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7 Things You Assumed Would Happen When You Went Natural… That Didn’t

Avatar • Apr 3, 2012

Ah going natural. It’s an exciting time. So much optimism, so much promise. And then reality sets in. Now we all know that natural hair is amazingly beautiful and, with the right care, it will thrive and grow. But that doesn’t mean the experience is always magical. Here are 7 things many women assumed would happen as soon as they went natural, that didn’t always pan out.

1. Your hair would *finally* be long

Many women tell terrifying tales of relaxed hair that was perpetually breaking off, as much as an inch a year over the course of several years. Naturally, some believed that as soon as they took the chemicals out, all that lost hair would come growing back. But that isn’t guaranteed. Black hair — whether relaxed or natural — is extremely fragile and if you want length, you’ll have to learn how to handle it with the proper care, and develop a regimen that works for you. Of course, going natural is an important first step to regaining length — but it’s the first step of many.

2. You wouldn’t be afraid of the rain

It’s easy to crack jokes about relaxed women who run from rain, but have you ever been caught in a rainstorm with a freshly done braid out? Exactly. Just as rain can ruin relaxed styles, it can ruin some natural styles. If the base of your style is stretched hair (which, for some textures, can take hours of braiding or banding to accomplish) rain can be your worst nightmare, shrinking your hair back into a kinky, coily or curly poof.

3. You would burst with self confidence

Yes, there are the stories of women who chop it all off and emerge from the salon chair with a sparkly aura of serenity and happiness. But then there are the stories of women whose big chops inspire feelings of fear and terror. And understandably — for many women chopping off all their hair will be the biggest beauty move they make in their entire lives. Of course, natural hair has a habit of growing on the most fearful of big choppers, eventually inspiring feelings of love and pride.

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Raven
Raven
8 years ago

Hair length is hereditary, no matter how many protective styles you use your hair length and thickness is tied to genetics. My sisters & I all have thick, shoulder length hair, just like our paternal grandma! If nobody in your family has long thick hair chances you wont. Thats why those vloggers that had thick, long relax hair now have thick, long natural hair…its what they always had! The water draws up, strinks natural hair on most 4 hair types. Lastly, the shake n go is great on long, lose wavy natural hair. Most folks cant simply wash n go ’cause… Read more »

AusetAbena
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I have to disagree. You could be from a family of women who don’t take care of their hair very well, and when you start to change your hair practices, whether relaxed or natural, your hair responds better. My sister NEVER had long relaxed hair. She’s natural now, has changed her hair practices greatly, and has very long natural hair. About waist length stretched. We “inherit” bad beauty and health practices as well.

Raven
Raven
8 years ago
Reply to  AusetAbena

Not true my hair is very healthy and well taken of and everyone compliments on how thick and healthy our hair is. You are WRONG TO EQUATE LENGTH WITH HEALTH HAIR. If thats the case everyone who had long hair as a kid would stay have it as adults. And we all know someone who that had hair down their back as a child and as adult are bald headed! And, if you look at the most vloggers with a a thick long natural hair they have that same hair lenth as a natural, ’cause its in their genes! Everyone… Read more »

AusetAbena
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I do believe you misinterpreted my original point. Please read the BGLH comment below to get a better understanding of what I meant.

Mina
Mina
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

Everyone CAN grow long hair. Read “The Science of Black Hair” it’s a great book and explains away that myth.

AusetAbena
8 years ago

Thanks. You said it very well. I have very fine hair that breaks easily and need TLC to thrive. So does my sister, but she still managed to grow long hair.

shanna
8 years ago

BGLH hit it right on the head. The genetic link is to the strength of the hair. If the hair is weak, nothing less then wearing protective styles 99% of the time will preserve the ends and allow you to see length. I know because I have that type of hair. I don’t like protective styles so I deal with the consequences. Low density, fine strands, naturally thin hair. I have watched my friends with stronger hair surpass me but it is cool. Yes, everyone has a terminal length but it is definitely not shoulder length.

