Before we get started, I’d like to establish the fact that keeping 4c natural hair is not a hairstyle that many women have chosen to wear their hair in, but it is a lifestyle which they had chosen to live in.“
Black women and men have always worn their hair in an elaborate or conservative style since the history of Black people. As a result of this, most of us were brought up thinking that our hair has to be worn in a particular hairstyle in order for it to be presentable.
Also, I’ve read comments made by natural haired women who claim their hair is just a hairstyle and nothing else. It is false statements and misconceptions like these that have caused many newly naturals to go back to relaxers, wear hair extensions exclusively or just keep their hair short for simplicity.
Eight lifestyle changes to make when you transition to natural hair
1. Though Afro-textured hair has existed ever since Black people have existed, an unfortunate reality is that many women with Afro hair are still facing discrimination in their community as a result of the way they’ve chosen to wear their hair.
This discrimination is particularly ubiquitous in Africa, which is supposed to be the birthplace of natural hair. Many still think of natural hair as a “hairstyle” of the past which should have faded off with increased civilization and technological innovation.
Recommended lifestyle change: Change your view of your natural hair. If you don’t believe in skin bleaching regardless of how dark the skin is, you should also embrace natural hair in all it’s coily textures.
2. The discrimination many of us face is often in the form of unwelcome remarks and resistance from family members, peers, colleagues and other members of our society.
Recommended lifestyle change: Ignore the opinion of people who are still stuck in the past and would rather go around with unhealthy hair, rather than learn how to take care of their own hair in its natural texture.
3. If you want to have an easy transitioning journey, you should take care of your health.
Recommended lifestyle change: Change your diet to incorporate healthier food choices such as fruits and vegetables, drinking more water and watching the type and amounts of foods you eat. You should also add in a few hours of exercises per week.
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4. Replace your hairstylist with a hairstylist that is knowledgeable about natural hair care (not just hair styling), and when we can’t find one, we will choose to be our own hair stylist.
5. Change your hair products to “natural hair friendly” products that have minimal or no harsh chemicals which can be detrimental to the overall health of our hair.
6. Increase the length of time you spend on your hair.
As you know, natural hair is a unique hair type that requires a bit more time than other hair types. You can invest this extra time reading up and learning how to care for your natural hair. You can also use this time washing, deep conditioning and trying different hairstyles on your hair.
One thing to note is that healthy hair only comes with hard work and practicing different techniques until you are able to go with a tried and tested regimen.
7. Learn to embrace your own hair and try not to compare your hair to your favorite you-tubers. There are several factors that can determine how your “twist out” actually turns out. Some of these factors can include the length, thickness, density, weather, products used and your hair styling experiences.
8. Be realistic about your hair goals and be persistent on your hair care regimen. Understand that this is a new journey that will require lots of patience, practice and persistence. This isn’t a race or marathon, you are not in competition with anybody. You are your own competitor and it’s up to you to choose what healthy hair looks and feels like to you.
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I decided to write this article because I’ve seen a lot of women jump on the natural hair wagon, only to jump off soon after when the journey becomes bumpy.
I believe you will have a smoother natural hair journey if you learn to develop these eight lifestyle changes
After reading these eight lifestyle changes you need to make when you transition to natural hair, do you think you’re ready to make some of these changes? Remember you don’t have to change overnight, you can take as long as you want.