I realized that a lot of our Women of African descent in DR Congo and Zambia ( Avoiding to generalize about Africa in particular but about the two countries I live in and familiar with) struggle to maintain their natural hair whether they have gone through the below stages in their hair life cycle : –
· Have grown up with natural hair ,
· Transitioned for a long period of time from relaxer to natural, so called ‘ Transition period’,
· Women whose hair has been damaged by relaxer and ‘got annoyed” for lack of a better term and so have banished relaxing putting an embargo on it (J).,
· Women who have Kids with natural hair.
I found myself in the third category and as for little story, the relaxer damaged the back of my hair and since at that time, the hair at the back was thinner, I decided to cut my hair and go back to my natural hair. I did not know how to take care of my hair but thanks to this forum and different articles found on the net I have managed with my natural hair to-date. I “Big Chopped” (BC: cut all my relaxed hair) in 2003 and had dreadlocks twice. I have now cut them and hopefully is the last time I am cutting my hair as I have decided to grown it.
However, I still have the feeling that am learning again the process from the beginning because when I had my locks, I was in a low maintenance regimen and mind you, locks which are natural hair require different maintenance from loose natural hair . So I will be testing different products and methods and I will be giving you a feedback on how my hair is responding to them.
Back to the main reason I am writing this article which is to assist all women who recognize themselves in categories as stated earlier to understand their hair and find it easier to maintain them.
Going Natural is not easy at first as most of us grew up with relaxer and had no options as it was either relaxing or cutting the hair. Cutting hair was the solution for obvious reasons as short hair was more manageable. However, once you have learnt to listen to your hair and maintain them, the comb nightmare will disappear and if you are a parent, the kids will stop running away from you or your hairstylist when it comes to do their hair.
By “natural” I would like to underline NO putting Relaxer in your hair anymore, very simple isn’t? Some of you will agree with me .Yes! In fact it is very simple but after, what next? That is the most interesting question?
In Zambia I have noticed that more women wear their natural hair most Dreadlocks or TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro) easily than in DR Congo and those women obviously with TWA have a mindset that after a certain length of growth, failing to maintain that growth due to lack of information on care maintenance they see themselves renewing their commitment to friendship pact signed with their respective barbershop. Hopefully, this article will help one of you as it is the aim of this blog!
Before going natural or If you are already natural and would like to continue in this wonderful journey ask yourself some questions, I know there are already too many questions in this article but there are fundamental. So……
· Why should I keep my hair natural?
· Would I manage growing my TWA?
· Should I BC or Transition?
· Which products should I use?
· Is my hair going to grow?
A day at a time Ladies! We say and it is true ,be natural because you feel that is the right thing to do and beside you can always have protective styles like wigs, weaves, box braids..etc, you have a diversity of styles so you are not limited.
Being Natural is to understand your hair needs. Let me emphasis that all natural hair is not the same and can be put in different categories. It can be categorized by different texture and coil pattern that is why you can find that you have very soft natural hair compared to your sister who has very tough hair. It does not limit you to maintain them in whichever category you find yourself in. Just Love them and they will love you back.