The proliferation of natural hair videos and blogs has been such a beautiful thing. We created a movement, and I LOVE it! However, there’s a particular side effect I’ve noticed that gives me pause. Now it seems like everyone’s an expert, and truly expert opinions aren’t as highly treasured as they should be. I’ve heard quite a few stories from professional stylists who say clients land in their chair with damaged hair because they’re following some regimen on YouTube, or doing a hair challenge they learned about on a message board, that may not be working well for them. I’ve heard from stylists who have had clients TELL THEM what’s right and wrong, based solely on their blog and online video knowledge. And that confuses me.



The internet and online resources have empowered many of us with a heretofore unprecedented amount of knowledge. But no matter how many blogs, videos, and books I read, I can’t truly claim myself to be a hair expert. I haven’t been to cosmetology school. I haven’t studied the science of hair or learned to work with a variety of hair textures. I know what works for me based on trial and error, and that’s what my blog is all about. But there’s a lot about hair that I don’t know. I know I don’t know. And that’s OK. Because that’s where studied and practiced hair experts come in.

For my toughest and most specific natural hair questions I defer to the knowledge of professionals like Felicia Leatherwood, Anu Prestonia, Nedjetti, Dickey, Lawrence Ray Parker and Camille Reed — people who have touched many heads and worked with many textures and can speak to what truly works with natural hair from the range of their experience. Professionals who can draw upon their range of experience to provide informed answers.

For hair and especially scalp-related questions, I defer to the knowledge of Dr. Kari Williams, trichologist and owner of the Mahogany Hair Revolution salon in Los Angeles.


Dr. Kari has published her first e-book titled, The Journey Back: How to Transition Back to Your Natural Curl — I’ve had the opportunity to read it, and bellas it is SO informative, helpful, and beautiful. Designed by Krystle Rowry, it is the kind of hair manual that you’ll turn to time and time again for answers and inspiration. And for a few questions to help demystify transitioning, I turned to Dr. Kari herself. Read on if you’re seeking tips on transitioning from relaxed to natural hair.


Afrobella – What would you say is the biggest misconception about natural hair?

Dr. Kari — One of the biggest misconceptions about natural hair is that it is difficult to manage. Many women are hesitant to explore their natural hair because of the challenge they believe they will encounter with manageability. However, the real issue with unmanageable hair is the misuse of products. Misuse of products is the result of not understanding how to properly incorporate hair products into your personal hair care regimen. Every hair texture and curl pattern is different. Also, some women have multiple textures and patterns. It is important to remember that if a product does not give you the results you want it can be for one of two reasons- (1)You are not using it correctly OR (2) it is not the best product for your hair type. Ultimately, the right products used properly on a consistent basis will yield the best results for your hair and eliminate your woes about manageability.

Afrobella –– What’s your best advice for someone thinking about transitioning?

Dr. Kari — The best advice I will give someone who is thinking about transitioning is to BE PATIENT and find a stylist who can assist you with managing your hair in its natural state. Patience is not only required during the transition, but is also necessary when becoming acquainted with your hair, what it can do and what products will work best to help you achieve the style you want. Many women have never seen their natural curl, so it can be frustrating when you imagine that your hair looks one way, and when you are finally introduced to your curls– they are completely different. Having a professional stylist who can offer supportive words, product knowledge and assistance with styling will smooth out the process and make it more enjoyable.

Afrobella –– With the variety of information online, what is your biggest concern and what does your book offer that no other online resource does?

Dr. Kari — My biggest concern is the amount of misinformation and the many myths about how to style and care for natural hair. There aren’t many licensed stylists or Trichologists who are providing factual information on hair health within the natural hair industry. Therefore, women who are embarking on this journey for the first time may feel overwhelmed by the opinions from hundreds of amateur voices. This can be both confusing and intimidating. One woman’s experience may not translate to your own. As a result, some women give up and retreat back to what is familiar and comfortable. My book offers answers to the questions women have about transitioning to natural hair, answers reinforced by the education and experience that I have as a Trichologist and Licensed Natural Hair Care Specialist. The process of transitioning to natural hair can be challenging but in my book I provide readers with great advice and support.

