to figure out what products work. Everyone's hair has potential to look amazing, but it's just a matter of figuring out what styles and hair products your hair likes. It can and most likely will be frustrating, but just remember "this all takes time." If you're looking to sample multiple products for a low price, you might consider ordering a CurlKit - a monthly subscription kit that sends you 5-7 samples (and many times, full-sized hair products).
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4. Get a camera. This may sound super basic, but your hair will grow and you'll transform along with it. Unfortunately, it hard sometimes to reflect on where we've been because we can't see our progress - this is what pictures are for. When I first big chopped, I took pictures with my phone every month for years. Now I can look back and actually see my progress. It feels so good to know you're on the right path.
5. Expect an emotional transformation. For me, "going natural" was something I wanted to do for not only my physical appearance, but I wanted to discover more about "me." After learning of all of the chemicals in hair relaxers, I began eating healthier and watching what products I put onto my skin. Overtime my big chop helped me see me for me and nothing else - and I can truly say I am happy with that. I feel more balanced, centered and emotionally connected than I ever have before.
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So I've got to ask, for those who are not new to natural hair, what did you experience after going natural that you didn't see coming?
Share your experiences with in the comment section below or on my social media pages (@ClassyCurlies).