What’s Your Best Natural Hair Advice?

Today on Twitter, there’s a concerted effort by the natural hair community to get the hashtag #naturalhair as a trending topic. The initative was started by amazing loctician Camille Reed AKA NoireBoss1, and My Hairitage, to increase awareness and appreciation for natural hair. I absolutely LOVE the idea!

So I decided to ask my friends on Twitter — If you had ONE bit of advice for a woman considering transitioning from relaxed to #naturalhair – what would it be?

The response I got was tremendous. Inspiring, awesome, and worth absorbing. I know not everyone is on Twitter, so simply had to share with you here!

On transitioning in general:

CristineYvonne — do whats best for you! take your time, learn your hair, and find what works for you! don’t have hair envy – it doesn’t help!

Kissmyblackads — do it!

Kat_at_LSP — Respect the process of transition and redefinition. You are not your hair, it is a part of you. Natural hair transition is all about releasing control. Hair does what it wants. Your only job is to let it.

justNancyP — keep healthy ends

Dawnavette — don’t give up…it’s SO hard!! Been over a yr natural & I still struggle to find the right products. I’d never go back to a perm though. Liberation is being comfortable w.o assimilation-or being a slave to a flat iron & synthetic weaves.

The most popular advice:

TB_BT My advice would be patience

mochawriter – PATIENCE

youngjbrooks – Be patient.

eclectikchic – be patient. #naturalhair

ActsofFaithblog –Be patient

ProToType65 — be patient. You’ll be tempted to go back to the relaxer for a min. But will fall in love w/ the end result!

TheGorgeousBlog – I’ve been natural 4 16yrs from short/long, light/dark & curly/ straight I’ve had more versatility than relaxed hair #naturalhair

So now you know you should be patient, and contrary to rumor, natural hair CAN be versatile. But how should you style your natural hair?

drgoddess – Let your roots grow out a bit, cut split ends, deep condition and get braids for a while.

SwarthyDaisy – buy a wide tooth comb and style while wet

trice10552 — Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize!

KarensBeautiful — My advice would be to exercise patience & nurture your hair w/love. Oh, don’t forget…moisture, moisture, moisture!

Also, I know we all have hair envy at times but embrace YOUR texture! Your head of hair is just as UNIQUE as you are. Love it! ;)

Afiya_Products — It will take time to learn what’s best for your hair.

Naturallikeme - Have patience and read your product’s ingredient list!

Yoshi3329 — braids/twists, porosity control products, conditioner & ceramides are going to be your best transitioning friends #naturalhair

– Know why you’re using a certain product. Don’t just use it because every1 else is doing it. Know what is does and why.

– Take this time to transition your mind and to work on styles so when you get 2 #naturalhair you can jump right in headlong!

– Don’t make any rash assumptions at what your #naturalhair texture will be. I thought I was going 2 b 3c/4a, I’m 4c with 4b edges.

thefabgiver – #naturalhair desn’t always mean non-straightened. You’re free to switch from style to style, so don’t worry about that! Oh, and transition hairstyles will be your SAVIOR! #naturalhair

CoHairExaminer – trust that their hair knows what it needs and to listen to it. [#naturalhair advice for newbies]

How do you care for your natural hair? First, learn to love YOUR texture:

bernag06 - love ur texture

HennaRo22 — Whatever works for one fellow #Naturalhair woman may not work for you.

carlalynnehall – I just like reminding folks that our hair is happiest in its natural state. #naturalhair

purplepeace79 – God made no mistakes when he made you. Love your hair and honor God!!

Madimom15 – Treat your #naturalhair like a newborn baby! Be gentle, give it your time, be patient w/ its temperament. U’ll b happy u did!

abigailwrites – Don’t fight your hair.

afroniquely – be confident with ur #naturalhair. Be patient and gentle to it. It takes time for it to blossom

LoveMySkip – Don’t be overly concerned about the texture. when folks start out really concerned about their texture, how much curl, wave, I think relapse is likely.

