Nobody prepares you for the spectacle you may become the further into the natural journey you travel. I remember my first month natural, people talked about how they were surprised that my hair was essentially a bunch of ringlets, I still can’t imagine exactly what they were expecting.
There are some people, even African-Americans that hear the word “natural” in reference to hair and their mind drills down to a picture from National Geographic from the 1970s. Honestly I had hopes that my hair would spring forth and declare without words my African roots and serve as a symbol of pride in my ancestors that arrived in South Carolina on a boat from Ghana and from those three sisters I sit in a boardroom like fearless and “reppin’ my people”. However, my lineage, as most pre-1800’s lineage African-Americans, is much more complex and with that I’m left with a head of hair that boasts cowlicks and whirls in the midst of my ringlets and waves.
It is that fact that caused me to seek professional assistance along my hair path my first few years. Because all of the passed down information and the few YouTube videos out at the time I found myself lost when people started giving curl classifications and assigning DIY styling instructions based on 3c, 2b, etc. and noticed that I’d have to change techniques from one section of hair to the next. When I took time away from wearing a styled afro and took what I call a braid break, I’d get one price when they looked at my hair, and about halfway through I’d get a new quote for the next time because my shrinkage would hide not only the length but how full my head of hair was at the time. This would incite a gathering of the braiders behind my chair and a few of them reaching in to touch a few different spots in my head and discuss it among themselves in French.
The most notable part of my past journey revolved around the curiosity that my hair created, in others as well as introspectively. It will take time to get used to exactly what your hair is going to look like so use the words, videos and instructions as a baseline to formulate your own techniques.
Just a bit of fortune cookie wisdom. Enjoy!