Guest post by Victoria (@missvictoriajay on Instagram and Twitter), who cut her hair two weeks ago and has some comments for aspiring naturals!
In a world where embracing one’s natural hair texture has become a social movement, an aspiring/transitioning natural may find the idea of committing to the natural hair community slightly overwhelming. Although there are more resources than ever before, someone who has worn their hair straightened for most of their life may have trouble with knowing where to start. As a newly “naturalized” natural, trust me I understand the feeling. I finally cut my hair down to its natural state less than two weeks ago after a five-year love triangle between my klassy kinks, hair extensions, and sporadic relaxers.
Because I know it may seem like nearly everybody you know has gone natural or those individuals in your life who have not gone natural always have something less than positive to say about natural hair, I am here to let you know that you are not alone. So, whether you’re looking to make the plunge and commit to your big chop or you have been natural for some time and are ready for a new start or you are simply curious about the whole natural process, here is some leave-in to detangle your thoughts and help you understand what to expect:
1. You may not recognize yourself initially.
Seriously. Every time I look in the mirror I’m like, “Oh. I DID cut my hair, that’s right. It’s kinda cute.” I’ve never done anything too drastic with my hair, so changing textures and losing a good five inches definitely made a difference.
2. You may consider buying a selfie stick.
Between your own curiosity, necessary Instagram photos, and all of your friends and family asking you to send them pics of the new do, it just may be a good idea. As a matter of fact, your overall selfie game must improve when you go natural.
3. Do not expect your hair to look like what you imagined.
Most of the time it will not look like the previous day. In many cases it won’t even slightly resemble anything near what you were trying to do. Moral of the story – just roll with it. You’ll be a happier naturalista if you do.
4. Prepare your heart and your mind for people’s comments, concerns, looks, and questions.
The majority will be positive, but in the event you feel like you might need to check someone, don’t say I didn’t warn you. LOL. All jokes aside, the first time I did my own hair, several people stopped me asking what I had done. So, that made me feel like I am headed in a good direction, and I am certain you will too.
5. More likely than not, your hair will have multiple textures.
When I heard people say this before I cut my hair, I thought they were exaggerating a bit. I have found, however, that this statement is very true. The top crown of my hair is very different from the back, which is very different from the sides. It’s important to at least pay attention to these differences because it may make a difference in how you care for your hair.
6. Corporate America – well, people are learning.
Photo Credit | Getty Images via Essence.com
I had a lot of apprehension about not wearing my hair straight in a corporate setting. As a law student, I am entering into one of the most conservative professions on the planet, and everything I do in a professional setting is scrutinized. I made a bold decision to cut my hair and wear it out for my internship this summer, and I anticipated the potential of mixed reviews concerning my hair. However, in my short time as a naturalista, I have noticed that people seem to be indifferent. In the event that you actually encounter some nonsense, just remember that the world is slowly, but surely, evolving and you are perfectly perfect wearing the hair on your head the way it grew out of your head no matter the setting.
7. Keep It Simple.
The stylist who cut and styled my hair said these beautiful words, and she was absolutely right. Sometimes we get so encumbered with all the natural hair care methods and new products that we forget to take the time to learn how our hair generally behaves and reacts in its natural state. Do yourself a favor and take the time to listen to what your hair tells you. Practicing patience and care with my hair has worked for me (when I was transitioning and now), and I know it will work for you too.
8. Dating – only because I know that has crossed your mind.
You have been wearing weaves and everything else for so long that you may be worried about the reactions of your counterparts. Well, I’ve got nothing. I just relocated to a new city, and I haven’t really gotten any feedback. Only time will tell, but I will definitely keep you updated.
9. You are not obligated to do your own hair once you go natural.
I am admittedly NOT a “hair person.” Historically, the only thing I can do is a nice solid flat iron on processed hair. I say this to say, I recognized that a stylist would better assist me on my journey (at least initially). However, in this journey, I think it is important to at least TRY doing a style. I am proud to say that I have successfully flat twisted my hair, and I have semi- successfully bantu knotted my hair. Yay me!
10. When you know it’s time to cut off your damaged or relaxed hair, you will just know.
There will be no need for consultation. Although you may have some apprehension or some doubts, when you feel like the move needs to be made you will just do it. Take me for example: I did my research (it took five years of vacillation), and finally scheduled my appointment. Once the appointment was locked in, there was no more wavering. It was a done deal. The decision was finalized, and I was committed to following through this time.
Although I’m new to the game, I hope you feel at least a little less overwhelmed and can better visualize what to expect. A large majority of my natural associates are “old school” naturals at this point, so sometimes it helped to get encouragement from someone with more recent experiences. So, what’s next for me? Experimenting with styles, continuously learning my hair, writing about my hair adventures, and enjoying the process of not being processed.