The road to success for achieving a healthy head of hair starts with an amazing haircut. Put the scissors down and schedule an appointment with a licensed professional.

As cliché at it sounds, the naturally curly hair lifestyle is no exaggeration. It is a fully committed way of life that calls for a sometimes-agonizing yet always-rewarding attention to ingredients, products, and application techniques. Fully embracing my natural hair in all its glory has come with an alarm clock and price tag to match. Contrary to popular belief of some people with chemically relaxed hair, maintaining natural curls that are also healthy is no easy feat. That being said, I am a firm believer that the road to success for achieving, and then keeping, a healthy head of hair starts with an amazing haircut.

You're not a pro, and DIY doesn't always work

Some naturals assume that embarking on this journey means tapping into the current wave of DIY culture and doing everything to their hair according to unsolicited advice from a YouTube video,  but there is plenty of room for error when scissors are involved. 
Although I am a total advocate for creative expression by way of extensions, styling techniques, and color, I maintain my strong opposition to cutting my own hair at home.

Think of it this way: if you are not a certified mechanic, would you attempt to work on your car if its best ability to function depended on it?

Even if you calculated the costs and came to the conclusion that purchasing a few parts here and there would save you some money up front, you also understand that by choosing  to cut corners by giving your hard-earned car the time and money it deserves from a pro, you may face even worse mechanical issues down the road.   

Bottom line, some things should be left to the professionals. 

As you continue on your own journey with natural hair, keep in mind that every head of curls is different. In my years of rocking my 3c curly hair I have discovered that my texture requires a good trim about every six months or so. Even if it calls for a bit more time spent researching and saving up money, your hair deserves care from the hands of a licensed professional. For over a year I have been visiting my stylist, Robin Sjoblom (@SouthernCurlATL), on a routine schedule for her signature Foundation Cut. Robin's cuts are especially tailored to curlies with type 3c to 4c textures with personalization--she calls them a prescription--for every client who walks into her salon. Twice a year I rely on Robin's expertise and immaculate attention to create a successful base for caring for my hair throughout the rest of the year until my next appointment. My at-home deep conditioning sessions, styling applications, even second day hair would never hold up half as well if I would have attempted to cut my own hair. 

If you are still on the fence about transitioning to natural hair, or just haven't noticed favorable results from taking your curls into your own hands, I strongly suggest taking a close look to every step in your current regimen.

This includes the ingredients in your products, the frequency in which you use them, and how you use your styling product. After doing some comparative experiments with your routine, if all else fails and your texture still appears lackluster, scheduling an appointment with a good stylist in your area for a big chop or series of trims might be the best route for achieving the healthiest hair possible.

Do you cut your hair yourself or do you go to the salon for a trim?

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