Five Things I’ve Learned Since Going Natural

6 Aug

I have been natural for a little over a year but I have been growing out a  low fade since October 2011 so to some extent it feels like I am just really starting my journey. Thus, I have learned a  wide  variety of lessons about myself and natural hair in general and I have decided to create  a post about some of the more important lessons I have learned.

1. Don’t believe the hair type hype!  When I first went natural I was all about Andre Walker’s hair typing system. I was convinced that if I could just figure out what my curl pattern I would magically unlock the secrets to dope natural hair. I quickly learned that curl pattern is not as important as your hair’s properties i.e. porosity, elasticity, density, and texture. It’s the properties not the pattern which determine what products may or may not work in your hair. Which brings me to point 2…

2. Research (education) is essential– There’s an abundance of information out there to help us on our journey to healthy natural hair and it’s important to use it. Caring for natural hair is a totally different ball game than caring for relaxed hair. I had to completely reeducate myself on my understanding of hair care and I am still learning as my journey progresses. Most of what I know I ‘ve learned from natural hair websites, books  and YouTube. is a great resource as is  and in addition  The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care and Hair Care Rehab: The Ultimate Hair Repairing & Reconditioning Manual by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy are two great book.

3. Water is your friend Water is a relaxed woman’s kryptonite but that is not so when you are natural. When you go natural water and water based products are imperative for healthy hair. You must moisturize your hair! And don’t forget to seal in the moisture with an oil or butter.

4. If at first you don’t succeed try again–  So much of this journey is trial and error. If a product doesn’t work try it again. If a particular hairstyle comes out a total fail revisit it again later. I have used products in my journey that initially did not work for me only to revisit them later with greater success. For instance at the beginning of my journey when my hair was super short I tried to use the oh so raved about Giovanni Direct Leave-In only to be let with a white mess on my head which refused to absorb into my hair. I then revisited the product at a later time when my hair had grown out a bit more and the product absorbed into my hair better. Don’t give up until you try it twice unless of course you have a horrible reaction to the product.

5. This ish ain’t easy- While I am enjoying my natural hair journey it has not been easy. For starters I  big chopped to a low fade, so there was that whole thing of people questioning my sanity (by people I mean family mostly my nana). Then as my hair first started to grow back there were the proclamations of how nappy my hair is (again my nana). Not to mention one co-worker keeps promising to cut my coils which he thinks are starter locs (apparently he is vehemently against locs on women) while another can’t stop calling me beady beads.  All the while I am trying to grow my hair out in its natural state and deal with its ever-changing upkeep and some days it’s all too much.  

What have you learned since going natural?

2 Responses to “Five Things I’ve Learned Since Going Natural”

  1. Leela Hamilton August 9, 2012 at 1:45 am #

    thanks for this post. I’m new to the natural hair journey so I really appreciate these tips.

    • iambarbiedee August 9, 2012 at 12:32 pm #

      You are so welcome. I am fairly new to the journey too and I think it’s important to share information with one another so we can all have awesome hair.

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