If and when you decide to go natural, you WILL hear about it from friends and family. But you gotta let the haters hate on:

alldaynatural - Have a strong support system that will encourage you along the way. It makes a world of difference.

1JennaMarie – there will be some tough times on the natural journey, but don’t give up & follow natural hair care blogs

mikoism — before u even start, decide that u think u are a beautiful woman, PERIOD. that concept WILL be severely tested.

BlackPowerBunny – be prepared 4 tons of questions & comments but don’t feel the need to explain your decision.

LifewiththeDiva - ignore ppl who don’t support your decision & #naturalhair journey.It took me 3 attempts to purposely put non-supporters “on mute” and turn up #naturalhair cheerleaders sky high!

shoelovadotcom - Can’t let others dictate 2 u how they think your hair should be. in my case, ppl turned up noses just at the thought of me getting locs. A lot of it was based on misconceptions abt locs though.

jalanimorgan – 7 years in July my hair has been natural. Locks on my head. Strength in my heart.

Should you do The Big Chop?

SoftSpokenFox – do it your way… Grow it out til your chop aint so big. Wear styles that blend both textures. Chop if you’re really ready..

justmelidia – Hair boards are great resources but don’t let them make things sound overcomplicated & don’t jump on every bandwagon #naturalhair

MilaXX – Transitioning too long only makes it harder. After 6mths it’s prob easier to just do the BC. Take the plunge!

carnivaldiary – The big chop is not as scary as you think and being natural is versatile!Braids,wigs, weaves all help the transitioning

negrita_linda – CUT IT OFF! Start from scratch. Learn 2 deal w/ur hair @ all stages. It’s scary, but u will be much more confident in the end.

EvieB – cut all the permed off and start fresh. Best feeling ever!!

jadarae – Throw caution to the wind and just do it. It is the most liberating thing you will do for yourself! (Just my advice)

And perhaps my favorite response came from CruelSecretary – Be prepared for the looks, be prepared for the questions, be prepared for the love. Especially for the love.;-)

The 140 character messages you just read came from women who are teachers, musicians, writers, bloggers, activists, students…you name it. Please click on the links above to learn more about them, to follow them, and to visit their links to their various online endeavors. The one common thread — everyone quoted above wears, or has worn their hair natural, and are happy and proud to share their advice and experience with anyone who’s considering making the change and stopping the use of texture-altering chemicals. I hope their words helped to inspire you, if you’re at the beginning of such a journey.

Thanks to everyone on Twitter for sharing your wisdom! I hope this post just perpetuates the cycle of love and inspiration!

What’s YOUR best natural hair advice?

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Comments

  1. I heard about the twitter natural hair link about a week ago. There is a lot of knowledge at these sites.

  2. Wear your natural hair with confidence, and revel in the compliments you will sho nuff get!

  3. love the #naturalhair community! so full of advice and warmth :D get it girls

  4. i know there was at least one man in the thread @kissmyblackads. So, let’s not forget there are men out there that will support our natural walk as well.

  5. My advise: Don’t compare your natural hair with others. Everybodies is different. Get the mindset out of your mind that you can’t get a comb through it. Natural hair is not like straight hair you don’t need to comb it all the time you can use your hands. Read everything you can get your hands on about natural hair.

  6. Thanks so much for this! I decided to do a pictorial post in honor of natural hair for motivation. I’m a little over six months in, and I’m a little frustrated. I’m not the fro type, but I’d love to see how much healthier my hair can be without a perm. I guess it’s too late to turn back now.

  7. Oh, and I’ll be sure to link your post. Great info here.

  8. HappyToBeNappy (Aisha Kelson) says:

    My advice would be to learn your hair. It’s great to get advice & techniques from others, but you have to know that every single head is different. What works for one might not work for you. Take the time to get to know & love your hair!

