1. Transitioning your hair also means that you are transitioning your life. If you beg to differ, look at it like this... you're finding the 'black pride' within yourself, so you are becoming happy(er) about being African American. Therefore, you develop a new outlook on life that you previously did not have.
2. Technically, you do not 'go natural'; you were born natural. So you are only going back to how you came into the world, but this time, you're accepting it.
3. Water is not the devil. In fact, water is your friend, a good friend to your hair. You hear that, black women? Stop being afraid of putting water on your hair! Unless it's well, hard water...eh, not much you can do there except go buy distilled water or install a filter in your shower. Hehe.
4. Just because someone else has tried a certain routine and it has worked for them does not mean that it will work for you. Try your own regimen and don't be a follower! You'll be disappointed if your curls don't look like theirs. Talk about hating your hair all over again. Trust me. You don't want that.
5. Having several hair patterns can sometimes appear to be a curse. Literally. One side of your hair is cooperating so far, but the other side wants to act like it's on crack. Just gotta' keep working at it.
6. Trimming is not necessary to do by a certain time. Only trim as you need to, like if your ends begin to break or look split and straggly. If you trim too often, like every month, you'll never notice your hair's growth and you'll keep thinking that you're doing something wrong and that your hair isn't growing. Be patient... and drop the scissors, woman!
7. Less manipulation is best. Combing and brushing excessively is not good at all. Yes, that's for all you women who do this every day. Try to do as little combing and brushing as possible to minimize hair loss and hair breakage. Fingers have become my friend when it comes to lazy nighttime parting and taking down twists for twist-outs. I barely ever touch a comb unless it's wash/conditioning day!
8. Rock what you like and don't be afraid. If your hair is acting flat that day, wear your slick back afro-puff. If your hair is busting with volume and frizz, throw a headband on it, wear your full fro outside and be retro. Women are wearing styles from the 40's again lately, and I think it's sexy. Who cares about the freakin year? There's no law that says if a certain style hasn't been 'popular' since let's say the 60's, then you shouldn't wear it. That's how I feel about my son's rat tail, and now my hubby has a rat tail, too. Rock what you like no matter the season!
9. Commercial shampoos should be banned. Like, seriously. Those sulfates make your hair dryer than the Sahara Desert.
10. The best deep conditioners can be found right in your kitchen. You don't have to spend an arm a leg, and your head on a platter to get silky hair. Got an egg, some mayo, and some olive oil? Yeah. Sounds gross, but that stuff actually works.
11. Constant stressing over your hair won't make the problem go away. It can only make it worse... and cause it to fall out. Research the problem, do your best to fix it, and leave it alone. Chances are, your hair will cooperate in time. Again... be patient.
12. You are still going to have bad hair days. Don't think that when you go natural, the decision to stay natural will be a walk in the park. Sometimes, you're going to want to revert right back to the creamy crack. I never did, but some of you will. Don't feel bad, and don't give in. Look at YouTube videos for inspiration! LOL
13. Begin the de-tangling process before you wash your hair. If you just took down a braid out, it's going to be hard to really wash and condition your hair with knots in it. Try putting coconut oil and/or EVOO in your hair an hour before you wash it, and comb the knots out before washing. It makes it way easier, and you don't have to lose any hair, either.
14. Protein-based creams and moisturizers will always have your hair feeling like butter... unless your hair is protein sensitive. My hair loves it, soaks it up.
15. Corn braids are not the only protective style in the world! I used to think that it was, because that's all I saw in little girls' hair and I still do. In fact, corn braids are one of the worst protective styles. Yeah, they look really nice and what not, but people often braid too tight and leave the braids in way too long, neglecting the hair's need for moisture. That tight braiding all the time can put wear and tear on your hair, and possibly create little painful, sometimes bloody bumps on your scalp. Then when you take the braids down, you have lots of hair coming out in your hand and the comb. Some parents don't realize this and they keep corn braids in their' kid's hair almost year round, over and over and they never know that the child is slowly suffering hair loss/damage. Ladies, cool down on the braids, please, and let your child's scalp breathe and be free!
16. Again, it doesn't cost a lot just to maintain healthy hair. Use natural oils, shea butter, and water. That's pretty much all you'll need. You don't have to try every new fancy product out there just to have healthy hair. Create your own concoction and work it. That's what I did, and my shea butter mixture has lasted me 3 months each time. FIVE pounds of unrefined shea butter for 17 bucks on Amazon... and lasts for 3 months... how the hell can anyone beat that!? I mean, come on ladies; let's be resourceful here, and not break the bank trying to look cute!
17. Just because something says it's organic, doesn't mean it is. Just because it says it's all natural doesn't mean anything, either. Read every ingredient, and do your research.
Okay, I'm all out of suggestions... for now. Gotta go feed my little desparatos. If I have more, I will most likely come back for a part 2 of what I've learned. Take care, curly mamas!