Jenell Stewart

Making the decision to transition to natural hair is very exciting, but it can also cause much anxiety for many women, myself included. After spending most of your life wearing your hair straight, who can fault you for being nervous? In fact, most of the women I know that are now completely natural were very nervous about beginning their transition and/or big chopping. I’ve found that we all have similar concerns.

Will This Look Fit Me?

Remember when Rhianna set the new hair trend with her short asymmetrical cut? This hair style looked very different on her than when she wore her hair in large beach waves. Becoming fully natural will change your appearance in the same way.  Yes, you will look different, but you will still look fabulous.

How Will Others Feel About Me?

When you look at yourself in the mirror now, you see the woman you’ve always seen. When you become fully natural and look in the mirror, I’m positive that you will see the same woman, but with a new do!  Your friends and family won’t see YOU any differently, but they will see your HAIR differently. If you’re confident about your decision, this will exude onto everyone around you.  Most people will share their appreciation for your new style choice. Others may have lots of questions. In the end, hasn’t your decision to style your hair differently always been a personal decision? Let’s keep it that way.

Do I Need to Invest in all New Products?

You’re allowed to be nervous and have questions about the impact becoming fully natural will have on your lifestyle.

Many of the products you may currently own can “transition” with you from relaxed to natural. Shampoos, conditioners, deep conditioners, and carrier oils are perfect examples of products you can continue to use in your natural hair. However, you may want to browse the styling products aisle in your local beauty store and on CurlMart, because some of the products you were using may have supported retaining moisture and shine on straightened hair, but don’t give the same results on textured hair.

Also, I highly doubt you have a wide array of curl definers, curly butters and puddings. Why would you? There was no need for these products before, but they are greatly needed in caring for natural hair. Curl definers activate your natural curl pattern and holds it into place, while butters and puddings add moisture, shine, and prevent frizz for many textured styles like twists and braids. You will need new products, but you don’t have to break the bank on them.

Will it Take More Time to Style and Care for My Hair?

When your hair is very short, very little time is spent caring for and styling your hair because you don’t have a lot of hair to care for and style. As expected, longer hair will take more time to care for, but it doesn’t have to be much more time. If you choose low-manipulation styles and styles that last several days up to a week or longer, you will find that you spend less time styling your longer hair then you did your shorter hair.

My hair regimen has changed throughout my natural hair journey, and yours will too. When I had a TWA (teeny weeny afro”> I spent about 20 minutes shampooing, conditioning, and moisturizing my hair, and I spent an hour every other night twisting my hair to give me volume and curl definition. This was a personal decision to spend several hours a week styling my hair, because I was excited about having new looks and well maintained hair. Now, I spend about 1-2 hours shampooing, conditioning and moisturizing my hair. I now only spend about 10 minutes preparing my hair for bed and about 5 minutes styling in the morning. This equates to about the same amount of time overall, but more time is spent in different parts of my regimen.

You’re allowed to be nervous and have questions about the impact becoming fully natural will have on your lifestyle. This is true for any decision you make in your life. Take the next step when you are ready.

Jenell Stewart

Jenell Stewart, the founder and editor in chief of the award winning website dedicates most of her free time educating and uplifting women with natural hair by way of her extremely popular website and YouTube channel. Jenell has been featured in Essence Magazine, Black, and starred on the Dr.Oz television show as a Beauty Expert. In 2012 she was named one of Essences top Instagramers and that same year KinkyCurlyCoilyMe won an award for “Favorite Website” of the Natural Hair Community.

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