For most women of African descent, going natural seems to be the most likely hair trend to follow. Some may however argue that going natural is not a trend, rather a returning to ones roots and origin which means appreciating ones hair just the way it is without of course having to alter it with chemical relaxers.
For many others, going natural is nothing but a willingness to try something new, jump on the bandwagon and see if it works for that individual or not. In this case going or returning natural doesn’t necessarily have a deep meaning or attachment to it. The decision to go natural may however be faced with so many uncertainties and questions regardless of whether one sees natural hair as a movement or trend. One of the first questions anybody is most likely to ask is ” I am really going to do this and am i ready for this change?” It sounds very much like an easy question but in reality it isn’t that simple. Answering this question requires that the person also asks other important questions which will help them to really know if they are indeed ready. Here are some 5 questions to really ask yourself before making that decision.
1. Can I Big Chop?
Big Chops seem to be the quickest way to go/return natural. This is because it involves chopping off all relaxed hair and allowing the hair to go free and natural without having to deal with two different textures if your hair is relaxed or texturised. Do you have to take the big chop route? The answer is no. If you are not comfortable with bald or very short hair there are still other options like the transitioning method which allows you to keep you length whiles growing your natural hair out so that you can build your confidence and cut it when you are comfortable with the length of hair that may have grown over the period you let it. If you have no hesitation in regards to chopping off your hair then you might actually be ready to go natur
2. Can I Accept my Natural Hair Texture?
It is so easy to get caught up in the natural hair textures web. Lots of new naturals or even longer naturals easily fall into the trap of thinking that their hair can do the same things as other naturals. Natural hair is very different in terms of kinkyness and coiliness, curl pattern, hair density, hair porosity etc. Therefore, fantasising about other textures and other naturals would take away from your own journey since you are most likely to be disappointed especially when things that work for others do not work for you. If you can learn to not expect any specific hair texture and rather accept and appreciate your own natural hair and texture and learn through it then you may be ready to go natural.
3. Can I dedicate time to my hair?
The early stages of natural hair is usually very low maintenance and less time-consuming. The real problem starts when your hair starts to grow in length and thickness. This phase requires you to dedicate enough time as you can to maintain a good and healthy hair. No process is quick when you have natural hair. A simple shampoo process may not be quick and easy when you have natural hair. Neither is the conditioning process nor the styling process. You have to really accept that you might have to spend longer hours in the shower or bathroom taking care of your hair especially if you want long healthy natural hair. If you can do this then you might be ready to go natural.
4. Can I do lots of research and Experiment with Products?
Like already stated above, everyone’s hair is different and not everything works for everyone. If you think you are going to find the best products and hair treatments and best techniques for styling on the first attempt or based on someones judgements then you are probably going to get disappointed many times. You have to be able to research products especially ingredients in the said products and what they might or might not do to your hair. You also have to be open to trying other products and treatments for your hair. Remember not to take anybody’s word for it. Word of mouth and suggestions is good because it gives you a certain idea and perspective about what the product might do for you but if it doesn’t work for you do not give up. Keep trying other ways to do things to get what you are looking for. You will definitely be in luck sooner or later.
5. Can I Deal With all The Negativity?
It is bad enough to deal with the pressures of going natural on your own, but dealing with negativity about your hair and your journey especially from close people can be pretty disheartening. People will try to make comments about what your hair is looking like and how kinky it is and how you cannot do this and that with the type of hair you have. You have to know what you want for yourself and your hair. Be confident and take constructive criticisms or advice. Do better with your hair. Shut out negative voices and myths and stereotypes about your hair and focus on loving everything that is a part of you. If you can do this then you are ready to go Natural.
So Do You Feel and Think You Are Ready For The Journey?
If you answered “yes” to any of the questions above with no hesitations then you are ready to take a dive. If you are still unsure about it don’t feel pressured. Give yourself time and do lots of research. Talk to people who are already natural who can help you and take you through the journey. All the best with that.