Open Letter to a Newbie Naturalista
This is a note to my dear friend who recently did the big chop and to all women out there who have just begun their natural hair journey. I know what you’re going through. You might be on cloud nine after leaving the salon feeling happy to be natural. Until you wake up the next morning, look in the mirror and wonder “now what?”. Please know that I am with ya as someone that went natural just seven months ago. I want you to know a few things as you take steps to become reacquainted with yourself. And so, this is my advice to you:
- Now that you are natural, you will need to embrace yourself in a whole new way. Your hair in its natural state will bring out your unique beauty.
- There will be days when you feel “ugly”. When you wake up in the morning and your hair is smushed to one side and you have no idea how to tame it. Always know that you will get through it and you are NOT ugly. Your natural hair is a new element to your beauty and will require time and patience for you to get to know it and the tools to treat it with care.
- Whenever you walk down the street, you will find yourself staring at other women with natural hair. Thoughts like “what does she use in her hair?”, “oooh that’s a nice style”, and “hey, she’s natural too!” will come to mind. This is normal; embrace your new acceptance into the natural hair community.
- Your hair will not do the same things as her hair. Although we may have similar hair types and textures, do not expect your hair to look exactly like someone else’s even if you use the same products. Whatever your hair type is, own it!
- Speaking of products, don’t, I repeat, DON’T become a product junkie. You may not be able to avoid this in the beginning as you search for products that work best for your hair. But as soon as you find your top 3-4 products that work for you, give away the rest to your other natural hair friends.
- Youtube is your friend; use it! From style tips, tutorials and product reviews, the resources are endless.
- Experiment! This is your time to be free and creative by trying new things with your hair. Natural hair can be just as versatile as relaxed no matter what length it is. This can be extended to your wardrobe as well. Going natural represents a new you so mix it up with a funky chic outfit to compliment your new natural do.
- Know that not everyone will cheer you on with your decision to go natural. Going natural is not just a fashion statement but also a decision of personal growth and preference. Some people won’t understand it but learn to be ok with that and still love your hair anyway.
- You are not alone. There are plenty of women who became natural before you and there will be plenty after you. Reach out to them, ask questions, and offer support. We are a strong loving community!
- Be patient. As hard as that is to hear, you’ll be better off if you just embrace and get to know your hair one day at a time for as long as it takes.
- Your natural hair will be wild and unruly; that’s beauty of it, don’t fight with it. Let it do what it do.