My Natural Hair Journey Part 1 – To Chop or not to chop
When first embarking on my natural hair journey I didn’t really know where to start. I spent endless hours searching the internet and watching YouTube clips in the hopes of learning everything there is to know about being a natural hair girl.
While some of the information was useful, I found that lots of it was rather vague. Somehow, it’s taken for granted that being a naturalista comes naturally. Let me tell you, it doesn’t. It’s not a one size fits all journey either. If you’re a commitment phobe then it probably isn’t for you either. Patience does become a doing word. I am a commitment phobe in that aspect. Having said that, I’m also not one to easily admit defeat. Especially not when I have to tolerate people’s comments about my “kroeskop” (sticky hair). You can’t win. So I carry on even though I hate my hair most days. “Eyes on the prize”, I constantly remind myself.
The big question you need to ask yourself is HOW? committed you are to natural hair. Are you willing to do the time? Are you willing to start over or reinvent the wheel.
Should your option be to reinvent the wheel it’s called transitioning. You want to retain your hair length but do things differently. Change products and reduce or eliminate heat altogether.
Transitioning can be frustrating. You end up with the one side of your hair being perfectly curly and the other bone straight. Then again, hair always does that. The amount of product you use on your hair to keep it curly weighs your hair down and it can create problems with your skin. Washing can be a schlep too because you have to be sure to remove all product. Then do it all over again.
Don’t let this put you off though. You’ve still got your length and you can play around and make different styles. This is where you can also start establishing what products work for you and what doesn’t. If transitioning is for you then you can trim gradually until you’re a full on natural.
The other option is the B.C. (Big Chop). This is the true test of character and endurance. It’s a new beginning in the literal sense. This is your chance to start the project from scratch. Before I continue, I’ll be honest and tell you that this is no walk in the park.
You can’t do much with your hair except let it grow. The great part is that this is when you nourish and protect it. You start determining the right products for your hair. And you don’t have to slap on too much product to achieve that curl.
Styling gradually becomes easier as you get used to your short hair. Even better as it grows because by then you’d have mastered a few tricks.
This is when you grow and ultimately learn to love your fro. Some days you’ll rock finger coils or a neat curly and other days you just don’t care to be a fro chick or being called a kroes kop. It took some doing for me to get used to the comments about my hair. People can be really daft when they open their mouths.
This is when you also learn that TWA actually means “Teeny Weeny Afro”. And EVOO is actually Extra Virgin Olive oil.
Here are some natural hair acronyms you may or may not have heard of to get you started:
BC – Big Chop
CG – Curly Girl method
ACV – Apple Cider Vinegar
EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Co-Wash – This is when you wash your hair with conditioner instead of shampoo
No-Poo – When you wash your hair without shampoo.
Pre-Poo – When you apply a treatment before washing your hair
DC – When you deep condition your hair
Plopping – A quick dry method using a t-shirt or any other material cloth that’s CG friendly (terry cloths are great) to dry your hair
Pineapple – This is when you tie your treases in a loose ponytail at the top of your head. Usually done at night before bed or anytime you’re gonna take a nap
LOC Method – Leave-in. Oil. Cream. This refers to styling and the product line up and order in which it should be done
PJ – Product Junkie (Where most naturals are at ☺)
Well, this is it from me, for now. I hope this post shared some insights into the world of naturals. In my next post I’ll show you some transition methods I loved before my BC.