The number one question my chemically relaxed hair clients ask me, is if they should go natural and how to go about it.
When you've been relaxing your hair for years and you want to go natural, sometimes it is hard to know where to start.
It can be extremely overwhelming especially if you don't know how to deal with your natural texture. People decide to go natural for a variety of reasons; the most usual reason is the bad experience they have had with chemical relaxers causing damage to the hair and scalp. Another reason is societal pressure; natural hair is the current “in thing”. The third reason is lack of regular care for relaxed hair which is akin to not watering a living plant. Caring for your hair and doing the work required is the secret to beautiful healthy hair, there are no short cuts.
Depending on your reasons for going natural before you do consider the following:
Do you want natural hair or are you looking for style flexibility?
Sometimes relaxed hair is too straight, especially if your hair has been relaxed using most of the conventional relaxers available on the market today. At Jennifer Naturals, we have a technique called relaxer softening, using a mild relaxer, this process leaves the hair looking natural, only slightly stretching out the natural hair pattern. This makes the hair easier to handle for some hair types and can reduce shrinkage on very kinky hair.
Can you handle the texture of your natural hair?
“My natural hair is too hard to comb”, “my hair is very tough” are common complaints, most often the correct shampoo and conditioning treatment will help soften and smooth the hair. A softening relaxer is another option for these clients.
Do you have time to do your hair?
Yes, it takes time to care for hair, especially natural hair, more time is needed in the preparation and styling, however most natural styles are lasting and may require little effort daily.
Do you have the support of a salon professional?
This is a biggie; you need the right professional who will support you regardless of how you decide to wear your hair, one who can recommend and teach you how to use the right products and styles to compliment your hair texture and your personal lifestyle.
Are you committed to regular and consistent hair care?
Going natural is not for the lazy.
Yup, just because you are going natural does not mean you can neglect your hair, if you had commitment issues with relaxed hair, you will still be that same person but with natural hair and issues.
Will you cut off all the relaxed hair or let it grow out?
Cutting off all your hair is tough for most; this question will depend on which styles you decide you want to wear during the transition.
Here are some steps we use at Jennifer Naturals to support our clients during this process.
- The Big Chop– for this option we look at the various styles, hair colour and products that enhance your face and head shape, match your abilities and suit your lifestyle. This is usually a stressful stage for most people and is not recommended for everyone. However, if you do decide to go with the “big chop” a nice hydrating colour can help boost the spirits.
- Steady as she goes -Keeping the relaxed ends - A regular treatment and trimming routine is established and supported via our membership program. If the relaxed ends are fragile, a step-down relaxing system is recommended. This gradual technique along with “wet styling” can greatly reduce breakage during the grow-out phase.
- We recommend strengthening and hydrating treatments, and a regular application of conditioning hair oils.
- A plan is established with style ideas, trimming and treatment schedules designed for your specific lifestyle. Some “Grow-out” styles include braids, extensions, twists, twist-outs, dread locks, and wet sets.
- The client receives a comprehensive Home kit, including the proper cleansing and conditioning system, styling products to maintain the new styles and the correct tools for the job such as wide tooth combs, diffusers and setting rods etc. Styling products made for natural hair styles are not all created equal, products that contain suffocating ingredients should be avoided at all costs, they can be unhealthy, they can add weight to the hair and attract dirt and dust.
At Jennifer Naturals, we support all our clients, processed and natural alike. Our diverse products allow flexibility and are specifically designed with the client in mind. We are eager to help and would be happy to provide a specifically designed plan.