Things I've Learned Since Going Natural

Things I’ve Learned Since Going Natural

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I’ve learned a lot about hair care since going natural and I’ll be the first to tell ya, it ain’t easy, especially when you’re first getting used to your natural texture. However, if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed, hopefully I can put you at ease and help you get used to the process without having all the issues I had when I first shaved my head back in 2011.

Know Your Curl Pattern

I’m sure if you’ve been online for a while, you’ve noticed people talking about “hair typing”. While it may seem petty or unnecessary, it’s actually really helpful to know the shape of your curls.

Knowing your curl pattern can help you figure out why and how your hair tangles, which also means it’ll help you figure out how to get those tangles out.

These hair typing charts can also help you choose which products work best for your hair so you’ll get the most benefits from your purchases.

I’ve included a hair chart below to help guide you in finding your hair type.

Hair Typing Chart

Know Your Hair’s Porosity

The porosity of your hair simply means how raised the hair cuticle is. The more raised it is, the better your hair absorbs the products you apply to it. The more smoothed the cuticle is, the more likely it is your products will just sit on your hair. Both have their benefits and both have their cons. Click here to learn more about hair porosity.

Finger Detangling Is da BOMB!!

One thing I was reluctant to do when I first went natural was get into the habit of detangling my hair with nothing but my fingers. I would always rip combs or brushes thru my hair and thought I was doing what was best.

One day I got tired of seeing all my hair on the floor and decided, out of desperation, to try finger detangling. I’ve used nothing but my fingers to detangle and style my hair ever since then.

Using combs and brushes doesn’t allow you to feel the tangles and instead they just cause breakage by ripping the hair without you even realizing it! Your fingers have nerves and you’ll be able to get those tangles out with the least amount of breakage. Gotta love the sense of touch!

Moisture+Protein Balance=Length Retention

I have no idea if genetics actually play a role in how long your hair will or won’t grow (I’m not even gonna open that can of worms, plus plenty of other people have on enough natural hair forums to make my head spin) but I do know that I started retaining more length when I added protein treatments to my hair regimen.

The key is making sure your hair is getting a regular dose of both moisture AND protein. This will help you notice how fast your hair grows and will also help you keep the older hair (your ends).

Deep Conditioners Make A Huge Difference

I never saw the point of buying a deep conditioner and thought using a rinse out conditioner was enough. Man, was I wrong! Deep conditioners have ingredients that a lighter rinse out conditioner lacks and therefore offers the hair a more concentrated dose of moisture, which is a huge necessity, especially for type 4 strands like mine.

There are tons of options out there, but while deep conditioners are usually a little more pricey, they’re a great investment.

Satin Is A Strand’s Best Friend

I’m not much of a satin bonnet girl, but I only sleep on my satin pillowcase because cotton absorbs things (your hair’s moisture and products), which causes frizz. Combine that with the friction of you tossing and turning at night and you’ve got yourself some dry hair and THAT leads to breakage.

Accessories Can Hurt

I love Goody’s ouchless elastics, but once upon a time I used the hair ties that had those metal connectors on them. I lost more hair because the metal parts ripped my hair out. Even though it never hurt and I couldn’t feel it, in a matter of weeks I could definitely see it.

Hair accessories are something you have to use your judgment on. If there are a lot of twisted metal or steel parts on it that’s going to come in contact with your hair, I would seriously steer clear of them.

Pre-Poo And Seal With Oils

I thought pre-pooing was a waste of time, until I actually made it a habit. I only pre-poo with an oil (Coconut oil is my favorite) and anytime I moisturize my hair I make sure to end my session by sealing with an oil.

Pre-pooing is something you do prior to cleansing your hair and it also helps to melt tangles. While I usually do an overnight pre-poo, some people only do it for a few hours or even 30 minutes. An excess amount of oil is used in this case.

Sealing the hair simply means you’ll be lightly coating freshly moisturized hair with oil to provide a barrier between your hair and external elements. This also keeps the moisture from evaporating from your hair so you don’t have to moisturize so often.  Since I personally have fine strands, I like to moisturize and seal daily, even when I could technically skip a day or two.

You’ll Always Learn New Things

I’m still learning new ways to take care of my hair and so will you. Be prepared to change your regimen as your hair gets longer and find different ways to take care of your strands. It’s called a “natural hair journey” for a reason.

What once worked for your teenie weenie afro (TWA), may not work so well with hair that’s bra strap length (BSL). So don’t be surprised if things start to get confusing as you reach each milestone.

The key is to do a lot of research and find what works for you, or more importantly, your hair.

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1 Comment

  • The Ed April 26, 2017 at 1:25 PM

    Natural is too rare these days, makes a really lovely change to see it!

    • Shalaria LeNoir April 26, 2017 at 2:11 PM

      Thank you so much! I think more and more people are deciding to go natural and after chemically altering your hair, it can be tricky taking care of it.


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