No matter how you got here, there is no right or wrong reason to go natural. The important thing is that you made that step or even considering it is a good start. Here are some benefits to rocking your hair in its natural state.
without your hair in the way
For women of color, we tend to let our hair affect many areas of our life from whether we avoid working out, to depriving ourselves of enjoyable things like swimming.
If you are willing and ready to transition you will find your natural hair to be a freeing experience.
Once you stop working against your hair and start working with it, not only do you get to experience healthier hair, but there is less stress put onto you.
No more pricey salon visits + maintenance, no worries about sweating your hair out, and no more weakened strands from chemical damage.
strong fuller more resilient strands
While there are some women who can successfully grow long relaxed hair, many women find that they have benefited from healthy natural hair.
There are so many stories of women who could only achieve chin length hair while relaxed, but after going natural they are growing hair longer than they ever had before (myself included).
Black hair is already fragile enough as is, but when you add chemicals to the mix this leads to your hair becoming even more delicate and prone to damage. This means that you have to work extra hard to care for and treat your hair when it is chemically treated.
loving yourself in your natural state; there’s nothing like it!
Then there is the boost to your self confidence. Now this doesn’t mean that as soon as you go natural that you will automatically feel your the bomb.com, but it does feel good to know that you are comfortable in your own skin.
This is especially encouraging to women with young children. When they see mommy embracing their natural hair they think, if my mommy looks beautiful this way, so do I!
It’s good to know that you are beautiful no matter if you decide to wear a sleek style or wear your coils and kinks. For so long we have been trained to think what “good hair” is, and by showing your beauty to the world you are debunking this myth that only a certain hair type looks good.
Will it be hard to style my hair? It depends on what kind of style you are doing. There are tons of simple styles that you can do.
What if I don’t have the right texture? There is no such thing as a right or wrong texture of hair.
I don’t think I have the face for natural hair? Umm…. how could you not have the face for your hair’s natural texture?
Is natural hair professional? The better question is why do you consider straight hair to be more professional?
A lot of these concerns come from the conditioning that society has put us through. It teaches us that straight hair is more superior and kinky hair is inferior.
All hair textures are beautiful. If you want to go natural go for it, don’t let what others think get in the way, if going natural is what you really want to do. After all it’s your hair.
Loving Your Hair
A good book that you should consider reading if you are a newly natural or a natural that is struggling to understand how to care for your hair, is Dr. Phoenyx Austin’s book If You Love it, it Will Grow.
This is a good book that not only teaches what you need to do to grow longer healthier natural hair, but the mentality that you need to grow it.
You have to love your hair, not work against it. You will find that when you have this mentality the journey to healthy natural hair will be easier.
#1Why to Go Natural
#2What You Should Know About Natural Hair
#3How to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair
#4Know Your Hair Type
#5What’s Your Hair Porosity Type
#6What Products Do I Need?
#7 How to Create a Natural Hair Regimen
#8 Natural Hair FAQ
66 thoughts on “Why Go Natural”
Looking forward to reading the books. I’ve been natural for 10 yrs. just always looking for healthy hair tips.
How do you tell a five year old she is beautiful with short hair. She does’nt have hair like the white kids she goes to with and not she thinks she’s ugly. Breaks my heart. I tell her all the time how beautiful she is. What else can you do.?
Kids have been and always will be mean. I think one of the most inspiring stories that I have heard is of a woman who transitioned to natural hair by doing the big chop to show her daughter that who is she is, is beautiful. So maybe you don’t have to go as drastic as the big chop if you don’t want to, but perhaps just being a role model for natural hair may help by wearing natural styles. Sorry to hear this.
I really enjoyed your article. I am a 42 year old divorced mother of 2. What’s interesting is who motivated me to eventually go natural. My children. My daughter is 18 years old and refused to allow me to perm her hair at the age of 5. Til this day she’s never had a perm and is just as beautiful as ever! My son who is now 16 has the biggest afro and never wanted to get it cut. Both my children are natural, as I drove to the beautician for that “Quick Weave”, or that perm to straighten my edges, I would return home and my children and they would never be enthused with my new hairdoos (though I received raves from everyone else), especially when they would see the scabs in my temples from the burn of chemicals. I am proud to say that as of yesterday, I have been natural for 4 months and love it! In addition I notice a change in the way that my children deal with me. You mentioned that this transition is a demonstration of being comfortable in ones own skin. They see this in me. While in Nursing School, I really didn’t have the time to concentrate on making this decision, but after I finally did it! I thank you for this timely information. I will be sure to bookmark this page…God Bless!
That is amazing how your kids motivated you to go natural.
