With hundreds of thousands of women around the world boldly transitioning to wearing their hair in its glorious, natural state, there is an ever-increasing amount of information available to help ease the transition. With Hollywood A-listers like Solange Knowles, Lupita Nyong'o, and Viola Davis rocking their natural hair (and thus redefining conventional standards of beauty), it truly is an exciting time to go natural. Whether your hair has never been chemically treated or you're slowly cutting out a relaxer, navigating our kinky, coily, and curly tresses is both thrilling and daunting. That's probably why the term hair journey was coined. Like any adventure, a hair journey is full of ups and downs - and it's far more fun with friends!
Even if you don't personally know anyone who flaunts her or his natural hair, you already have plenty of natural hair pals. You've got me, Naptural85, Klassy Kinks, 4C Hair Chick, and dozens of other naturalistas who have gone out of their way to post educational content on the wonders of natural hair. There are blogs, vlogs, and forums jam packed with tutorials, product reviews, and interviews. If you're not sure where to start looking, this list of podcasts should help get you started.
It's also important to have a supportive network of people in your life while you're discovering your natural hair. Not only will they be able to help you emotionally, but their honest feedback will be invaluable. For instance, when I first started protective styling my own hair I had absolutely no idea what I was doing －and it showed. The people who usually complimented me on my hair went silent, and it wasn't until my Mom used the word "unkempt" (despite being an advocate of natural hair) that I realized I needed help. I wandered blindly without a supportive network to help me, but once I sought assistance from my parents, hair stylist, and the Internet, my knowledge and skill began to grow. And if you can find someone who is also on a hair journey, you can learn from each other's mistakes and successes!
Of course the opinions you hear should always be taken with a grain of salt. Not everyone appreciates a head of cornrows or a TWA (teeny weeny Afro), but always remember you're not out to please those people. Your natural hair is for YOU to enjoy, so don't get bogged down by haters! Just focus on the positive and they'll change their minds when they see how happy you are.
Who has provided you the most support during your hair journey? Tell us in a comment below!