If you’ve been mistreating your hair through heat damage and chemical treatments, there’s no time like the present to ditch the straightening and embrace your beautiful natural hair.
In this post natural hair blogger Liv Loves shares some of her own natural hair journey and tips and info to help you start your own.
Up until my early teens I had always worn my hair natural until I discovered straighteners. After shocking myself when seeing how much damage I can cause, in around 2015 I began my journey to revive my curls and I haven’t looked back.
I’ve learnt a lot along the way, so here are my top tips for starting your natural hair journey.
Deciding to make the change
I made the decision to take proper care of my hair after completely destroying my curl pattern. It wasn’t until I got in the shower one day, smelled burning coming from my hair and saw that my curl pattern had nearly disappeared that I realised what I had done.
People choose to go natural for many reasons, most commonly it’s down to hair damage but it could also be down to:
- A desire to prevent further damage to their hair
- Being fed up with the upkeep of straightening, weaves or extensions
- Wanting to feel more confident being natural
Where to start
There are two main routes that you can take – doing a big chop or using a transition kit.
If you have severe chemical damage or heat damage, doing a big chop or trimming off the ends is probably a good place to start – it may be hard but a clean slate will make the transition easier.
Alternatively, why not create a transition kit to support the different hair textures as new hair grows.
A good transition should include:
- A good shampoo and conditioner (you might want to choose one that’s sulfate-free)
- A hair mask or deep conditioner
- Monthly hair treatments such as Olaplex or Aphogee protein treatment
- A styling cream, gel and oil
- A satin bonnet, headscarf or pillowcase
Knowing your hair
The Andre Walker hair type chart is a widely used classification system, starting from straight hair to coils. You may find this helpful when finding products, however, it’s important to note that two people can have the same ‘hair type’ but thrive on different routines and products.
The best way to get to know your hair is to experiment – how quickly does it dry? Does it react better to creams or gels? Knowledge is key so the more things you try the better understanding you’ll have!
A great way of tracking your progress is to take regular photos. It may feel like nothing is changing, but when you look back at previous months you’ll be able to see how far you’ve come.
Protective styling reduces ongoing manipulation of your hair, encourages growth retention and protects the ends of your hair strands, reducing knots and tangles. Options include:
- Twist outs – braid or twist your hair into several sections while applying a leave-in cream (doing this while your hair is wet may create better results). You can leave this in overnight or a few hours and when you unravel each section you’ll have moisturised and well-styled hair ready to go.
- Braids – keeping your hair in braids will lock in moisture and encourage growth. You can do this at home and keep them in for a few days, or go to a professional stylist for box braids, cornrows and many other styles.
If you’re looking for a professional stylist near you, StylzMag is here to help. With a directory full of afro hair and beauty experts, you can find a stylist who’s passionate about helping you transition.
Find out more about Liv Loves on her blog