All Natural: Intro to Natural Hair
Photos via @yakihair
by Shina Smith
Class is in Session.
Are you wondering what being natural is? Do you wonder if your current styling methods make you natural? Never fear, your guide to natural hair is here. Let’s start by what it means to be natural. Being ‘natural’ means that your hair is completely natural, free from all chemicals and other harming agents such as perms, relaxers, and texturizers. Being natural does NOT mean that you’re not allowed to have fun with your hair! Being natural can be one of the most freeing experiences one has. Contrary to popular belief, being natural is not just having your hair in an afro all the time. There are numerous ways to wear your hair natural, from twists sets, rod sets, braid outs, twists outs, locs and et cetera! Furthermore, there are longer-lasting styles, called protective styles, which can be twists, braids, sew ins, and wigs. Many people choose to wear strictly protective styles, because they allow them to live with semi-low maintenance hair. Most protective styles last from a month to about three months with touch-ups.
Photos via @yakihair, Pinterest, and MTV
When going natural, it is best to first find what kind of look you’re going for. Are you a full ‘fro kind of gal? Or are you a twists or braid kind of guy? After finding your ideal style, try to find a natural hair stylist in your area! Be sure that your stylist is a licensed master cosmetologist, or at least someone that specializes in natural hair. When looking for a stylist, filter the inexperienced out by asking about their methods when doing your hair. Ask about what kind of shampoos they use, ask if they have to blow your hair out before braiding your hair, and if they know about low-tension styling methods. Some things, such as them using shampoos that contain sulfates, as well as them needing you to come already shampooed and having to blow dry your hair before starting your protective style are definite red flags. A stylist should always start your appointment with a shampoo and a steam. After that then comes the styling.
Photos via @rochellefatleopard, @yakihair, and @spencerjohnolson