SINCE 2015, more and more women are embracing the natural look. From Kate Henshaw to Omoni Oboli, and quite recently, Shola Allyson, ladies have taken the decision to go back to their roots. This may seem like a difficult task but it shouldn’t be impossible.
Besides, even if it may seem that it would require so much effort, it is a step as many women as possible should embrace.
Before you go natural
Making the decision to maintain your natural hair comes with the attendant responsibility, and as such, there are questions to ask before the transition:
Are you ready for the task?
Contrary to the notion that natural hair is easier to maintain, natural hair demands high maintenance. Remember that the average Nigerian lady’s hair is usually curly and sometimes hard to touch. As such, be ready to embrace proper and regular washing, conditioning and detangling, whether you cut it off or not.
Are you close to regular water supply?
The reality for natural hair growers is that you will need to shampoo and condition at least once a week. This will help to ease out drying, coarseness and tangling and help with easier management. However, with more washing comes the need to have enough water around dedicated strictly to your hair.
Are you ready to embrace uncomfortable change?
Transitioning from relaxed to natural hair has its advantages but the beginning stages can be quite difficult. Besides, unlike the smooth scanty feel of retouched hair, you’re now left with thick, curly hair. Be absolutely sure you’re ready for the job at hand because maintenance can be quite tasking.
Are you ready to trust an expert?
Having access to as much information available over the internet is not the same as engaging the services of a physical expert who can examine your hair and determine the right products you should use.
The transition proper
According to Francesca Emmanuel, owner of Beauty Flicks Hair Port, Ojodu, Lagos State, there are three ways to switch from relaxed to natural hair: waiting it out entirely, regular trimming of the major parts of the relaxed strands or cutting it off. Whichever way you pick is entirely up to you.
Ms Emmanuel also shares other tips for successfully switching from relaxed to natural hair as follows:
Know your hair type
It is not enough to just take the decision to move from relaxed to natural hair. It is equally important to determine your hair type to ensure you are using the right products. As a result, book an appointment with an expert to get the correct products’ recommendations. Type of hair depends on the texture and general outlook and can range between curly, straight, kinky, soft and coarse.
Know the pros and cons of each process
Whether you choose to shave your hair and go for low cut, decide to trip the relaxed tips or simply choose to wait and grow it out, it is important to know the high and low sides of your decision. If you decide to start over, decide just how low you’re willing to go. For example, instead of cutting it so low, you could wait a few weeks to have enough natural hair on the roots before chopping your hair off.
Know the rituals of grooming
Unlike fixing weavons and using hair extensions, grooming your natural hair requires pampering because of the nature of the hair. For starters, you could go for braids to help you prepare your hair for its natural state. Braids also help with evading the ritual of detangling and aid with growth. However, for best results, let your natural hair breathe as much as possible. Wash at least once a week with rich conditioner and shampoo. Shampoo helps to take care of dirt and conditioner helps with softening. If you feel there isn’t much dirt, go for strictly shampoo.
Buy the essentials
In the early stages of grooming natural hair, try to use natural products if you can to ensure that your hair retains its natural hair as much as possible. As much as you can, rely on a certified expert.
Switch between styles
Even if you decide to go natural, it does not automatically mean that you have to retain just that look. You can still fix weavons, make braids, and if you like, make Ghana weaving. Your limitation is really a function of your mindset and how much you’re willing to explore. And your hair in its natural state can still be styled so beautifully, even those with relaxed hair will envy you. The trick is to work with your full rich texture.
Going from retouched to natural takes time and sometimes the process can be frustrating but in the long run, you will be rewarded.
P.S. And if you do not feel up to going totally natural, but still crave the look, there are many weavon options to choose from.