(For part 1)

Combing, brushing and styling and upkeep

  • Don’t brush dry curls.
  • Do limit combing, by incorporating protective and low manipulation styles such as: Rod sets, straw sets, twist outs, braid outs, buns and braids/extensions that are not too tight
  • Do be patient and gentle. The average hair growth each year is six inches, and this applies to ALL races. Baby, caress and nurture hair to retain that growth.
  • Do use the correct tools. Check out the natural hair tool box
  • Do love your shrinkage! Know that tight curls can shrink to 75% of your actual length. Learn to stretch your hair. Work with hair/ curl pattern not against it
  • Do dust, trim or cut hair as needed. This does not promote growth its merely for a neat appearance.
  • Do styles according to season like protective for winter and no heat styles in summer. What’s the point, it will revert quickly.
  • Don’t make assumptions about your hair texture too early.  It will likely change as you continue to transition. You may be going through the “scab hair” period (new growth that feels dry, brittle and fuzzy) because the hair follicles are so damaged.  Some believe this to be their hair’s texture, and it’s the reason many people stop transitioning. The good news is, most people stop growing scab hair 3-6 months after starting their transition. During this phase do not use heat on your hair and have alternating weekly deep conditions and hot oil treatment and use good moisturizing products.  You should start seeing curl definition and your hair will begin retaining moisture better.
  • Do massage your scalp often

Chemicals and heat damage

  • Do know that relaxers and chemicals permanently destroy your curl pattern. Meaning your hair will no longer curl up when you wet it. You can’t wash out a perm or put a special product in it. There is no such thing.  You will have to start transitioning again and cutting off the relaxed ends again.
  • Do avoid permanent coloring. Coloring can be as damaging as a perm. Try a temporary coloring like color rinses or henna instead.
  • Don’t use naturalaxers. These are NOT natural or organic products, but relaxers and texturizers under a different name. These companies can see the increase in women wearing their natural hair, so they want to tap into that market. Compare the ingredients to those in a relaxer/texturizer’s box, and you will see how similar they are.
  • Don’t allow anyone or any salon to lift hair to add color. This means bleaching hair to add your color of choice
  • Do eliminate direct heat (if possible) or limit use of hot styling tools (hot rollers, flat irons, curling irons) to no more than once a week
  • Do not straighten hair while transitioning. Avoid it or do it infrequently once fully natural.
  • Do know that every time your use heat you are weakening your hair a little bit even if you use all the safe measures.
  • Do know you can burn your hair. This means your curl pattern will be destroyed. It will be as if you chemically processed your hair.  This is what “heat training” really is: burning your hair to make it straight.
  • Do use hooded dryers instead of hand driers on a medium setting (or lower) for as little time possible.  See: How to minimize heat
  • Do use heat protectant serums when using hot tools at all times. These usually contain cones. Another reason not to do heat styles.

Self-esteem & judgments

  • Do stay connected to the online Natural Hair care community
  • Do encourage others who are natural
  • Don’t waste your time wishing you had someone else’s hair. It will leave you disappointed and exhausted. Love what God gave you. You are beautiful! “Love the skin that God has placed you in”.
  • Don’t let haters and ignorant people get you down! Love your hair! Stay natural!
  • Do know a lot of people don’t like and will never like natural hair.  There’s nothing you can do to make everyone approve of your choice. Unfortunately kinky hair is often seen as the ugliest/worst kind of hair to have, but that’s only because we are comparing it to the majority, which is straight, Euro-centric hair. We have been brainwashed to believe straighter hair is more beautiful because that’s what society feeds us (through magazines, TV, etc.) As long as you feel your hair is beautiful, why should anyone else’s opinion matter?  Trust me, it may take some time to get to this level, but it will happen eventually.
  • Do develop thick skin and some self-esteem. Remember that it is a good thing standing out from the crowd, and no matter how many people despise your hair, many, many others will love it. Naysayers of natural hair are everywhere, but at some point you have to live life for yourself and not for other people’s acceptance.
  • Do be careful of criticizing others just because they don’t share your journey or opinions. I think it’s great when going natural inspires people to live healthier lives.  But it’s not cool when that turns into judging others for their choices and opinions. No need to get on your high horse because you don’t conceal your hair under hair extensions or change it via chemical applications. Do note that naturals who feel strongly about not using straighteners or hair extensions tend to get labeled as ‘militants’ or ‘natural hair nazis’. Unfairly, there doesn’t seem to be a name for relaxed, texturized or weaved up women who dislike natural hair. If you feel that you earned the label, ease back a bit. No one likes being lectured. If the person is just trying to hurt your feelings, ignore them! Naturals seem to attract people who are on the defensive.
Source: afrokinkilove
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