Thursday, July 21, 2011

Help for Going Natural: The New York Times Is On It along with N.I.C.E. Advice on Transitioning to Natural Hair...

Today, I received a link for an article from one of my former students who is considering transitioning to natural hair which I want to share.  After praising this outstanding young lady for her courage and offering advice, I read the article that she sent to me in the link below.  In my advice to her, I shared with her my own process of transitioning which I want to share with all of you along with this fantastic NY Times article:

My Humble Advice on Transitioning to Natural Hair:
     The transition process, in terms of styles, particularly when you have perm in your hair, is a very personal matter.  For me, I let my hair grow from the root, and then cut off the perm, which left me with a tiny boy cut which I wore for about a year allowing for more growth with an occasional trim.   After that, I proceeded to braided extensions (synthetic hair) continuing with my vow never to put perm in my hair again.  After that, I took out the braids, when I had a decent length and went with short locks.  I was in NY so I wore a lot of very cool afrocentric hats, which were popular in NYC at the time.  I continued twisting and letting my locks grow and the rest was history :-).  I never went back and have had locks ever since which is about 20 years now.
Permed Hair on My Wedding Day
After Cutting Off all of the Perm

The Early Stages of My locks
My Locks As they Began to Grow

The End Result

     So, those were my steps. I felt that as I went through those steps, I really came to terms with a deeper part of my natural self which led to eating very healthy, use of herbs for healing, and continuing my physical regimen which was always a big part of my life. I merely expanded to new things such as Yoga, different dance classes and of course, I continued my favorite activity, swimming.   As for hair products, my recommendation is to avoid chemicals as much as possible.  I recommend Aubrey mainly for the swimmer's conditioner but overall, it is a great brand. However, there are other great products too.  Just go to Whole Foods and hang out in the hair section and read ingredients.  I recommend shea butter because I find it to be the best moisturizer, for skin and hair. I haven't found anything better than shea butter and trust me, I have looked throughout the world for options. 

     As for style, my recommendation is to get rid of the perm (let it grow out)  and then look in the mirror each day and decide what looks best for you on that day...Twist, curl, brush, braid and don't be afraid.  Just be natural and confident.  Truly, the key to styling your natural hair is not within You Tube videos (although they can be helpful for ideas) or anywhere else, but in your hands.  You have to sit in a mirror with your hands, your hair, products that you are comfortable with and confidence and then create styles that represent you .  You will be amazed with what you can come up with and how much you will come to love your natural hair and how you look with it.  You will see the true you, naturally. Remember, the word transition refers to a gradual process.  Take your time with this and you will grow as you make progress towards your natural goal.

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