2 May 2018
. . . what it really means +pics
Natural hair is a struggle but its versatility is undeniably charming.
In the last few years black women have become more accepting of their textured, “nappy” hair and curious of what works for them.
For some growth doesn’t require them to lift a finger and for the rest of us, the search for the right product can easily burn a hole through your pocket.
To say you have fully become a naturalista is like enrolling for a full time course, there is a whole dictionary of words you need to be familiar with!
It’s not as difficult as it sounds, you will learn as you go that is why most call it a journey.
The first two terms you will learn when you decide to join the movement are transitioning and the big chop.
These are the two ways one can begin their natural hair journey.
Natural has been hyped on social media and there are hundreds of bloggers, sites and products one can use to make their lives easier, finding what works for you.
TOP FIVE NATURAL HAIR TIPS
1. Understanding your hair type. There 4 types and each type has A, B and C sub categories. Most Africans fall into type 4 which is the course, tightly curled type that Zimbabweans call Hard Mashona type. What works for one type might not work for another.
2. Be patient. Some people can get away with using Vaseline but most have to be faithful to the LOC method (Liquid/ leave in conditioner, Oils and Cream). Hair types differ and so do their requirements.
3. Protective styling is your friend. Too much manipulation, tugging and pulling can slow down growth and getting plaited can help grow out your hair. Leave braids, cornrows or a weave in for at least 3 weeks, it will do the magic.
4. Stay away from heat lest you suffer heat damage. Hair’s health can be noted by that healthy curl pattern and applying heat to your hair can rob you off of that. Be cautious.
5. Keep your hair well moisturised, many people think their hair is not growing but they are losing as much hair as the hair that is growing and not retaining any length. Dry hair equals breakage. Healthy hair habits are their own rewards.
H-Metro spoke to three natural haired women on what their mane means to them and the different lessons they have gotten from their journey.
Hanani Dube, Fro Sister founder
Growing up what I thought was beautiful did not look like me, it was the blonde, straight hair. This was the type of beauty we were shown by the media. For me being natural means that I can celebrate my kind of beauty, I can change the brainwashed minds, help promote and show people that beauty comes in different shapes, sizes and hair types.
Natural is beautiful, the more we see natural women in the media the more it helps our children to identify and grow up knowing that they are beautiful. That has been one of my main missions, to celebrate us and make sure the world knows that we are beautiful in our natural hair.
Carol Nyazika, Ndanaka founder/natural hair vlogger
My natural hair means confidence and acceptance of who I am and what I have been given. It’s a true image of how I was created.
I’ve learnt how important it is to learn about my hair as it grows and changes. Patience is also a virtue and to appreciate and embrace the journey. My hair is beautiful.
Catherine “Cat” Makuvise
I have been natural for as long as I can remember, I would relax my hair and cut it again over a long period of time; I have had many big chops. Being natural to me means being myself, I like being in my natural state, I don’t like adding a lot of stuff like weaves and wigs, they are all good for other people but for me I would rather not. I think they are beautiful on other people though.
I love my hair and it grows, there are a lot of products that people talk about when it comes to natural hair which I think at the end of the day can be very unnecessary. You find someone who has ten or more products, to co-wash, leave in but ends up stressing the hair. It’s better to nourish what is under the scalp not just the hair as it is dead, keep an eye on what you eat.
Some people are over the top with the movement. I like keeping my hair the way it is, it is easy to manage but I don’t do much with it. I wash and go or just tie it.