Going Natural with a Tribe called Quest(ions)
So, you’re here because either you’re thinking of going natural, or you’ve already jumped the fence and still have questions. Let’s get into it. We’re gonna address some of the most common questions natural newbies have.
Q 1: How do I go natural?
A: First, you have to stop using chemicals (no heat /curl altering tools): flat irons, pressing comb nor curling irons; and do not use a blow dryer to wear your hair straight. Wear your hair in its natural curly state or alternative natural hair styles that do not include heat. You can opt to big chop or transition.
Q2: What if I still have straight chemical hair with some new growth and want to go natural?
A: You can go natural 2 ways:
1: cut off all chemically treated hair and style natural hair – called a ‘big chop’.
2: transition gradually: style the chemically treated hair into styles to look like or blend into your natural hair that is growing out, do not make your curly hair straight.
curly styles: flexi or perm rod sets; 2 strand twists and curl the ends
protective styles: braid styles (no added hair), extension braid styles, crotchet styles, wigs or full coverage weaves: no hair leave out.
Q3: What can I do if I have more than 3 inches of new growth and my permed/ straight hair is breaking off in several places?
A: You should cut off all the broken permed / straight hair – generally called a ‘big chop’; then style your natural hair in a desired style. Create a ‘look book’ for style-spiration.
Q4: What is the best look for me?
A: Create an online ‘look book’ of desired/ most favorite hairstyles. The internet is full of style-spiration. Don’t go it alone. Consult with a professional. This question leads to more questions of which a professional consultation will help you narrow down an answer(s).
Q5: What is a ‘big chop’?
A: A ‘big chop’ is when an individual decides to cut off all chemically altered or heat damaged hair. You cut off to where the new growth strands meet the straight hair. Generally, this cut is done with the end result of an even all over round shape. Often times it can be a very low cut / short Afro or TWA (teeny, weeny Afro). And sometimes the cut can be done into a stylish taper shape, preserving length on the top with low sides and back to give more styling options.
Q6: What products /tools do I need?
A: For the shampoo process: You need a moisturizing shampoo, conditioner, wide tooth comb, a detangling brush or your fingers. The conditioner gives you slip for detangling. For the styling process: You need a comb (rat tooth or wide), a styling cream and / or gel or mouse depending on the desired style. Please remember that conditioner is not a styling product even if it is a ‘cream leave-in conditioner’.
Q7: Why does my hair feel dry, even after I apply oil.
A: When going natural the strands will feel different from chemically / heat treated hair. Hair cuticles are raised a little which lets water in and also lets water out faster. You must mist your hair first, then lightly apply oil or cream to seal in the water applied to your strands. Water is your best friend. If your hair feels dry, you should add water (with a spray bottle; leave in conditioner (water based) or shampoo your hair). Apply oil to strands to seal in the moisture. Oil does not moisturize – it seals. If you apply oil before the water you will block the water from getting into the strands to moisturize.
Q8: Why does my hair frizz out or turn into a bush by the afternoon after I style it or day 2?
A: Most likely you did not use a styling product when you styled. Leave in conditioner is not a styling product. You should use a cream / oil or gel/mouse depending on the desired style you are trying to achieve. Sometimes you will be using both a cream and a gel / mouse to style.
Curlfriends, this is the gist of it. If you have more questions we strongly encourage you to write them down and make a consultation appointment with a Curl / Texture Professional in your area! You don’t have to go it alone.