Been transition for 10 months now! Never loved my hair this much the volume is just amazing. Natural Hair is definitely coming back!
I recently decided to go natural. in September I had shaved half my head, for who knows what reason. My last perm was in October. I am just sick of the burning and the whole process. Once I dyed my hair a few years ago, my hair just gave up.
I never really got to know my natural hair. It was ALWAYS braided up, and I hated that. 5th grade was my first perm and i finally felt normal, considering for most of my elementary school career I was the only black kid in class. For a very long time, I felt that I was a little… less because my skin was brown and my hair wasn’t straight.
Now i have half short nappy hair and half straight hair! It’s a mess! I haven’t really been taking care of it either, but soon I will do a big chop… simply because it is nearly the only way to get each side of my head on the same page.
I am also starting my FIRST year of college next month.
I feel like It’s a good time to start a new me. I’ll admit, i have a bad self image. But I want to change that, and I am hoping that going natural will guide me to a self-loving road.
As of today i am going to go natural, since I can remember I have had relaxed hair and I am tired of trying to keep up with the new trends. My boys have natural curly hair and I find it very hard to keep their hair moisturized because they are half black and half puerto rican and I think this is a journey me and them can enjoy and take together.
As of yesterday 1/11/2014, I did the bc after 7 1/2 months of transitioning. I must say I have 4c hair type. I am definitely not feeling this I think in part to the not so thrilled look I rec’d from my husband and mother n law. I understand they are so used to my long straight hair. I know it’s going to take time but it was a new chapter in my life for me and I was hoping to get a little more positivity from them since they are closest to me. I’m not turning back but I got to get in a better place with this. I think maybe just wear a sew in for another six months will probably help. I want so bad to love my hair but right now I’m not crazy about it!
I just read your post. How are you doing with going natural now? Has your family come around? I am new at this and I am in the transition stage I kind of like the shock factor from coworker and family some like it and other just smile. But I love it!
Hi Ms. Harris,
I read your post and noticed that it was written a little over a year ago. I’m curious to know if your mindset has changed about your natural 4C hair. Respectfully, I would like to advise you on self-acceptance and self-love! Number one: remember God created each of us differently equal on purpose for HIS purpose. Just knowing that information opens one’s mind to self-acceptance. Number two: learning to embrace one-self from head to toe is the greatest lesson of self-love. My final point works with points one and two, yet it is essential…self-acceptance and self-love are the keys that opens doors to a joyfully, loving and peaceful life that propels one to loving others cause you are your best self! Learn to embrace you as you were created. Love ALL of you! Your 4C hair is just as beautiful as YOU feel it is…Others will embrace and love you and your 4C hair AFTER you have loved you & your 4C hair FIRST!
I have always wanted to go natural but I wanted to transition, however, after using a semi permanent dye by Miss Clairol which I’ve used for years I got an allergic reaction and half of my hair fell out from ear to ear so I had hair at the top & none in the back so for the most part I did a 3/4 chop in which I got my damaged hair cut off and tried to keep a little at the top since my major concern was how would I look w/half an inch of hair. Ive been using Shea Moisture’s shampoo, conditioner, masque treatment and the elixir. I use Olive Oil Moisturizer to moisturize my hair and I also use Sta Sof Fro which is working well and defining my hair texture and pattern.
Believe it or not, I’m really liking my hair and wish I woulda got it all cut off the same length which I may do when I go back next month. I really see how “pretty and beautiful” even more now I’m just tryna find somethhing to make my hair a lil more curly but so far I likes my cut and will continue to go NATURAL.
I am in the process of going natural i have not had a perm in 2 months verses me getting one every 6 weeks and i have weave in now just in the fron and i see the perm growing out and i am still motivated to keep going with it, however i find it hard to find styles where i dont need a perm and ihave really course looking and feeling hair.
I am South African lady. I have recently been amazed how long African hair can grow. I have always thought only a certain race have long hair thus I opted for weaves. My hair is thin naturally and I have never had long hair in my entire life. I have deciced to try the natural route since March. The last time I relaxed my hair was in March and I still have not seen any new growth, infact my hair still looks relaxed. My question is, will my hair grow as long as thin as it is?
Hello..i’m a young girl and i’m growing my hair natural. I don’t know how to care for my hair and make it grow faster. Please advice me 🙁
Great post! I just did a blog post about the reasons why I decided to go natural, check it out at thtfword.com ! I’m a newbie to natural hair after transitioning for awhile so I definitely get this.
I’m currently transitioning. three months post relaxer (yay :D) when i broke the news to every one that I’m going to cut my bra strap length relaxed hair everyone- and i mean EVERYONE gave me a negative comment.