  9. BlackBetty says:

    My advice is to be patient, don’t go crazy reading every book, watching every youtube video and listening to advice passed out by everyone. Also, don’t become a product junkie. You’ll just end up with a bunch of crap that you’ll never use. Your hair is unique, treat it that way. Coveting someone else’s hair isn’t going to make you love yours any more.
    Just be prepared to have some growing pains and stumbles and you’ll be fine.

  10. Moisture, moisture, moiture.

  11. Along with moisture, how does “baggying” work?

  12. My advice: Spend more time nourishing your brain than your hair. A lot of people spend too much time buying tons of product, inexpensive or expensive and not enough on acquiring knowledge to improve their finances, nutrition, their child’s education, etc. Hair is really not that serious compared to Life.

  13. I love your site! I think learning to embrace and love all aspects of your hair can be analogous to discovering and loving yourself… There are ups and downs, good days and bad days… but it’s all worth it! Thanks for this post. Check out my site at http://www.bintentional.com when you get a sec. Perhaps, we can link to eachother’s sites.

  14. Great subject and great tweets! I heard about this yesterday but since I’m one of those stubborn Luddites who refuses to tweet I didn’t participate. Thanks for allowing me to use proper English grammar and punctuation to respond to this question. ;)

    My best natural hair advice when it comes to:

    Hair care in general: Water is your friend.

    Wearing it in general: By not chemically altering your hair texture, you are only doing what at least 90% of the planet is doing. Don’t let other people make it such a big deal because ultimately, and in the very long run, it ISN’T.

  15. After having locks, then a clean-shaved look, I’m enjoying leaving my hair naturally bushy–and gray! I’m lovin’ it! I moisturize and comb (with a large-toothed comb) with care, and I decorate with colorful headbands and scarves wound around like headbands. It’s beautiful! And fun!

  16. @ rmcandlelight and Happytobenappy I’m right there with you.

    I really believe that knowledge is power and you have to absolutely get to know your hair to fall in love with it over and over again, because it will do some strange things. But embrace the strange and like these ladies said a comb may no longer be your side kick. Your hands can massage, they can detangle and they can fluff and pat. Enjoy the journey.

  17. Great post, Glad you posted this here, I missed the discussion on twitter. My own advice is that natural hair is as versatile as we want it to be. I think there is still a huge myth that permed hairstyles are more versatile than natural hair.
    In my switch to natural hair back in 1991, I used a combination of mayonnaise and aloe in its natural form as a “treatment” to prevent breakage and I did not have to cut my hair.
    I still have my natural hair but my recent challenges have been dry scalp. Several product changes & a visit to the dermatologist has not resulted in any changes. This weekend I learned that zinc vitamins actually helped a relative of mine with her dry scalp problems. I wonder what your audience or you ‘bella know about this? Here is a self-portrait of my favorite bantu hairstyle http://tinyurl.com/2ugym2f

  18. Indiana says:

    Hello :)
    I’ve had natural hair since I was little and I’ve always used the shampoo and conditioner of elsève nutri-gloss edition (the pink-ones) and I’m really happy with my ‘fro :)

  19. my advice about going natural is don’t worry so much about what others think. Sometimes people in your own immediate family will discourge you and say negative things about how they think you will look with natural hair. That’s what happened to me. But I did it anyway for me. Because I loved the look and what it ment for the health of my hair. Yes people did diss me in the begining stages at home and on my job but I stuck with it beacuase I had a vision of what I wanted my hair to become and what I wanted it to look like and I stuck with it and worked towards it. Now those same people want to touch my hair and tell me how nice and thick and pretty my hair is. Do it! It was the best decision I ever made for my hair. Be confident! Be strong no matter what others say! There is no denying the beauty of our natural hair.

  20. My advice would be to wear it with confidence. I love the freedom in knowing that I can still look fly as hell without having to “sleep cute” or use a flat iron every day–and moisture is my friend (no more fear of frizzies due to humidity or drizzling rain!). And remember that you can still be versatile if you want to– when you get tired of your ‘fro, braids or puff, you can blow dry it straight, slap a wig on it, or get a sew -in (if that’s your thing) and still maintain unprocessed hair underneath.

