Yay me! Today marks my first year as a naturalista and it’s been great. During my first year wearing natural hair, I was clueless to a lot of what I should and shouldn’t do. I tried a lot of stuff and a lot of stuff didn’t work. But I did learn some really valuable things like:
Coconut + me = BAD! Yes, I know that I have an allergic reaction to coconut and I always have, but I never knew that I was that allergic to it. Coconut is in most hair care products, so taking the time to read ingredients has helped my scalp immeasurably. (Many folks online love coconut and coconut-based products for their hair. If you are allergic, you can always find a substitution like shea butter, mango butter, olive oil, etc. Same goes for if you are sensitive to anything that everyone online swears blind about.)
Commercial shampoos are BAD! No matter what state your hair is in – natural, permed, texturized, in-between – commercial shampoos are not good for your hair. Sulfates are used in many shampoos and dry out Black hair… and it doesn’t matter if your shampoo is supposedly ‘formulated’ for Black hair. The majority of them have sulfates in them and for healthy hair, you need to stay away from them.
You don’t have to buy everything you see or hear about. At first, honestly, it’s hard. I had a head full of hair that I didn’t really know how to care for. So, as I researched, I found information about different products that can do everything under the sun or so they said. Well, there is no magic formula that will do everything. It’s all about trial and error. Once you find the right product, stick with it. I know my hair likes heavy butters and oils, so why am I playing around with other products?
The only person who has to like your hair is you. At first, a lot of people didn’t understand why I would want to go natural. Some people preferred my hair straight. The majority of people were positive and that’s probably why I was so comfortable keeping my hair natural. But, in all honesty, the only person who has to like my hair is me. If I’m happy with how it’s growing, looking and behaving, I shouldn’t have to worry about if someone else likes it.
One year down and how many more to go? I don’t think I’ll ever put chemicals in my hair, but locs are a definite possibility in the future. If I can get my hair to this stage without much knowledge, imagine what it’ll look like next year?