OMG
OMG
8 years ago

“It is possible to grow long natural hair, even if you’ve never had long hair before in your life.But it takes a LOT more effort than women who had long hair as children.” So women who had long hair (what exactly is long) as kids got it easy huh? They didn’t have to work as hard as the rest? Umm wrong. What does what your mom ( or whoever did your hair) did to your hair as a child, when you neither helped nor hindered, have to do with how long your hair will be as an adult when you… Read more »

Stayce
Stayce
8 years ago

As a child–>young adult with a perm, my hair was right below my sholders at it’s longest, and never surpassed that (due to needed constant trims to stop breakage…I could actually see the hairs spitting)

Now with my natural hair regimen, my stretched hair has already passed it’s previous length max, and I know for sure it is due to cutting out the perms and wash-blowdry-curls, as well as pampering my hair with healthier products.

Curly Cuban
Curly Cuban
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayce

I have fine thin hair around 3a-3b. When I was a child my mom kept my sister and my hair in 2 braded pony tails no relaxer for years. I had a lot of hair and my mother didn’t want to deal with knots, etc.
After I turned 13 I got my first perm. My bsl hair slowly got to my shoulder and thin. Years later I stopped relaxing and I see it getting thicker and longer. I believe that although genetically my hair can grow, I have to make the right choices to hae healthy long hair

Tyler
8 years ago
Reply to  OMG

I wouldn’t have responded so harshly, but I can actually testify that this is my situation. I grew up straightening shoulder-length hair, and went natural a year ago. I’m now in college. I never did the big chop because I didn’t have a relaxer, so that would have been unnecessary. However, when I stopped having my hair straightened every other week (can’t do it myself), I suddenly inherited this HUGE poofy head of hair that I had to learn how to deal with. In my opinion its actually easier to cope when you do the big chop because you learn… Read more »

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago
Reply to  OMG

Seriously? Simmer down there, sport, none of that was said nor implied.

Thetazz
Thetazz
8 years ago

Excellently Explained AusetAbena!!!!

Phalonne
Phalonne
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I also have to disagree and inform you that the length of your hair is not hereditary. The only thing that that genetic determines in regards to hair growth is how fast it grows. Its up to the individual to retain length.

Melinda
Melinda
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I AGREE 100% and have posted the very same comment on numerous blogs, u r EXACTLY correct!!! Hair length is GENETIC LADIES!!! Permed, natural or whatever!

BeautyIAM
BeautyIAM
8 years ago
Reply to  Melinda

I really wish when people say “its all about genetics,” they would explain it more. Most naturals are confused about the role genetics play. From what has already been posted on BGLH, people might want to search The Science of Black Hair because the author does a great job of explaining HOW genetics works when it comes to our hair.

EllieElle
EllieElle
8 years ago
Reply to  Melinda

I’m sorry but I disagree at least 95%. I say this as a natural with a lil over collarbone length hair in just about a year. My mom’s hair is EXTREMELY fine and has NEVER been past her neck from what I can remember. My sister’s hair is thin but VERY coarse and doesn’t ever grow past her shoulders. My other sister has curly type 4a hair (she’s natural like me) and her hair has been BSL. My oldest sister has thick and coarse relaxed hair that stays around (give or take a few inches) shoulder length. My hair is… Read more »

Lele
Lele
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I don’t agree that hair length is hereditary. I think that is just a myth. And then, what about people who have one side of the family (say maternal) with long hair, and the other grandma (paternal) has short hair?

Also, I think that on many of us, the wash and go is not doable because of tangling and single strand knots, and not because it we don’t have shiny-type curls (that tangle less). If my hair did not tangle/knot, I’d wear wash and go’s often.

