This natural hair care journey is bittersweet, especially when you first start out. Let me explain my sentiments. This is my second time going natural, the first time was five years ago and I abandoned the journey after 2yrs. because of my lack of knowledge on natural hair care . This time around, I didn't do a big chop instead I stopped relaxing my hair after I had my daughter because I was too busy with motherhood, I couldn't get to the hair salon as often as I liked. My hair grew but with the new growth came challenges, I had two different hair textures. My relaxed hair began to break and shred, the more that happened the more frustrated I became. One day, I walked into my bathroom and chopped all my relaxed hair off. It was liberating, I felt free! I literally felt "I am not my hair" as India Arie sang. I knew I was so much more than my hair but I honestly didn't know what to do with my new cut. Where do I begin? I can't show up to work with this untamed fro with no curl pattern just dry looking thick kinky hair. I went back and forth pondering how do I do me? and wear my natural hair in the workplace, I'm a professional woman with responsibilities, will my drastic change of hair style affect the way I'm perceived at my workplace? Yes, I did think like this. Real talk, many women of color have gone through this. You work so hard to be respected as a viable contributor in your profession the last thing you want is a cultural distraction that will take away from your merit earned position. After all this thinking and analyzing I concluded as I stated before, My God given Natural is Beautiful! What I needed were a few steps to assist me along the way in my natural hair care journey.
1. Education- I needed to relearn all I knew about hair care. My hair care knowledge was based on maintaining processed hair. The more informed I became on the natural hair journey in regards to curl pattern, natural hair products, protective styles, and variations on natural hair styles it empowered me. No longer do I have worries on how to wear my natural hair while growing it out. Suddenly my fears quickly diminished. I personally wear protective styles more often than none but definitely allowing time in between for my scalp to breath. Go at your own pace and educate yourself. I'm no natural hair expert but I'm feeling confident doing me and rocking my God given Natural.
2. Don't be afraid to try natural hair products. Thanks to my good friends at Fantasia Hair Care, I've been able to try the Aloe/Vitamin P.M. Night Time Oil Treatment for the past month and it's Fantastic! I spray it on at night and gently massage it on my scalp and entire hair and sleep with a plastic hair cap. It gives my hair that extra shine my hair type needs. In the morning I use Shea Butter Deep Oil Moisturizer w/ Cocoa & Mango Butter after spraying my hair with water. The combination of these two give me the moisture and manageability I need to style my hair. This product leaves my hair smelling divine, it gives me a boost of confidence to know my hair smells fresh. I have to say Fantasia natural hair Care line has impressed me. Make sure you try new hair care products, it's the only way to find out what works for you.
3. Find a Natural Hair Salon. Yes, if it hadn't been for the ladies at Hi Texture hair salon in Lawrenceville, Ga I probably would never wear my hair in its natural state and only wear protective styles. Like I mentioned earlier, I'm not a natural hair expert just a woman on a natural hair journey experiencing some of the same challenges you may be facing as you go through your own journey. Find people who have been on the journey longer and get tips from them. There are many Vbloggers that show you DIY natural hair styles and it’s great! But never underestimate going to a professional who will trim your hair every 4-6 weeks, deep condition it and show you new styles that compliment your face.
4. Your diet, hey I'm not one who follows the best diet however I have noticed that my increased water consumption has helped my hair growth and moisture. I literally feel my scalp is more hydrated. Don't sleep on water consumption!
5. Condition! I've learned to use a generous amount of conditioner whether I'm doing a deep treatment that I will rinse out or leave in conditioner. It works wonders to soften my hair, bring out my natural curl pattern and leaves it more manageable.
I have no regrets on going natural it’s the best decision I've made for my hair but I still have a lot to learn. Black Latina Negra Bella strives to create a community of Self-Love, Self-Worth and Self-Acceptance, we will begin to expand more on that foundation during our workshops. We are happy to introduce our first one coming up Sunday August 9th, with the professional hair care experts from Hi Texture hair salon who will present to us on the advantages of going natural and how to maintain during your natural hair journey. Mark your calendars for our "Curl Talk Workshop"! Our good friends from Fantasia Hair Care who are celebrating their 50th year will be supplying us with samples of their natural hair care line. This event will be a great opportunity to learn and feel empowered "to do you".
By, Dania Peguero,LMSW