All You Need to Know About “Going Natural”
The natural hair community is really diverse. We’ve got women that had their hair permed since they were very young and have decided to go natural. Or women that were natural all their life that never had a perm, but are now fully and unapologetically embracing their natural hair textured. Or women who through various circumstances (sickness, lack of money, heat damage, or change towards a more productive and healthy lifestyle) choose go natural and explore a different life path. The reasons are endless even so, naturalistas are all linked together by a common ideology and goals. This ideology is to accept and embrace their God-given natural hair texture and to strive towards healthy, strong, and beautiful hair. These are the basics of to help you get started in the natural hair community.
Going Natural- is a phrase where one returns to their natural hair texture and either refrain from and stop relaxing their hair and using heat products (such as blow dryers, flat irons, and hot combs). To “go natural” or “going natural” is a conscious act and action to return to your natural hair texture (the texture you were born with). There are a variety of ways to go natural but the ultimate premise is to embrace their natural hair texture and incorporate their natural hair texture into their daily lives. Usually this can be seen in hair styles and products that work for their natural hair textures.
How do you “go natural”?
There are a couple of techniques to “go natural”. As mentioned above refraining from or stop relaxing your hair or using heat products is the first step to going natural. Even so, there are other techniques such as “transitioning” your hair before a “BC” or “BC-ing” or long term transition before a mini BC. Here are a few helpful vocabulary words to help you understand what it takes to go natural.
Transition (to transition)- to change or shift your hair from your relaxed hair or heat damage hair texture and hair state to your natural hair texture and hair state. Usually there is two textures to your hair (your current texture such as relaxed or heat damaged and the one you are striving towards which is your natural hair texture)
Transitioning- the act and transition period from relaxed hair to natural hair. This term/phrase is use in two different ways grammatically. First as an action verb (aka a word that describes an action) and an adverb (aka a word that modifies a verb) in this case used to describe a period of time. As an adverb, “transitioning” relates from the day you stopped relaxing or using heat in your hair until the day you either “BC” (aka Big chop) your hair or grow it out for a couple of months and then BC or grow out their long enough (without BC-ing) before they decide that your hair is completely relaxer free (aka natural). During this period your hair has two textures of which you have to take of and ultimately transition it into one texture.
How do you “go natural”? (cont'd).
BC- big chop, the process of chopping off your relaxed or heat damage ends. Many naturals BC aka big chop their hair. Usually they transition their hair (grow it out long enough before they cut off their relaxed or heat damaged ends)
Protective styles- these are styles that protect the hair either when the hair is transitioning or to protect it from the weather (such as a harsh winter). Protective styles include wearing weaves, wigs, extensions, or putting your own hair in twists, braids or buns. The purpose is to protect your hair.
Common Methods to Going Natural
-Big Chop-ing (aka BC-ing) your hair. Usually people do it by transitioning their hair (aka waiting for it to grow out enough before they chop the relaxed/heat damaged ends) or cutting off all their hair without transitioning/growing it out.
-another method is to transition your hair on a long term basis without BC-ing. This can range from six months- to a couple of years (it depends on the individual and their individual hair). During this time you use protective styles (all meant to protect your hair). Protective styling and styles include keeping your hair hidden away in weaves, wigs, extensions. Or using your own hair and putting them in twists, braids, or buns.
Timeline and Steps for Going Natural
Step 1 Stop perming or using heat on your hair
Step 2A. Transitioning hair then BC-ing hair
Step 2B. Long term transitioning of hair without BC-ing
Step 2C. BC-ing hair without transitioning
Step 3. Whether you decide to transition your hair and/or BC it, after step 2 is step 3 which deciding is if you want to use protective styling/styles (wigs, weaves, extensions, twists, braids, buns) and/or letting your hair roam free and exploring different hair styles and techniques. Either way it is up to you and you are officially natural!!!
Lastly Here are Some Tools and Resources You will Need
Satin hair scarf or Satin bonnet
Hair products (do your research and explore which products are best for you)
YouTube (check out popular natural hair YouTubers such as Naptural85, mahoganycurls, Kimmaytube, NaturalNeiicey, and Taren916 to name a few)
Popular hair websites and forums such as blackgirlonghair.com, curlynikki.com, and naturallycurly.com
In conclusion good luck with your natural hair journey!!! Thank You for Reading and please feel free to comment and share your stories below!!!