When I 1st started the natural hair journey ( I chemically altered my hair, not only heat damage 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 my dad’s. I kept using heat because my curl was not what I wanted it to be, I became instead a naturalista with natural straight hair regularly using my flat iron with heat protection & protein treatments of course.
Some time later, along came Instagram and thanks to my friend from Curly community. The Hair Lab was born. My blog & IG account became my journal where I logged my progress and my fails always trying to figure out how to fix the mishaps. In no time I started falling in love with the flexibility my hair had to offer, gave up heat entirely and now my curls are as kinky and coily as ever with loads of volume. I adjusted my goals to what I had and it paid off.
I would not change my frizzy head of curls 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, but we can get into that once we have the basics in order.
A few things I wish my fairy godmother had told me before I started!
1. Take a deep breath, you might be overwhelmed at first, but there is no need to worry we are here for you.
Do this at your own speed.
Take it slow if you need to, no judgement, no rush.
You can either transition and cut the damaged parts little by little or get a big chop and start fresh, but do it only when you are ready.
2. Keep it simple.
If you can’t or don’t want to buy a full set new products at 1st, do it one by one by like adding a good leave in conditioner, styling gel or cream to your routine while you finish the old products and learn to read labels.
When the journey starts the hair is rather damaged so very fancy products are not an obligation, be comfortable with your own budget.
Use less heat, or even better no heat at all, this will help prevent breakage in the demarcation line which is the point where your old damaged hair gets in contact with you new natural curlywurly-frowywavy new head of hair.
3. Take the time to observe your hair.
Is it fine, is it dense, wavy, curly, kinky?
I recommend you to not obsess about curl typing, this early on.
You will learn later as you familiarize with the curly terminology and your own hair.
If you would like to know how I started to learn about my own hair feel free to read my 1st blog post The Hair Lab Scientific Method
4. At first the chemical or heat damaged hair will be highly porous so look for deep treatment masks and products 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 with proper care. I did not chop off my heat damaged hair, instead I gave it super intensive care doing what I call a “partial curl recovery” as I was unwilling to 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 yours and you will learn to love them, I promise it will happen.
The journey is challenging but it is totally worth it and your curls, waves, kins, and coils will love you back with good care.
7. Naturally curly hair is for everybody.
Whoever has it and wants to wear as it grows out of their head can wear it curly.
No matter the shape, texture or color curly hair is not a problem; it has just been misunderstood for many years.
I’m here to help you every step of the way in any way I can so don’t feel shy to email me or post your questions in the comments section.
I will do my best to help you get started!