Danni
Danni
8 years ago
Reply to  Lele

I agree that hair length is not genetics, maybe strand thickness and density, but not length, matter of fact its been stated that everyone has the ability to grow their hair at the majority 24 inches. when I was 3 I had midback-waist length hair. But that was the only time in my life that my hair was that long. When I was relaxed it went as far as shoulder and now that Im almost 1 year natural its just collarbone. So I agree that just because you had long hair when you were young , does not mean that… Read more »

Odie Blew
Odie Blew
8 years ago
Reply to  Danni

I dont mean to be rude or anything but you are the 3rd or 4th person on this post that has stated that the length of your hair as a child has no bearing on the length of your hair as an adult. It seems to me that at 3 yeas old you would have been much shorter than you are now. Your hair may have been at MBL as a 3 year old & may STILL BE THE SAME LENGTH as it was back then. The only thing that has changed is your height. If your hair is at… Read more »

Dorcas
Dorcas
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

Your hair can grow according to how you treat it and how you take care of it. Although, genetics plays a small part in the length and thickness of your hair, but you can still change the outcome of your hair by the way you treat and look after it.

NapturalBeauty
NapturalBeauty
8 years ago
Reply to  Raven

I have to disagree, what about the people who have dreadlocks???

Odie Blew
Odie Blew
8 years ago
Reply to  NapturalBeauty

You have little to no manipulation, especially if you have free range locs, or only get then retwisted every once in a while. Locs are determined more by if you moisturize, when you moisturize, your diet & how you maintain yourself just like ANY other style is, but you have less of a chance of EXTRA ‑by extra I mean more than what your hair naturally sheds in a day anyway- shedding or breakage/tangling because youre not manipulating it as much.… even if you style them.

nina
nina
8 years ago

I had no clue how tragic I would look in the mornings if I didn’t take the time to braid or protect my hair at night. I’m still trying to learn the best way to take care of my shoulder length 4a hair… 🙁

df
df
8 years ago
Reply to  nina

You’ve been relaxed for years probably! You have the rest of your life to learn to care for your hair just like everyone else!

Gia
Gia
8 years ago
Reply to  df

DF this is so true, I was relaxed since I was 5 and I am now 25 going on 26 and I’m STILL learning how to maintain my natural hair, and I’ve been natural for a year.

EllieElle
EllieElle
8 years ago
Reply to  df

A little off subject…but it reminded me of the other day when I wanted to do a wash-n-go…once I realized that my hair said “HELL NO” I tried to blow it out…but my hair wouldn’t blow out? Does anyone have any suggestions on how to blow out my 4a/4b/4c (lol, yea I know..) hair?? My twist-outs are always beautiful. Love my poofs and fros but I cannot blow my hair out to save my life. Any suggestions/tips/products/ANYTHING???

Marcia
Marcia
8 years ago
Reply to  nina

nina…YouTube!!!! (then agian, you may already know this by now)

Anyway, You TUbe is what got me through. Doing my natural hair has become a much easier process than it was a couple of years ago.

Oh, and BTW, I never had this much hair growing up!

Ev`Yan
8 years ago

This is irrelevant, but the girl in the featured picture looks AMAZING. I love her hair! I can’t tell if it’s dreaded/twisted, or if that’s her curl pattern. No matter; her hair is beautiful.

RighteousTeacher
RighteousTeacher
8 years ago
Reply to  Ev`Yan

I was thinking the same thing!
You’re talking about the girl with all of the comment bubbles surrounding her head, right?

Ev`Yan
8 years ago

Yes! I want her hair.

Michele
Michele
8 years ago

I actually struggled a bit first to remember what my expectations were and then to decide whether they had happened or not. I don’t think I thought that far ahead–I just discovered an overwhelming urge to drop all pretenses, to stop feeling as though I had to apologize for anything about myself, including the way my hair grew out of my head. That feeling was strong enough to carry me through the shock of the big chop–the look on my face was bad enough that the stylist started talking me down immediately–and that first day at work (where I was… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Michele

Beautiful=) I’m happy your happy!

