The SECRET to Embracing the Natural You

In the midst of the transitioning, the big chop, and all the other natural hair craziness, we can get lost and forget the most important thing about being natural… the enjoyment and fulfillment it brings. When we, as black women, make the decision to get out of our comfort zones, step away from what the world deems “beautiful,” and go natural, we are embracing a part of ourselves that has been hidden, and has finally been found and reestablished; we are taking back what has been lost and ultimately finding ourselves, once again; we are embracing the naturalness within. To me, being natural is not just about letting go of a relaxer. It is about stepping out of the box and doing something that truly represents your inner beauty. Being natural is about having an inner confidence that resonates on the outside. It is about taking that natural beauty and making it your own. It is about doing something that ultimately defines you

When going natural, we can oftentimes forget that we did it not for the world, not for our friends or family, but for US. We can easily let the world persuade us that naturalness is unattractive or abnormal, and as a result, we forget about us and focus on what the world is saying; thus, abandoning our naturalness. I can admit that becoming natural isn’t an easy decision to make. However, when one makes the decision to become natural, they have to make it with assurance in knowing that being natural is the way they want to go. Once that decision is made, embracing the natural YOU should be an everyday occurrence and not a once in a while thing.

For me, being natural is empowering. I love knowing that I was strong enough to make a change despite what society may deem beautiful. Since becoming natural, I have never felt the need to return to being relaxed. I may have my natural hair bad days where my curls don’t do what I want them to, but I deal with it and remember why I decided to become natural in the first place. Every day I wake up in the morning, undo my twist-out or braid-out, and look in the mirror at my fro, and I smile. Being natural for me has been an amazing experience and I will never look back. I love my natural beauty and I love the statement it makes. So, whether you have boisterous curls, kinky coils, long dreads, a TWA, or a huge fro, EMBRACE IT and love you, for you. Natural is beautiful; never forget that.

 

And that, my natural gals, is the  SECRET to embracing the natural YOU.

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Discovering Your Hair Texture

After the big chop, it is easy to become uncertain about your hair texture. Every natural is different, we all don’t have the same hair texture and it is highly unlikely that after relaxing our hair for many years, and reverting back to natural, that we will have the exact same hair texture we had when we were younger. So, after the “big chop” it is imperative that, we as naturals, discover our hair texture or our curl pattern. There three main different types of curl patterns: the wavy, curly, and coily pattern.

The wavy curl pattern has more of a looser curl, while the curly pattern has more of a spiral curl, and the coily hair texture has more of a tight curl that is in more of a kinky, z-pattern. When I big chopped, I was disappointed to discover that I didn’t have the loose, spiral curl pattern. Instead, I have the kinky, tight curl pattern. Within this curl pattern there are three sub types: Type 4A, type 4B, and type 4C. Naturals with type 4A hair have a very tight, visible curl, unlike naturalistas with type 4B and 4C hair textures. With the type 4B hair texture, it is hard to find a defined curl pattern. Instead of having a very defined curl pattern, type 4B hair tends to situate itself in more of a Z-pattern; meaning, it zig-zags instead of curls. Type 4C hair is somewhat like type 4B hair in that it doesn’t have an extremely defined curl pattern, but unlike 4B hair, 4C hair does appear to have more of a coiling to it instead of a defined curl pattern.

Once I became natural, it took time for me to discover what my hair texture was. Initially, before doing the big chop I wanted so badly for my hair to be very, recognizably, curly. Well, that is definitely not the case. After doing much research, I came to the conclusion that my hair is mix of 4B and 4C. When I have product on my hair, it has very tight, defined curls. However, without product, my hair is somewhat curless, and extremely coily. Before natural, we seem to have an idea of what we want hair to look like, but after becoming natural, we realize that our hair texture is completely different from what we wanted or believed it would be. But, that’s why we have products to give our hair that extra natural “umph,” that sometimes it needs. As naturals, there is a variety of curl patterns. That’s the amazing thing about natural hair!

You know what my hair texture is, now I want to know yours! Comment below with your hair type! 

Keep an eye for my next post, “So you know your hair texture… now how do work with it?” 

Growth and the Mane Choice Vitamin

 

The one thing every natural wants…. GROWTH. I went natural because I wanted curly hair. But, while going through my natural journey, and cutting off ALL of my hair, I realized that there was one thing I wanted much more than curly hair, and that was long, curly hair. When I cut off all my relaxed ends and went natural, my hair grew back within a year. Now that am three years natural, my hair is longer than what it was before I cut it. I use to wonder what was making my hair grow so fast. I realized that doing all the right things that my hair loves allows my hair to grow and to grow healthy. I know sometimes, like other naturals, I go through a phase where I think my hair is not growing. However, I’ve come to realize that is not true. Our hair is always growing; however, some people’s average speed of hair growth is quicker than others. So, when you look on YouTube or other social media sites, and you see other naturals with extremely long hair, don’t think that your hair cannot reach that same length. One day it will, but it may not reach it as fast as others.

There are several people out there who have secrets and routines that they believe grow their hair very fast. However, the fact of the matter is, our hair is going to grow at the rate it chooses. I have to admit, I sometimes get a little bummed out when I still don’t get the length I want. But, I know it will come. One of the things I decided to do to give my hair a little help with growth, besides the usual maintenance techniques, is try out the Mane Choice vitamin pills. Per my hair dresser Brandy at Huetiful Salon, I was told that this vitamin contains all natural ingredients and will not only treat the hair, but also the body.

I just ordered a month’s supply of the vitamins two days ago, so they should be here by next week; hopefully. I am excited to start taking them and see if they will give my curls a little help with growth! Stay on the lookout for a review, coming to you soon, right here on The Natural Hair Diary. 

