Going Natural is Easier Said than Done…

curlyhair With the opening of a Carol’s Daughter store in Lenox Mall, and spending way more than I had planned, it reminded me that this natural thing is easier said than done.  The products are very expensive and maintenance is more time consuming than ever.

But I guess this is the case on a per person  basis, because after listening to a local radio station I concluded there’s a difference in the meaning of what we ourselves consider natural.  Is it wet and go, however it falls (or stand up) is the way you rock it?  Is it simply free of chemicals but you still get it straightened (or the new term Dominican press) to get that usual European feel of sleekness?  Or are braids/weaves your way of life?

I’ve been told the most enlightening but yet most difficult route is to cut it all off, snipping out the relaxer with every cut until you get to your new growth.  Believe me, one of my most favorite things to do is be enlightened but this was never an option for me.  quickly concluded that the whole “Natural Awakening” stuff was much too overrated and way to drastic for the girl.  However, I do know some ladies that have taken the plunge and work the low cropped style something fierce.

But after nearly 15 years of relaxed hair, touch up after touch up every 4 weeks to achieve that highly desired straight hair, I decided to let it go.  It wasn’t a long drawn out process at all.  One day I decided my hair was over processed, it was fried, dyed and laid way too much to the side and if I didn’t do something soon I would lose it all.

A stylist I visited every so often preferred natural to relaxed hair because of the damage she consistently saw from hair too often process, relaxed combined with color, it was too much.  She didn’t persuade or  push her clients to go natural but would subtly give the benefits at every visit.  After seeing several of my friends go through the transition with her, she would wash and condition their hair with great products and than press it so good, you really couldn’t tell they didn’t have a fresh relaxer, I decided to give it a try.  Not really committing to it, just seeing if it would help my hair or not, I mean it couldn’t be too hard, right?

I was completely clueless of the aftermath that was maintenance of natural hair, OMG!
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Due to the amount of heat needed for a press its not recommended that you get one too often because it damages your hair, but it wasn’t until after breaking a single sweat during a much needed workout that I realized my newly pressured, silky, shiny, straight divalicious do had swollen up like blow fish in damage and I was too taken aback because I didn’t have a clue of how to get it back like it was without adding more heat or paying that hefty fee to have the stylist do it over.

Dazed, confused and very frustrated because the results of no chemicals we great and I now loved my hair in its natural state, there was no way I was going back anytime soon, so with relaxing not an option I set out to do whatever it took to maintain it. After going on the hunt for the best all natural products around I was slapped in the face with how expense they are, most three to four times more than the black gel I was accustomed to buying  to lay my edges down. It was then I realized this natural stuff was easier said than done.

It’s been three years since my transition and I’m still learning the ins and outs of being natural. The battle is tough but the reward is amazing, I highly recommend going natural and are more than welcome for some advice to help with this process.

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8 comments on “Going Natural is Easier Said than Done…

  1. Hi Monica, I think you made some valid points. It also just dawned on me that there are lots of natural, do-it-yourself at home, conditioning/moisturizing treatments that you can make and do at home yourself.

    I found some all natural spa information that inspired me to periodically use an egg, some olive oil and a mashed avacado to give my hair a deep protein moisturizing treatment. Come to think of it, If I did go natural–I’d probably BE the next Carol’s daughter because I can see myself in the kitchen mixing up my weekly supply of the regimen that I would have my hair on LOL

    So, I guess you’re right, Monica. You just may be able to get away with beautiful natural hair on a budget….

    Toodles!

  2. I think if your goal is to maintain a classy appearance–it may be difficult to get away on the “cheap” in keeping your hair healthy, shiny & strong. If you go natural–you’ll still need to maintain professional trims to maintain the appearance of the hair. If you have a relaxer, you definitely “should” get them done professionally to avoid damaging your hair from over-processing. Again, the maintenance such as trims and protein treatments to help restore damaged hair is necessary either way you go. I decided to forego the natural hair in order to keep things simple in my lifestyle. I may have gotten caught up in the “hype” of the Phyto relaxer, but I have been using it for 2 years now and I have a healthy head of shiny hair that my stylists, Monique, helps me to keep that way. I visited many Dominican Salons while living in NY, but since returning, have decided that the “sisters” do a better job at maintaining my hair, giving me the same silky bounce (if not better) than the Dominican stylists who do not seem to realize that it’s okay to use a brush and excess heat from the blow dryer on natural hair, but way too much stress for relaxed and/or color treated hair. The key to healthy black hair, relaxed or natural, is the proper treatment with the use of alcohol-free products that bring the hair the the proper moisture and ph balance. We can have our cake and eat it, too–but it is going to cost you.

    • I agree! I shaved all my hair off so my only worry is maintaining a healthy, hydrated scalp but before I went to the buzz cut I was getting press and curls. Alot of women are obsessed with length so they look at ‘trims’ negatively. I got trims every 4-5 weeks and my hair was down my back. I couldn’t get it to NOT grow. Now I can’t give all the props to how I maintained it, most of it is genetics. Every women in my family has thick, strong, coarse, healthy hair.
      But you are right.. it’s all about the CORRECT way you maintain your hear… oh, and drink lots of water!

  3. There are inexpensive way to stay natural. Many beauty supply and drug store products work fine, you must learn to read the labels. I’m natural on a budget, initially one becomes a product junkie because you are learning what kind of products work for your hair. Once you have established what type of moisturizer, conditioner, shampoo and stylers your hair tolerates best the buying should taper off.
    I’m going on my third year natural and I have never purchased: Carols Daughter, Oyin or Ms. Jessies. They are too expensive for me and I can achieve similar looks/effects with cheaper products.

    Please check YouTube for a wealth of information (product reviews, style tutorials and styling ideas). Oh, my blog too. 🙂

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