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?