  21. @ Yvette “Along with moisture, how does “baggying” work?”

    In response to your question above, the baggy technique is basically adding moisture to your hair, sealing it up with something like vaseline over the ends of your hair and then gathering it into a ponytail. This ponytail is then put into a baggy (small plastic bag) and covered over with one of those hair accessories such as a ponytail.

    In the long run this helps you to stop breakage and grow your hair longer.

    Personally, I don’t use this technique, but I have read that it has worked for many people.

  22. Mishara says:

    Don’t believe the hype that natural styling = expensive salons. Let teens that are used to styling younger (non-relaxed) siblings hair,braid & twist yours. You will recieve LOADS of creativity from them & pay minimal $. Been natural for 3.5 years. Loved my huge fro of curls. But the same style can be SO boring no matter how “cool” it looks to newbies. So do YOU! Cut it, color it, loc it, pin & twist it. Rock your hair.

  23. I’ve been transitioning for 9 months and I’m very happy. Yes, I have gotten the “you need a perm” or why not get dreds if you wanna be natural, or the “you don’t wanna look nice with permed hair?” I am loving the transition. My hair has grown very fast, I’m 5 inches natural, 5 inches relaxed and my hair is very soft and manageable. I love this transition and I can’t see myself putting another relaxer in my hair or even straightening it. I love my natural texture.

  24. What an invaluable post! I hope that this (and #naturalhair day on Twitter) made a difference in the lives of women who may not have the support or insight in their immediate circles. Your site (and countless others) are a great resource.

    MissLycia of All Day Natural

    P.S. Thanks for the shoutout! :-)

  25. Bajan Bella says:

    I love my natural hair, been growing it for the past two years. I’m rocking my locs and LOVING it.

    Go ahead my sisters, natural hair is beautiful.

    I agree with Niki, you don’t have to “sleep cute” with natural hair to look cute. It comes naturally.

  26. Remember that your beauty isn’t defined by your hair. You’re always beautiful, and the hair is just a supplement. =]

  27. gives thanks! just what I used to be in search of …)

  28. Hi, Thanks. I was going through exactly the same issue. Solved now Regards.

  29. My best advice would have to be to moisturize with a water based moisturizer and then seal it in. It will save your ends and help retain length.

  30. It is so wonderful to see sistas loving themselves and going back to their natural gorgeous selves. I thank my mother that I was never given a perm as child and my hair was regularly braided since age 2. I want to say to mothers to be a best example to your daughters (and sons) to love themselves. I have an 11 year old daughter and her hair has always been natural as mine was and she has always been confident and radiant. As well, it is truly liberating to be you so enjoy your new freedom as you come back to you.:)
    I want to say that anyone who has had a perm must know that your natural hair has been changed at the root so the transition going natural can be difficult because you of abuse. Be very patient and NURTURE your hair back by using simple all-natural paraben-free, toxic-free products like 100% natural olive oil, avocado oil, neem oil and coconut oil. Please do not use any mineral oil/grease/vasoline. These are toxic and extremely damaging-imagine putting gasoline from your car on your hair. Please research ingredients in your “natural” hair products or black hair products, why give rid of the perm and still use toxic hair products without the perm: go to sites like http://www.safecosmetics.org to learn more. And remember that what you eat feeds your hair as well, eating unhealthy foods grows unhealthy hair. And deeply love you from your crown to the soles of your feet, this will free you to be confident and experiment with your hair. I have had locks, clean shaven hair, braids, twists,etc. Love you and love life!

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  1. [...] check out a link to Afrobella’s post on natural hair. There a lots of tips and advice that was given via [...]

  2. [...] in that regard. Know that you are not alone!If you need more inspiration, check out my post titled What’s Your Best Natural Hair Advice. There’s lots of gathered wisdom and insight in there.I hope I answered most of your new [...]

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