10 Things I Learned After My Big Chop
Hey y’all! My big chop anniversary is coming up soon, and I’ve been going down memory lane over the past few weeks. This month I thought I would share ten things I learned after doing it.
1. GOING NATURAL IS NOT CHEAPER THAN BEING RELAXED.
No, seriously, it’s not. Natural hair products are very expensive, and in some cases very overpriced for the quality of the product. Products that are fairly cheap and won’t burn a hole in your pocket include Cantu, As I Am, Giovanni (their shampoo smells amazing), and Shea Moisture (this leans a little toward the pricey side, but you’re getting the bang for your buck). The key is going to the beauty supply store, looking at the products, and deciding what you need to do from there.
2. DON'T COMPARE YOUR HAIR JOURNEY TO ANYONE ELSE’S.
Trust me, I know it’s very easy to get caught up in the length you don’t have. Most of the naturalistas you see on YouTube have been natural for many years, and they had to go through the struggle just like you! Once upon a time they didn’t know what to do with their hair, but they eventually figured it out. Your hair grows at its own rate. You’ll get to bra strap length one day!
3. IT’S ALL ABOUT TRIAL AND ERROR.
You are bound to make mistakes. When you make a mistake, you learn from it and move on. Therefore, if you see that a product is not working for you, please stop using it. You will save so much time and money if you do so. You will go through many products until you find what works for you; it’s par for the course. Don’t get discouraged when something does not work for you, because there is something out there that your curls will absolutely love!
4. HAIR TEXTURE DISCRIMINATION IS REAL.
A forewarning to my fellow type 4 haired angels, the products that claim to work for your hair type will not. Do not fret, you will find something eventually. It’s no secret that loose curls are favored more than kinkier textures. It’s very evident in the media. When I look at Dark and Lovely commercials on TV, I never see a woman with hair that looks like mine. My hair has been called unkempt because my curls are more compact, and it’s a bit disheartening. In a movement (and community) that claims to be about embracing all textures, it seems to be doing the opposite.
5. CO-WASHING IS AMAZING!
For those of you who don’t know, co-washing is a lifesaver! Simply pick your favorite conditioner and wash your hair with it. Shampoo strips your hair of its natural oils. Overusing shampoo can cause damage to your hair. I personally wash with shampoo once a week and co-wash twice a week. I'm currently using Shea Moisture’s Raw Shea Butter Restorative Conditioner- it is amazing!!! My hair has never felt or smelled better.
6. NATURAL HAIR IS SO VERSATILE.
One of the things I love about natural hair is how versatile it is. If you want to rock your fro and pick it out one day, you can do that. If you want to rock a twist out for a day or two, you can do that. If you want a more sleek and slicked back look, you can do that too! My personal favorite style is Bantu knots; you can rock them either way. The possibilities are truly endless!
7. PROTECTIVE STYLING IS KEY!
While you may be in love with your curls, they need a break sometimes. Constantly having your hands in your hair can cause unwanted breakage, and no one wants that. Protective styling allows you to protect those ends from breakage while allowing your hair to grow. Cornrows, box braids, two strand twists, and faux locs are all very effective when it comes to protecting those ends. They're very versatile when it comes to styling as well.
8. SILK BONNETS/PILLOWCASES SAVE LIVES.
If you haven't already, I highly suggest that you invest in a silk bonnet or pillowcase. They protect your hair from breakage while sleeping and lock in moisture! How amazing is that? Not to mention, they're amazing to sleep on. Tip: just throw it in the washing machine and it'll be good as new.
9. HAVE FUN WITH IT.
Don't be afraid to switch your look up every now and then. If you want to cut your hair really short and shave the sides, do it! If you want to go bald, do it! It's your hair.
10. FLAUNT YOUR FRO.
Don't be afraid to flaunt your fro, it defies gravity and soaks up sunrays. Your hair is a masterpiece in itself. It's magical and the world deserves to see it.