The SECRET to getting Rid of Breakage

The ways to avoid hair breakage are pretty simple. But, what do you do when you already have breakage? The best way to eliminate the breakage and start fresh is to get a cut or a trim; which one you get can be dependent on the amount of breakage you have. As I stressed earlier, trimming should be a part of every natural’s hair regimen. Trimming the hair regularly easily gets rid of split ends, which is breakage, and dead ends. It allows the hair to rid itself of anything that is keeping it from growing healthy. Moisturizing the hair is another way to help with breakage. If your hair is well moisturized, it is less likely to be dry which can eliminate breakage.

It is important to keep in mind, that the one thing that can completely get rid of breakage is a trim. Moisturizing the hair and not manipulating it so much are things that can keep breakage from happening not get rid of it completely if it is already present. So, if you have breakage, get that trim and do the necessary things you have to in order to avoid it.

The SECRET Behind Avoiding Breakage

When I was relaxed, I dealt with a ton of breakage; which is one of the reasons why I’m natural today. So, when I became natural I did tons of research on ways to avoid breakage. One of the many things that were stressed in my research was moisturizing the hair on a regular basis. Now, moisturizing the hair can mean a lot of things. It can mean deep conditioning every time you wash. It can mean, doing hot oil treatments once a week, it can mean applying a moisturizer to your hair daily, or it can mean giving it a much needed dose of H2O on a daily basis. It doesn’t necessarily matter what your moisturizing routine is, as long as you have one. If your curls are moisturized, they will be stronger and will be able to keep the breakage at bay. Unfortunately, I have had to recently deal with breakage. A while back, I decided to color my hair. I did everything I thought I should to avoid breakage due to the color. However, the one thing I didn’t do right was allow a professional to color my hair. I know we all want to save money; but, it is definitely worth spending the money to get a professional to color your hair. It saves time on the maintenance you will have to do if your tresses begin to break due to the color. So, if you do decide to color your curls, make sure you let a professional do it.

In addition to moisturizing and allowing an expert to color your hair, decreasing the manipulation of the hair will also minimize chances of breakage. Many naturals, like myself, like to play in our curls. We like do several styles that call for the usage of headbands, ponytails, and other cute hair accessories. To compliment these accessories, we like to do twist-outs, updo’s, braid-outs, and other cute styles. There is nothing wrong with wanting to do several different things with your tresses; after all, that is the fun in having natural hair. However, playing in your hair too much may cause breakage. When I first became natural, my hair was so short that I tended to wear a lot of headbands. Well, in doing research, I found that wearing headbands too much can cause the front edges of your hair to break off, producing bald spots. Once I found this out, I limited my use of headbands. One way to avoid manipulating your hair so much is doing protective styles. Protective styles allow the hair to rest; thus allowing it to grow.

The secret is out! Now, you know how to avoid breakage. But, what if this has already happened to you? Well, I have a secret for that too! Stay tuned! 

The SECRET Behind Breakage

Breakage is one of the many things that Naturalista’s dread and strategically try to avoid. We try to make sure that our hair is always moisturized. We try to keep combs and brushes out of our hair unless we are detangling, and most of all we try not to manipulate our hair that much (which can be the hardest thing to do; well, at least for me). Yes, breakage is something that motivates us to keep doing the things we need to do to our hair in order for it to be healthy and to grow. So, what exactly are the things we should do to our hair to avoid breakage? And, if for some reason, breakage does happen to curse us, what should we do if it happens? I have the secrets to avoiding breakage and getting your curls back if it does happen! Stay tuned as I unveil all you need to know about natural hair and breakage, all right here on The Natural Hair Diary! 

The SECRET Behind Shedding

One of the many things that tend to freak a natural out is shedding. Many women, not just naturals, believe that shedding means their hair is breaking. Well, let me ease some of that worry. Shedding does not, I repeat does NOT, mean your hair is breaking. When hair sheds, it is ridding itself of hair that is done growing, or dead hair, which may stunt the growth process.  When shed hair stops growing and falls from the scalp, it brings with it a tiny white bulb that can be easily recognized on the tip of the hair. This tiny white bulb is the easiest way to distinguish shedding hair from breaking hair. Hair that has reached the end of its growth cycle and is shedding is typically longer than a piece of hair that has broken off. Hair that breaks off does just that, breaks in small pieces. A piece of hair that has shed is long because it has had time to grow fully.

When the hair sheds, it may take some time for a new piece of hair to grow and replace it. However, the main thing to realize and understand is that hair that has ben shed will grow back, and grow back healthy. Because we feel as though our shed hair is unhealthy or shedding too much, we may try and find certain remedies or treatments that can reduce the amount hair that sheds or stop the shedding completely. But, no matter what remedies or treatments are used, it is important to remember that shedding is a natural process and is something that cannot be stopped or prevented. Our hair will continue to shed, and it may shed more during one period than it may during another.

Since I’ve been natural, I have gone through that period where my hair sheds more than I “think” it should. However, from doing research I realized that natural things such as having a menstrual cycle can cause my hair to have an increase the amount it sheds. I can admit that during this period, I found myself doing protein treatments and other remedies that could aid in decreasing the amount of hair that was being shed. After some time of doing these remedies and seeing no changes I realized that it was normal. I learned how to tell the difference between a hair that had been shed and a hair that had broken off, and in doing so, I became much more comfortable with the natural shedding of my curls. Just like at times we may need to let go of certain things or people in our lives to continue to mature, our hair needs to let go of certain tresses that can no longer provide our curls with substance so that they can continue to grow.