Making the decision to big chop was the most nerve racking, yet liberating decision I have ever made.
I learned more about my hair in the first year of growing it out than I had known in my 11 years of having a relaxer. This journey has been filled with many nights struggling to perfect a twist out, disappointment in seeing that Twist Out crash and burn into a frizz filled hot mess, and excitement over the discovery of God’s gift, the Flat Twist.
I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Every failed twist out taught me what NOT to do next time. Although I have learned so much throughout my natural hair journey, there are three things I wish I knew before I started.
3 Things I Wish I’d Known Before I Went Natural
1. Expensive products do not always equal results!
I don’t know how much money I spent in the first 6 months of my journey purchasing conditioners, gels, milks, and other products that promised results.
It got to the point where my fiancé told me, “no more products until you use what you have in your stash.” Going through the products in my stash gave me a good understanding of what ingredients work well with my hair.
Just because a conditioner is $22 doesn’t mean that it will work well with my hair. Do your research on the products that you use in your hair. Find out what’s in them and when you use them pay attention to how your hair reacts. Your hair will tell you whether it likes it or not.
2. There’s a product for that!
You remember that saying, “There’s an app for that?” Well I’m telling you, regardless of the result you are looking for, there is a product for that.
I have about 20 products in my stash right now ranging from masques, to oils, shampoos and conditioners, gels, you name it I’ve got it. I rotate the products out depending on the look I am going for.
If I want definition I need to use something that has a nice hold. If I want more of a fro I may use a product that has less hold. It all depends on the mood that I’m in.
That’s why it’s important to have a good understanding of the products you’re using. It helps you avoid having to throw a beanie on because your hair didn’t turn out like you wanted it to.
3. Don’t covet other people’s hair texture!
This was the HARDEST lesson for me to learn. I would look at other people and see their beautiful curls and baby hair and begin to resent my type 4 hair.
I would do a style and my hair would never turn out like the YouTube videos I watched. I became so frustrated with my hair that I found myself lingering in the relaxer section of the hair store longer than need be.
Although this period in my journey was filled with a lot of failed attempts, it taught me so much about my hair. I learned that my hair texture is capable of doing things I never thought it could do. There is so much versatility with my hair, I can have defined curls one day and the next day wear a fro.
My hair is an accessory. I wear it according to how I’m feeling that day. Embrace your natural hair. This is how you were intended to be. Your texture, whatever it may be, is unique to you. No one else has the EXACT same pattern in their hair. Own that and rock it!
Royeal (Roy-elle) is a 22 year old Naturalista with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. She’s been natural for almost 2 years. She returned her hair to its natural state in July 2013 during her Junior year of college.
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