However, over the past four years of being natural, I've come to learn that the beginning is the hardest part! I big chopped in February 2012 after transitioning for eight months. After several weeks of enjoying my sprouting curls, I began to wish for longer and less coily hair. Over time, I developed these six tactics that helped me stay motivated in the long run.
Take lots of pictures
Snap away! Be the selfie queen of them all if you'd like! Pictures help you see how far you've come. You can track the health and length of your hair over time to see what works and doesn't work for your hair. You can simply take pictures to measure the size of your fro, track the type of hairstyles you’ve worn, or even to map the growth of your kinks down your back. I like to have a special shoot once a year in which I celebrate my hair growth. I call this my natural hair anniversary. I take loads of pictures of my hair to motivate me till my next anniversary.
Accept your texture
When I went natural, I thought my curls would be loose and bouncy. I envisioned bushy, halo-like, golden curls that danced in the wind. But as it turns out, my curls are gravity defying and have the natural ability not to wince in the face of a tornado! Resilient and steadfast is how I'd describe my curls. Don’t get me wrong, this doesn't mean my curl pattern is inferior, it's just different and unique and I’m learning to accept it.
Build a hair regimen, which is a set of techniques and a list of hair products you use consistently to nurture your strands. Regimen building not only promotes moisture retention, which in turn is great for you hair, but it also keeps your hair's health at its optimum. Healthy hair is nurtured over time, so if you are consistently keeping to your hair regimen, you'll most likely see length and health retention.
Do your research
Read blogs, watch YouTube videos, and Google your hair questions. Information is power. The more hair techniques you know, the better your hair care practices, and by extension your hair's overall health. Do what works best for you rather than jump on bandwagons. Our naturally curly hair community has a lot of resources, so don't be afraid to dig deep!
Connect with other naturals
Find a curlfriend or three! Take pics together, exchange hair tips, swap hair products, and build a community. There’s nothing better than having a close group of friends to spur you on! If none of your friends have gone natural, you may look to join online forums and groups. There are several ones on social media.
Are you newly natural? If so, how are you staying motivated? Have you been natural for a while now? What tips would you share with new naturals/transitioners to motivate them on their journeys?