The answers to many of the questions you have about transitioning and caring for your natural hair are right here in Dr. Kari’s super affordable e-book The Journey Back: How to Transition Back to Your Natural Curl. Click there to get yourself the information you need. And if you have additional questions on hair care or transitoning leave them right here in the comments! I will do my best to get the info you need, from my own experience and also from true hair care experts.

What are your thoughts on transitioning, bellas? What are your best tips?


sandy says:
September 20, 2012, 10:43 am
Thank you Dr. for your book and informative post. While its true that in most of health ideally one should get a doctor or professional to help with their hair, the reality is that many naturals for different reasons have not been supported by the professional community. While you and Ms. Leatherwood and some others are super phenomenal, not every beautician or Trichologist has good customer service skills and or are affordable for many. I do like that you have made your book reasonable. To date there are many great books that have been written by researchers and medical professionals about haircare. But as hair care is a process there will always be those who want to know more about products and how they work on natural hair. That is one of the reasons for the proliferation of websites about natural hair. Perhaps if you had a YouTube or presence for the professionals in the field of cosmetology and would educate them on how to deal with hair, how to deal with their clients so that clients have a rewarding experience, I think more people would be more inclined to see professionals. There are horror stories about cosmetologists who don't even want to "wash" natural hair let alone style it. I'm sure you've seen the stories about people who ask for clipped ends only to have their hair big chopped. I do appreciate your concern for customers. I wish many more stylists and professionals were like you. I'm hoping to see more websites aimed at the professionals coming out of beauty school and doctors in your profession. Thank you.
QueenEyeCee says:
September 20, 2012, 2:30 pm
Thank-You so very much for publishing this informative article for it is most necessary in this climate of natural hair revolution. The most valuable & informative resource in the natural hair journey is ones Mother; although, trial, error and setbacks have been mine.
Vanessa says:
September 20, 2012, 3:52 pm
I'm so sick and tired of seeing third-rate Youtube videos by some wannabe blogger who does nothing but throw together a mask or a paste they found on WebMD. I got news for them...just throwing an egg and some honey in your hair ain't gonna do much if anything! It's so refreshing to hear from an ACTUAL expert for a change!
Aisha says:
September 25, 2012, 1:18 pm
I think a lot of naturals have lost respect for the opinions of professionals because there are so many stylists who simply don't know how to deal with natural hair-and I am referring to those who claim to specialize in natural hair. I've heard countless stories of ladies who walk into "natural" salons only to have their hair ripped apart by fine tooth combs, dipped in grease, and fried to death by blow dryers. Or those stylists who only know how to do braids and locs, but not loose hair. Let's not forget those who claim "natural hair is not for everybody." For some naturals, they get better results and more encouragement from following Youtube and blogs, and this leads to a "You can't tell me anything" attitude towards the stylists. I think as more licensed professionals emerge who have actually mastered natural hair, they will gain respect and their voices will stand out. Right now, its really not at that point.
Evelyn says:
September 26, 2012, 8:54 am
Thank you this encouraging article. It is always shocking to hear "natural hair is not for everyone". I am happy to see how Dr. Kari does away with the biggest misconception of natural hair being difficult to manage. One could argue that all hair can be difficult to manage, but with the right products and technique everything is possible. Us women simple need the right “hair education”. I am happy to hear that Dr. Kari provides such education in her e-book, but also encourages us to seek help with a professional stylist. Also transitioning to natural hair can be trying experience, we know there is great advice and support out there, and the results are so much more rewarding and truly natural beautiful.
Betty Cunningham says:
August 24, 2013, 3:59 pm
I was so excited about purchasing the 'book" produced by a doctor specializing in the scalp. i 'read" it in 5 minutes, not because i am a speed reader but because it was just basic info and huge pictures throughout the 19 pages. $7.99...would like my money back...shame on you Dr Williams.
Jenny says:
May 3, 2014, 9:16 am
With so much bad info out there, its refreshing to read an honest review like this. Will have to grab the book for a read. Thanks!
Emily says:
July 18, 2014, 5:30 pm
This is so true! Everybody is an expert these days and it they can recommend things that are in fact quite dangerous and damaging. says:
December 9, 2014, 4:39 am
Magnificent site. Lots of helpful information here. I'm sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious. And obviously, thanks in your sweat!