what to know before starting the hair journey

What to Know Before Starting the Natural Hair Journey


You’ve decided to join a community of people that value the authentic fibers that grow from your scalp. Sounds kinda weird, right? No worries, it’s all love here!  But before you do anything hasty, there’s definitely some things you should know. Here’s my list of what to know before starting the natural hair journey.

what to know before starting the hair journey

January 2009 (13 years relaxed)

Before Starting Your Natural Hair Journey

Decide to big chop or long transition

This decision will literally define the start of your journey. And it’s not an easy decision to make. The big chop is like ripping off the Band-Aid. It’s quick and liberating, as I’m told. The long transition is much longer (mine was 18 months) and you will get frustrated towards the middle of the transition journey. Learning to manipulate 2 different hair textures is no easy task so weigh the options heavily and do what suits you and your lifestyle. It’s your hair after all.

Your environment will make or break you

Throughout your natural hair journey you will encounter many different people. Some will love to see your hair flourish, others will not understand it. If you come from a family of relaxers and weaves, the people around you may not be as supportive as you might think they would be. Do not let the opinions of others stop you from your journey! If you decide to go back to the creamy crack, make sure it’s because you want to, not because other people don’t think your natural hair looks good on you (see ‘It’s not pretty’).

It’s not pretty

Until you learn how to style your hair, you will have days where people will literally say “What happened to your hair?” (happened to me about a year in). If you big chop and you’ve never been bald or near bald, I’ll bet you’ve thought “What if I don’t look good with really short hair?” On the other hand, you probably will look good because you’ll be free and confidence is everything.

For my long transitioners, it’s a different story. A co-worker of mine asked me what happened to my hair after I tried a Bantu knot out on transitioning hair. I was so offended but in her defense, she nor did really anyone else at my job, understand this part of the hair journey. It’s all trial and error until you find your style.

It’s pricey

Well, that depends. If you big chop, you are obviously using less product. It would get pricey if you decide to ball out trying different brands (that’s allllll you). 

For the transitioners, yes, this is might get expensive. First, you’ll have to throw away all your products from “before.” I know that alone will be painful but what’s even more painful is expecting products meant for relaxers to work on your newly formed kinks and curls. Then you’ll have to experiment with products to build a regimen to suit your transitioning hair. Finally, there’s a really good chance the products that worked for your transitioning hair will not work for your fully natural hair so you might have to tweak your regimen again. It definitely adds up, quickly.

Understand it’ll take 4 years (or more) for your hair to be where you want it

No matter where you start in this journey, chances are you’re envious of the MahagonyCurls’ and the Naptural85’s of the world. No worries, I am too. But it took them a long time to get where they’re at and the process will more than likely be the same for you. There are plenty of length check t-shirts to help you measure―I definitely recommend only checking your length twice a year. It’ll just be disappointing if you do it more than that, trust me. And the only reason I even mentioned it taking 4 years is because it took me 4 years to have my naturally curly hair finally touch my shoulders when dry (and slightly stretched (don’t judge!)).

what to know before starting the hair journey
Iesha June 2018 (4 years natural)

You got this.

Above all else, ladies and gents YOU GOT THIS!!! This journey is not impossible, it just requires a lot of patience and persistence. If you feel like you’re gonna give up, come talk with me or another natural. Because I promise you, there aren’t many better feelings than wearing your God given hair and realizing you are #hairgoals!

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