You guys all know by now that I choose to relax my hair, especially after a 3-month no-relaxer trial period that didn’t go well. That said, I think ALL hair is beautiful, relaxed or not, but I see lots of women going natural for the wrong reasons.
Ladies. The reason to go natural is not because you think your hair will look like this :
Or like this:
The reason to go natural is not so you can spend $$$ and hours upon hours trying to manipulate your hair to look like the above. The reason to go natural is not to braid all of your beautiful natural hair away and hide it under a wig or weave. The reason to go natural is to revel in the beauty that grew from your head, no matter what the texture! I see so many women chopping off their hair and starting over fresh, just to feel unhappy/not pretty/dissatisfied and therefore subject their hair to all kinds of treatments/protective styling/products/techniques to get a style that doesn’t represent what they started over FOR, and it’s frustrating!
This isn’t to say you shouldn’t experiment with styles – go try them all! Bantu knots, flexi-rods, twist-outs, braidouts, weaves, relaxers – whatever you want. BUT while doing all of that, love yourself, and love your hair for the way it is. You’re not more beautiful with a weave than you are with your natural hair. You’re not more beautiful with a relaxer than you are with your natural hair. YOU are beautiful, and your hair is just icing on the cake!
photocredit | Nicole Carter-Lyde
With that in mind, I came across an awesome post on Tumblr that talks about what to expect post big chop, and I thought it could definitely help my readers! It’s kind of hard to read text on the author’s blog so I’m re-posting, but also linked to the original below.
As I’ve previously stated, I’ve had my share of BCs, just about 3, within the last 5 years. Along my journey, I’ve learned a lot on my own. Somethings I was warned about, others I truly had to learn on my own. I’m going to shed some light on some of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned. Understand that I do not rep #teamnatural or anything like that. I’m just a squirrel in a world trying my nut lol (I’ve always wanted to say that), but seriously I’m just finding what works for me. So I’m going to tell you all the secrets I wish I was warned of.
1. Having natural hair is not less maintenance.
Sorry but that is a crock of shit. Washing my hair, thoroughly, deep conditioning and twisting my hair takes just about 4 hours. By the time it’s all over, my fingers are all pruney and my back hurts because of the arching as I twist the back of my head. Meanwhile, a perm took me about 2-3 hrs. A wash was about 1-1.5 hrs. Weaving takes me 2hrs.
… oh, and don’t even talk about me about a wash and go. Type 4 hair does not like that shit. Maybe I were a type 3 but I’m type 4a/4b with ONE 3c curl in the back.
2. Doing your hair will no longer be relaxing.
I’ve come to dread it. The arm aches. The time that could’ve gone to studying for Psych Statistic. The detangling. The single strand knots. It blows my happy sometimes. I was once the girl who got happy when I got a wash and set, perm, weave, whatever. Now that all that is replaced with me having to detangle and then twist my hair until my fingers are pruney and then some, I HATE DOING MY HAIR.
… oh, and twist outs?? They do not last no 3-4 days unless your hair is shoulder stretched out. Currently my hair is like 1.5 inches and my twist outs lasts 2 days. By day 3 my hair is not looking great point blank.
3. Eco styler gel flakes.
These damn YouTube people talmbout how Eco Styler Gel doesn’t flake but when I scratch my scalp, I see flakes of gel on my desk. Perhaps I used too much gel? Well the more gel you use, the better your koils come out. So you just have to accept the flakes.
.. my favorite though has to be between the clear one (it has no unnecessary dye) and the olive oil my hair responded really well to it.
4. Being natural is not cheaper.
I spend more money now, trying to figure out what works for my hair in its natural state. I have wasted money on products that don’t mesh well with my hair. These products targeted for natural hair are more expensive than the simple items I used to use on my hair.
5. You will miss your hair.
Some days you’ll be pissed that you even cut your hair off. There will be days you’ll want slap a relaxer on it and call it a day. Bringing to my last point…
6. You may come to realize this isn’t for you and that’s just fine.
If you ever feel like this isn’t for you, then its okay. This does not mean you don’t love yourself. It takes maturity to understand that you don’t have to follow a trend. You can just be you and do what works for you. This is not about being #teamnatural. It’s about finding your way to healthy hair.
7. You can achieve healthy hair with a relaxer.
I know of women who relax and have long healthy hair. Their hair is not thinned out due to the relaxers. So don’t feel like being natural is the only way to achieve healthy hair.