“oh your gonna look ugly with short hair”
“i will never speak to you if u cut your hair”
“I’m attached to your long hair, please don’t cut it”
“how are you going to care for natural hair?”
that’s just some of the responses i got. I wanted to transition for almost 2 years now and because of the negativity floating around i just kept getting relaxers. it made me sad because i find my relaxed hair very inconvenient. i don’t consider myself a conformist. I’m an introvert and an independent thinker (cant you just imagine the great social life i must have V.V) and I’ve made the decision for ME and not society.
but I’m still scared and need support.. then i found this website. thanks so much for the encouragement 😀
Going natural is a big decision and it’s definitely not something everyone will support. I commend you on being determined to remain true to yourself and what you believe is best for you and your hair!
When I decided to go natural my husband did not like it,kept hinting how much he preferred my relaxed hair,but in reality he just wanted my hair to be a good length,it’s my hair & it is your hair,screw them you don’t need their support for particularly your hair,there are soo many great websites and tips on how to take care of your natural hair on the beautiful internet,my favorite youtube,good job and good luck on your natural hair journey!
Nice post. Love this article. Keep it up! Have a great day! 🙂
This was a great read! I have recently decided to go natural. My mother began putting relaxers on my hair at about the age of 5, because she claims she didn’t know what to do with my long thick hair. I am now 26 and I actually have no clue what my real hair looks like. Other than my new growth, I have never seen my whole head of beautiful curls. Well now, it’s time. I want to stop using those harsh chemicals and I feel I definitely have to show my daughter that her curls are gorgeous. I don’t want her to look at me and think that her hair should be the same.
Hi, I am really considering transitioning after reading your blog. I have not relaxed my hair for 4 months now. I have been contemplating going natural for a while now. But whenever my hair gets due (undergrowth) I have terrible headaches and its difficult to comb and care for so I usually just relax it. So the question is, what do i do to my undergrowth to make it soft and not have headaches so I can have an easy transition?
Thank you 🙂
Before you comb your hair add water to it or product. Never comb your hair while it is bone dry. Also comb from the ends and then work your way up to the roots. If you start from the root down when you comb it will be more difficult to get through. And always use a wide tooth comb or paddle brush. Hope this helps! 🙂
Thank you so much. This helps a lot. Much easier in making my decision.
Wow! This just reconfirmed the reasons as to why I should go natural. After debating with myself for over 4 years, I have just decided to officially go natural today. I have my hair braided and can’t wait to see the results tomorrow. I am a bit nervous, because i will be going to church with this style, but what’s life without taking a risk, or two. I am a newbie, so I will be reading your blogs as well as others for advice. Thanks again and can’t wait to live the natural life.
This article has helped me to stay strong in my transitioning to natural hair. (I’ll be 2 months post relaxing in 1 week and 3 days)
My close relative of mine keep telling me that “my hair isn’t the right hair to go natural” and “I’m going to have a little bit of hair on my hair one I go natural” She already think that I’m gay, (and for what reason I’m still trying to figure out) She asked me “do you like your hair short” or “If you’re going for that boyish look then you’ll get it by going natural.
Me trying to be Christian, don’t believe in people being gay. But also believe that everyone has the right to choose because God don’t force nobody.
Lately I’ve been trying to not respond to things like that and pray to God and hope that it is not true but know that it isn’t.
But I wish that I had more support from home on going natural. This article really helped me understand that I have to do it for me, and not no one else. Thanks.
You are doing the right thing. I’m transitioning too, and I’ve heard negative and positive comments. But what sticks with me is that I have the God-given right to be who I’m without explanation to anyone. Regardless of how ur natural hair turns out, it is your hair. You are beautiful and deserve to be happy. Ur family will catch on later but if they don’t, oh well. Love u sister!
I don’t know how old you are, but what difference does it make what others are saying. This is your decision, and in a few months they’ll be saying, you should have done it long ago. Stay strong, and know that this is your journey, no one elses. Your decision, no one elses. Your life, no one elses. I Am Happy 2 B Nappy, and you will too,you’ll see, just be patient with your hair, and you’ll be happy 2 B Nappy too.
You should do it for you and no one else. I’ve recently decided to go natural and people have said,”Why? your hair looks healthy relaxed.” But that’s besides the point. And while I don’t feel like having a relaxer is “bad”, i don’t understand why there is such a strong need to persuade me not to wear my hair natural. And whatever your grade of hair is, know that it’s if God gave it to you it will work for you. If it’s what you want to do I think you should. And you’ll be glad that you did.
