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Natural African hair is very difficult to manage. It’s really expensive too. You can’t do anything with it except put it in an afro or twists. It’s untidy.  Or so they say. These are a few of the many myths I was told when I decided to go back to keeping my hair in its natural state. I had the option of falling for it and remaining an addict of the creamy crack, or finding out for myself. Being the deviant I am, I did the big chop and I’ve never regretted it. So today I want to share the basic steps I took to make keeping natural hair a delightfully easy task for me.

Research

I started off with not much information, but that changed quickly when I realized I was making a mess of my hair. It’s absolutely necessary to equip yourself with as much information as you can before you start your journey. It makes it much easier when you know exactly what to do with what.

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Decision to go natural

At this point the question of whether to do the big chop or transition had been answered. I cut my hair; yes, by myself! Well, until I started creating potholes in my hair and I went to the barber to fix it. For those who aren’t ready to be called a boy or simply ugly, you have the option of transitioning for a few months or years. Apparently that works too. However, in this case you’d have two different textures on you head to handle. Some more research would help.

Staple products

When the time came to get products I could stick with, I grabbed almost every “natural” hair product I could find on the shelves at the supermarket. After my hair was falling off at an unacceptable pace, I decided to go for the more natural products like coconut oil, castor oil, and Shea butter. Bottom line, play around a bit with products to see which ones work best for you, while still remaining an informed consumer. I would go for products which are free of harmful ingredients.

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Building a regimen

As I came to learn, it is necessary to build a hair care routine or regimen. This is basically how and when you wash, condition, treat, moisturize, or trim your hair. What I found out later, however, is that while keeping things consistent over a period of time gives me good results, it fails me sometimes, so I change things a bit. If you are like me, it is a good idea to shake things up a bit; use a different product or stop using a particular product for a while, change the way you use certain or all products, or change your style and frequency of washing, conditioning, or moisturizing. Don’t be too strict on yourself. It’s supposed to be fun.

TLC

It took me some time to learn the most important step (in my opinion), which is to build a relationship with my hair; one of deep love. Embracing it just as it is. I think this is the most difficult step because it’s so easy to compare our hair to the next girl’s and think there’s something wrong with ours. Once you accept and love your hair, doing everything in your power to keep it strong and healthy becomes pretty effortless. The irony huh?

I hope these few pointers are “myth thwarting” enough to get you started or keep you going on your natural hair journey.

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Mae

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