Mar 04 , 2021
It’s a whole new territory when you decide to go natural. You get to experience a different level of hair care that you previously hadn’t and the truth is that it can be very daunting. To make things a whole lot easier for you, I’ve compiled this list of costly mistakes that you’re very much likely to make as you transition to natural hair.
Trust me, you are not alone and these are mistakes that anybody can make - even I made some of them as well but the good thing is that we learn from them and thankfully, you don’t have to make the same mistakes too.
1. Expecting your natural hair texture to be a certain kind of way
You will be very much surprised to know that what you call “undergrowth” might only just be the tip of the iceberg when figuring out your natural hair texture. If you have rocked relaxed hair for quite a while, you might be shocked to realize that your natural hair is far from what you can even remotely remember.
A tip? Don’t expect nothing, even if your family has a certain kind of hair texture, it’s no guarantee that yours will look the same. So just chill and accept whatever comes because that is the real you.
2. Scab hair is not equal to your real natural hair
While transitioning, you might mistake scab hair which is what grows from your scalp just below your relaxed strands. Scab hair is coarse, rough and you might get to thinking that is your real hair texture. No it’s not. If you’ve chemically treated your hair for a long period of time, you are very likely to get scab hair so don’t panic or feel disappointed. It will take a while for the chemicals to leave your scalp and you’ll see your real hair texture.
3. Using the same products as before
I think it is quite clear that natural hair is VERY different from chemically treated hair so it follows that you can’t use the same products as you used to for your relaxed hair. As your new growth gets more inches, your previous products won’t do the trick for your natural hair as relaxed hair needs are different from natural hair needs.
For example, natural hair products should be more water-based and not oil-based. It takes a lot of experimenting to find what really works for you but getting recommendations from naturalistas with a similar texture to yours is a great start.
4. Not getting that moisture in, locked and sealed!
Unlike chemically treated hair, natural hair survives and thrives on hydration. I’m talking about water, creams and butters as well as oil to seal in the moisture. Don’t make the mistake of not moisturizing enough because that line where your natural hair meets your relaxed hair is very prone to breakage so it needs utmost care. Make sure to moisturize as much as possible to give your new growth a chance to grow and thrive.
5. Choosing the wrong hairstyle
As you transition, you’ll come to realize that you have a limited amount of hairstyles you can achieve with your transitioning hair mostly due to the fact that you have two different textures. It can be quite frustrating to find this amazing hairstyle only to find out that it just won’t work out for you. Ugh!
My advice? Find hairstyles that are particularly recommended for transitioning hair - styles that hide the relaxed part or blends both textures. Check out this list of hairstyles you can make when transitioning.
6. Always hiding your hair
I get that new growth can take some getting used to which is why I always advise ladies to use wigs or scarfs to protect their hair if they aren’t comfortable with their new look. However, you should not make it an everyday thing because believe it or not, your hair needs fresh air. Why go through the stress of transitioning only to hide your beautiful hair?
Besides, scarves and wigs when overused can mess with your edges and also pull on your hair which can hinder growth.
7. Texturizing your hair
I’ll need a microphone for this announcement because I don't know how many times to say this - You SHOULD NOT texturize your natural hair. No matter what you might have heard, texturizers do contain similar chemicals as your relaxer so do not be deceived. Using a texturizer will only set you back right to the start.
Bonus - You are gonna need a whole lot of patience. Wash day, conditioning, detangling as well as styling has a whole new meaning when it comes to natural hair. You can’t be in a hurry.
Although I feel this is a well-known thing, I feel like I should add: As a new naturalista, ditch the heat. Avoid using heat to style your hair, no matter how short the time frame is or how “easy on your hair” it is. Also get regular trims so your coily new growth is not weighed down by your straightened ends or made prone to breakage.
Remember, transitioning is about your hair as well as your mindset. Be patient and let your natural hair take its due course. Don’t be bothered by length, your priority should be your hair health.