I did the big chop yesterday, April 1, 2016, and EVERYONE LOVES IT! I contemplated the decision for a few weeks and woke up determined to do it. I had been wearing various crotchet styles for 3 1/2 months with no intention of being natural. I was actually bored and growing my hair out. I’m pleased with my decision. My hair is cut in a jazzy fade. Although I’m self-confident, the 250 Facebook likes were a big help. My naturals welcomed me and the others are encouraged. I hope all of our sisters join us on this journey! Thanks for this awesome page!
im doing the big chop & going natural tomorrow & im really really stressed bc im still a teen & im afraid of what people around me will say & i didnt talk about it to anyone but this really helped me being more confident in my decision bc tbh my hair rn is a Mess & idk what to do w/ it anymore ++ since the beginning of 2016 a lot of movements about black pride etc started & it really made me feel proud of my blackness & not ashamed about it & i wanted to embrace it by finally having my natural hair back after all these years of relaxing but anyways!!
So happy to hear that you are still a teen and confident enough to take the plunge! I’m an adult and I understand your fear, I just went natural last night and haven’t even taken off my scarf yet, except in the bathroom lol. But shout out to you, natural black beauty is amazing, and I agree all of these pro black movements, me leaving more and embracing my ancestry more has encouraged me to take the plunge!
Hi Ariane, I’ve been reading your column for quite a few years now> thanks so much for all the research and work you’ve done and do to get us to accept our beautiful hair the way it was intended to be. My question is this: I’ve had my hair locked for more than 2 decades now; I wore it in a hard to manage afro in the 60’s (yes, I’m that old…lol), and then locked in the 90’s. My hair is very thick, long and I think a combo of 3c-4b types. I’m thinking of going natural, because my locks are thinning and the up keep can be fairly time consuming ( I do it myself).
Is there a way to go natural (or more natural) without cutting off my locks? Is there a way to loosen them, open them or whatever, while retaining my length? I’m also about 25% gray at the roots (since I was 15) so I dye my hair black; I’d like to lighten my hair a bit, so that’s also a consideration.
Please get back to me – either way, I could use some help with styles too!
I went natural without cutting my hair off in a big hop. I just kept clipping my ends every four to six weeks until the perm was gone. I’ve been totally natural for about 3 full years now.
I just started or let me say v been tryn to grow my natural hair but am really blank of ideas… Hubby think tgere is somtin i should do.. Its realky look not prety if i just try twistn my hair alone its looks like flies on my head.. Lol mayb my haur seems light or soft but thicker wen in appearance… Hmm am just tired like am nt gettn somting right here… I just want to rock meeee…. Mayb somewhr i can go n gt it done without my lazt me… Am just tired… As tired as i am done with straight hair totally… I just want to always look beautful wit my natural hair n i wish my hair is like wat i see on pix n online… How do i do it…
These tips are all so helpful! It’s so uplifting to see so many beautiful black women embrace their natural hair. Last year I did the big chop and got rid of all my damaged and relaxed hair and now my hair is growing nicely in it’s natural state! Having natural hair helps me feel more like myself. I alternate between letting it out and putting it in protective styles to give it a break. Contrary to popular belief black hair does grow you just have to take care of it like any type of hair. Just be patient and keep that hair moisturized girl!! 🙂
-Lauray co. clothing
I have been thinking seriously of transition for over 2 years – and in those two years I have read up on the transitioning process and monitored what I use in my hair and what works for it.
I have now taken the plunge and I am 4 months into my transitioning and all is going well and I did not go for the big chop.
I moisturise my hair every two days and steam it every weekend – and I style and look after it in a way that it does not suffer any stress.
I am hoping to get through the transitioning stage – which some has average to be 12 months, with a seriously healthy head of hair.
Hope you all succeed and the journey is smooth
I went natural 4 years ago. I am glad that I did. all my life I heard from my parents that I have bad hair because my hair is extremely coily. The relaxer left sore in my Mother and Grandmother scalp as well as my own. They even tried the children relaxer. The burning. Why pay for hair processes that make you uncomfortable? I decide four years ago that there has to be a better way. So I worn the braids for the four years. I just started doing the Wash to go style. I have a mixture of 4a thru 4c hair. If anyone would of told me I would be doing my own hair four years ago I would of said no way. I also make my own the aloe Vera, flax seed gel conditioner to stay in my hair. I grow the Aloe in my yard and I use the Flax seed and Chia seeds in my smoothie drinks for breakfast. I am constantly reading and on you-tube researching for any new ways to take care of natural hair. It is the best thing that I have ever done for myself.
