In 2006 with the encouragement from an old friend, I made a bold step to become natural. I was filled with excitement and nervousness about the unknown journey that awaited me; however, something felt right about the decision. Although I had no idea of the journey that I would experience with being natural, it is one life-changing decision that I am grateful for making.
I have learned many lessons these past ten years and I’d like to share four points below on what being natural has taught me:
Know thy History – Deciding to become a naturalista means that you are participating in a movement. We are women that are exercising our God given right and freedom to wear our own hair. Naturlistas are practicing a right that was once denied of our ancestors. When you are rocking your afro, know that it is an expression of self-love, liberation and a part of societal progression.
New Hair Care Regimen – Welcome to a new way of taking care of your hair! Being natural means that you are the expert of your hair. I still recommend seeing a hair stylist to cut your ends every 8-12 weeks and inform you of the condition of your hair, but you are now in the driver seat of your own hair care. It is important to always wash or shampoo your hair every 7-10 days in order to promote hair growth. In addition, on your wash day, implement the following steps to achieve moisturized, healthy hair:
Use a paraben and sulfate free shampoo. Be sure to apply the shampoo to the scalp and allow the shampoo to work its way down the hair shaft.
Follow with a deep treatment conditioner, place a plastic cap on your hair and allow it to sit on your hair for 25-35 min.
After rinsing out the deep treatment conditioner, incorporate the LOC (leave-in conditioner, oil and cream) method by placing a leave-in conditioner on your hair and finger detangle. Follow with argan oil or jojoba oil to lock in the moisture.
Finally, use a hair cream and style.
Eat to achieve healthy hair – Since I have been on my natural hair journey, I have been more cognizant of the products that I use on my hair, my body and the foods that I eat. Listed below are a few foods that are a part of my diet. I would like to encourage you to add these items to your diet as well and you will notice a great difference in your hair health:
Salmon and mackerel – Salmon and mackerel are full of omega-3 fatty acids which are great for giving your hair a natural sheen.
Greek Yogurt – Yogurt has protein and it has been said that it helps fight against hair thinning and loss. Greek yogurt has vitamin B5 which aids with the blood flow to your scalp and hair growth.
Spinach and Sweet Potatoes – Spinach and sweet potatoes are full of beta carotene and our bodies’ process beta carotene into vitamin A. Vitamin A is great with helping the scalp generate sebum which fights against dull hair.
Embrace your own hair – Whether your hair type is curly, kinky or coily, it is important to embrace your own hair. All hair types are beautiful and can achieve various hairstyles. Embracing your own hair requires you to research the products that are designed just for your hair type. You are beautiful and your hair is beautiful. Never compare, but love to learn the gorgeous mane you were born with.
I hope you enjoyed reading these four points that I have learned as a naturalista. As natural queens, we are continually learning and evolving in our journey. Be patient, enjoy each phase of your journey and always remember to love yourself and love your mane.