Black Hair Care: 4 Ways to Go Natural

By Daphene Baines
In a previous article, “Black Hair Care: Should I straighten or Go Natural?,"
we examined the importance of caring for the temple of God, including your hair. In that article, we looked at making a decision to straighten or let your hair go natural.

By the way, this article relates to Christian health, in that it talks about taking care of the hair on the temple of God, our bodies, especially for Black women.

The purpose of this article is to help those who have made the challenging decision to go natural. I stumbled upon an article written by Kendrah Roberts in June 2007, it speaks about different ways to go natural.

The article states that “many women of African descent have opted to go natural but are not sure how to. You now know you want to be a beauty with naturally textured hair but are not sure how to make the transition from relaxed to natural."

The article also says, "There are a few different ways which can adhere to any type of hair. You just have to find the right method for you that you will be comfortable with to make the transition easier and less painful.” Let’s take a look at the different ways to go natural.

Different ways to go natural:

1. Chop it Off. For many African American women who have decided to go natural, the easiest way is to chop it off. This technique does not require spending money at a salon or barber shop. Any friend that is handy with an electric shaver or scissors will do.

If you are not ready to go down to the roots, cut off a little until you are ready to do more. Talking about a change – this is one, if you have long hair.

2. Braid it Up. Both men and women wear braids today. When going from relaxer to natural, you will seek a style that requires less styling. As you go natural, the relaxed hair can get brittle. Once you braid your hair, it does not have to be disturbed for a while. There are several styles of braiding – corn rows, flat twist, two strand twist, plaits, micros, macros, etc.

Be careful not to have braids that are tight and break the hair off at the root. Search the internet and look at Black hair care books for different braiding styles. Most of these styles can be inexpensive and last for 1 to 8 weeks or more.

3. Grow it Out. Growing it out can be the most damaging method of all with your Black Hair Care. If you are afraid to cut it off and don’t like braiding your hair up, this process may be for you, but it requires much work for this kind of black hair care.

What it takes is trimming a small amount of hair off the ends, approximately every 2 to 4 weeks. Because the hair is growing out, the meeting of the new growth (strong healthy hair) and the relaxed hair (which is usually weaker) may cause the hair shaft to break off.

Keeping the hair moisturized and limiting the amount of manipulation of the hair will help minimized breakage. This method can also be the most challenging, because it can be difficult to wear your hair loose because of the two types of hair.

It is suggested that a licensed beautician who is aware of your transitioning from relaxed to natural hair be consulted and visited during your process.

4. Dread Locks. Many women who are concerned about Black hair care choose dread locks as an alternative. Normally, chopping and locking the hair goes together. The process of locking usually requires taking natural hair and twisting it.

Research should be done regarding this method. There is information on ways of locking. This method can take time to get to your desired look; however, it is less damaging then the braids and growing the hair out.

I agree with Kendrah Roberts statement about African American women and Black hair care. Many desire to be natural, but they do not know how to go through the process. I hope the four ways discussed will be helpful to you in your journey.

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