Amen, sis! 🙂 Thanks for sharing
Hello. I just permed my hair since it’s the end of 2016. I’ve been thinking a lot about going natural. In 2017, I vowed to myself that I wouldn’t perm my hair anymore and just wear a weave for a little while. I wanted to get a regular (like cut it all off in Fall 2017). Would this be a way to start my natural transition?
Hi!! I also plan on going natural, you can do the big chop if you want because you will deal with two different textures, and can sometimes be hard to manage or you can continue to grow the new growth for a few months and then clip off the relaxed ends
I have not permed my hair in more than 29 years. About 10 years ago I Discovered wearing a beautiful curly weave. My beautician sewed in the weave. I may have re-did the weave every month. My hair became very thin and weak. About two months ago I decided I had enough and my journey has begun to get my hair healthy again. During this journey, I have been using Groganics products. Do you have any product recommendations to maintain a moisturizer scalp?
I have not relaxed my hair since May of 2016. I chose to transition and cut my relaxed ends as it grows out. So far my hair and scalp is much healthier. My hair shines and is stronger and thicker. Going natural was the best choice I could have made.
I did the big chop about a month ago. Right now I am learning how to take care of my hair. I am also taking vitamins to enhance growth. I was trying to transition, but I noticed my hair was breaking off to new growth.
I did the chop last week so I’m a fresh starter and is quite difficult for me now because I don’t know what to do exactly. 🙂 so can you pleaaase help me??
I did the big chop in August 2016 because my coarse and thick hair was so damaged from the relaxer it was breaking off and looked very choppy. Once I did the big chop I only started using natural products in my hair. I swear by Bragg apple cider vinegar as a rinse to clarify and I use MicMas Remix scalp treatment and deep conditioner as hot oil treatments, conditioner and a leave in. There has been a tremendous difference in my hair’s health. It is much more manageable, softer and actually started growing better. I will not ever go back to putting chemicals in my hair.
I have thinning sides. Also I wear a TWA with the sponge. How can I cover my sides?
I have been transitioning for maybe close to a year in see that it is have mid strand split ends do I have to big chop?
You should go to a professional to have them evaluate, but at the very least you should be trimming your hair.
I never received my free beginners guide book how can I receive it?
Make sure you check the promo section if you are using gmail, newsletters tend to go there. Or you can always do a search in your mail for “Ariane Williams” and you should see it.
I cut all the relaxer out and I rather like my short hair. Its just so dry. I tried puddings, leave in conditioners, curl definition products.I have curls I can feel them but I also have straight. Curls won’t pull down. What can I try.
Instagram: @endswithm with natural remedies for our crown.
ME MYSELF I STARTING USING JUST GREASE AND WATER
Thank you for the guidance
I wore relaxers FOREVER. I big chopped 4 days ago and the struggle is real. I want to embrace my luscious locs and through this, accept myself fully for what I was born with. Hair can be such a debatable topic. Confidence is key. Love me for me, I am not my hair!
this website helped me understand my hair a lot more now!! august will make a year since Ive been natural and Ive been dibbin and dabbin trying different thing out but now i know for sure how to go about things, thank you so much will recommend this website to others.
Blessings! I am so glad that my website could help along your natural hair journey 🙂
Chemo therapy forced me into natural hair… I have learned to love it! I struggle with the style aspect… but I am constantly looking to see what works!
In the beginning it always is. Blessings on your health and hair journey!
I am trying to go natural i am over 55 and I have three different textures of hair, Th lower back in the nape area is curly, the left so is a little course and the top and ride side are not bad grade of hair but my entire head of hair is dry. I hope this makes sense. Lastly I have so much gray hair and would like to color it, any suggestions?
Have you tried pre pooing? I’ve recently started doing “pre-poos” on mine and my two daughter’s hair, which helps to lock in moisture and allows you to detangle your hair before u wash it. I mixed up some mayonnaise, honey, oil oil, avocado oil and some cream of nature mango butter conditioner and coated the four sections of my hair with it. After I washed it, I put a Cream of Nature leave in, and let it air dry. My hair doesn’t feel as dry and brittle as it did before. I also sealed it with a mix of Shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocado oil. Not a whole lot, just a little of each. Shea Butter was in the pre poo too.
I should have proofread before I posted. The I just need help for extremely dry hair. Please forgive my horrible grammar
I love my puff puff
While I was transitioning, my hair was so brittle and hard. I found this hair oil on Etsy called Beautiful oil of Faith and my hair is so soft and manageable. It also has grown a lot. Now I love my natural hair!!
I started going natural 4 years ago. Now I’m wearing a teeny weeny fro with some gray and am loving it. I even get compliments from both men and women. I will be 60 in 7 months.