When I 1st started the natural hair journey ( I chemically altered my hair, not only ironed it) I had a specific look and goal in mind. I wanted my hair to be as kinky as possible because that is my father hair type and I absolutely love his hair. I simply assumed my hair would turn out like that, that was one of the reasons I kept using heat, since I did not get the curl I wanted, I became instead a naturalista with natural straight hair regularly using my flat iron with heat protection of course. Then came Instagram and the #curlycommunity thanks to my friend from Curly community and so The Hair Lab came to be a journal where I logged my progress and fails and all of a sudden I started falling in love with the flexibility my hair offered and I went with it. I adjusted my goals to what I had and now I would not change my frizz prone hair for anything, it still gets annoying at times the work I need to put into it and it still surprises me how different in can look depending on how I do the wash day routine.
A few tips if you are thinking about getting started:
1. Take a deep breath, you might be overwhelmed at first no doubt, but no need to worry we are here for you. Take it slow you can either transition and cut the damaged part little by little or get a big chop and start fresh, but do it only when you are ready. No pressure.
2. Keep it simple: if you can't or don't want to buy new products at 1st, go step by step such as adding a good leave in conditioner and styling gel or cream to your routine while you finish the old products. At that point the hair is rather damaged so very fancy products wont do much difference. Use less heat, or even better no heat at all this will help your hair health so much!
3. Take the time to observe your hair: is it fine, is it dense, wavy, curly, kinky (don't obsess about curl typing, you will learn later or like me forever wonder your curl type).
4. At first the chemical or heat damaged hair will be highly porous so look for deep treatment masks with keywords such as repair, strengthen, restore; they usually contain protein and protein is what damaged hair direly needs.
5. Chemical damage cannot be reverted, I cut my hair gradually for about a year. Heat damage can revert to an extent, I never cut my heat damaged hair but instead gave it super intensive care as I was unwilling to go cut the hair all over again.
6. Be patient, have fun and don't compare your beginning to the middle of others, surround yourself with good vibes only. Embrace your curls be them wavy, curly, kinky, coily or everything in between they are your and you will love them and they will love you back with good care.
7. Naturally curly hair is for everybody who has it and wants it, no matter the shape texture or color. Who run the world? Curls!