How are we all doing and how is the month of April treating y’all? (comment down below, I’ll love to hear from you guys)
Today’s post is really dear to me because if I had known the things I know now concerning being natural, it would have saved me all the unnecessary pain and stress I went through when I did my big chop. Before I give out the tips, lets’s take a trip down memory lane.
So, I did the Big chop 2014, then natural hair wasn’t that much of a trend or even a trend at all, I cut my hair because I was tired of it, it was breaking off, lost it’s colour, it went from black to reddish brown and then I lost length. All these started happening after I used a particular relaxer. I used to be so proud of my long hair(it wasn’t super long but it was quite lengthy), I usually got compliments for my hair, but during that period, all I was getting was… ‘ ahh ahn Abigail what happened to your hair’….’did you cut your hair’… and comments like that, I’m sure we know how we Nigerians can be dramatic with our comments. Then the people that had never complimented my hair were also like…’ahhh that your hair that I used to admire, what happened now’…… It was just a sad period for me, then my mum would tell me, ‘Its because you’re not making your hair, that’s why your hair broke off (honestly anytime I relaxed my hair, I wouldn’t let it be for weeks, I would go in front of the mirror to comb my hair every hour). After the ‘big chop’ my hair-life was hell, back then I didn’t understand my hair type, so making my hair was a dreadful activity because my hair was really dry and hard and the hair stylist would almost pull out my scalp just to comb my hair and make it more manageable before braiding. The only reason why I never cried at the saloon was because I was forming big girl. Now fast forward to this day, after reading countless posts on natural hair and watching a lot of natural hair youtubers, I can say I am almost perfecting how to manage my dry high porosity 4C(or 4d cause I feel my hair is too kinky for 4c sometimes) hair.
So, here are the things I wish I knew and did before and after my big chop:
Seeking counsel from someone who was already in the game. We might think it’s just hair, but I tell you, it’s really important you speak to someone that understands or have an idea on natural hair management. If I had someone that told me about the right products to use and how to manage my hair properly, I most likely would not have been close to weeping at the hair salon.
Low hair manipulation. when I began to have a hang on how to manage my hair, I didn’t let my hair rest. It was one style today and another tomorrow (honestly I’m still not over this stage) I was constantly manipulating my hair and my hair being dry and fragile was breaking off. Yes it was growing but it was also breaking off. most times I feel if I had just let my hair be It would have been longer than what it is now, but no regrets cause I got to experiment, and also learnt how to style my hair.
Using too many hair products. As I was gradually getting better at handling my hair, I would use any and every ‘natural hair’ product I could lay my hands on. Because of this, I had a lot of product build up on my scalp which would lead to me washing my hair more frequently which also led to more hair manipulation and more hair breakage (see the circle of short hair ba)
Washing my hair in sections. Back then I used to dread washing my hair because when I did wash my hair, it would shrink really bad and tangle up, then combing it out would cause pain and more breakage, at that time I wasn’t practising finger de-tangling (I hope we can see how over manipulating the hair can cause stunted growth, and we would think its our village people that’s not letting us shine in peace) Now I’ve learnt to wash my hair in sections and also finger de-tangle, which has lessened the amount of hair I shed when I wash.
Watching youtubers that didn’t have 4c hair. I was always watching a lot of natural hair videos of youtuber that had 3a-4c hair. But most of the people I was religiously watching didn’t have 4c hair and I was expecting my hair to be like theirs. I had unrealistic expectations for my hair like growing 6 inches in a month or trying to get hair products that would change my curl pattern. I was obsessed with naturalistas that didn’t have my type of hair. I do believe we could learn things from people with different hair type but they should not be the major source of your hair-ducation.
My final words to all new naturalistas is for you all to be patient with your hair, understand the type of hair you have and try not to get too excited that you do thing that won’t be in favour of your hair.
Till next time beautiful readers, don’t forget to follow my social media pages if you’ve not done so. Thank you…