Pamela Nicole
Pamela Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

AMEN!!!! CONGRATS !!!!! I have the same Attitude and I am so glad to read your stance. I had been struggling with building my confidence in my natural hair Journey and I finally got to the place that it does not matter what other people think! and I am loving it, every day I get stronger and stronger I find I can care less about what other peoples opinion are concerning my GOD given hair! Family, friends, complete strangers in the store if they are not making stupid comments they are starring and go out of there way to be… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Pamela Nicole

My spirt soars reading both of your comments =) Self-acceptance is Awesome! It’s powerful impact on one’s life should never be underestimated. I’m so excited and happy for you both!

Aby
Aby
8 years ago

I can’t do any style involving braiding and my lifestyle won’t allow for such indulgence.I rely on a hair stylist for that and I still save money for the things I’m able to do.

Kourtne
Kourtne
8 years ago

Hair texture! I thought I would have spiral locks that I can just wash and go lol then reality hit! I have a huge thick beautiful fro! and wash and go’s are a no no for me! Love my hair anyways! Especially bantu knots!
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/datenight2.jpg[/img]

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

+1 =) You go girl!

Anon
Anon
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

+ 1! Absolutely gorgeous!

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago
Reply to  Kourtne

Lovely hair!

CoCosgoneKinky
CoCosgoneKinky
8 years ago
Reply to  Kourtne

Gorgeous Lady! Gorgeous Hair.

Janine Mundell
8 years ago

Number six is oh so true, and in addition to the products and bobby pins, i go in with the YouTube videos as well, and after all is said and done I emerge with my fall-back ‘Puff’. And as for the wash and go, I have just stopped trying.…SIGH.

LM
LM
8 years ago
Reply to  Janine Mundell

I’m on the same boat. I watch a million youtube videos and end up almost in tears at the 4+ hours i’ve spent on my hair only to fail miserably at the style. This is my biggest pet peeve with my natural hair. I try a protective style or just try something different with my hair and it never works out..EVER lol..Still love my hair though :-)..I’m sure it will get better when I have a little more length to work with. And as far as wash and go’s go, I have way too many dramatically different textures to even… Read more »

df
df
8 years ago
Reply to  LM

The only styles that end up great the first time are the ones I randomly come up with LOL.…love the spontainety!

Monisola
Monisola
8 years ago

Thanks for writing this article! My hairs are thinner and thus break more easily requiring much more protection and much gentler detangling. Basically the less I detangle the better and never ever soaking wet with conditioner..my hair just comes apart! I only detangle once every three weeks and do so with GREAT care. (My hair is in mini twists or yarn braids for the three weeks..don’t worry) I know I will probably have to grow my hair for (another) 3–4 years till my hair is as long as it can possibly be. And I’m ok with that, I have no… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Monisola

All in all, you have to learn about what you are working with (hair wise), and adjust your expectations to match reality.

Learn to love what you got, then learn to work with what you got, then what you get is far better than if you stayed in denial fighting and mistreating you strands!

love!”

Best advice ever!!!
+100

CoCosgoneKinky
CoCosgoneKinky
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

Monisola, Great advice. I agree the best I’ve heard yet. Thanks for your input. More love to you my Dear {:-).

Lisel
Lisel
8 years ago
Reply to  Monisola

Monisola. I am in the exact situation as you are! My hair is super super fine like my dad’s and my cousins. His hair is so fine even though he has a full head of hair all you can see is his scalp. Thank God for my mother! When It was relaxed I couldn’t keep any style because my hair was so light the wind would blow the style away lol. Now when it’s natural I love some aspects of my hair, like that it stretches out to almost straight without a blow dryer…so it’s super easy to flat-iron. But… Read more »

Lisel
Lisel
8 years ago
Reply to  Lisel

*what works for thick-haired naturals

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

This is a great article, especially for the newbies or those who may be discouraged from time to time. As for me, I’m in protective styles most of the time, but when I do stretch my hair and let her loose, rain is the last thing I want to see. It’s not that I will have to change the style, or that it shrinks, it’s the time I put into in the first place…still, I Love being natural! My hair was thicker as a child, so I did expect thicker hair, but I’m older than I feel and have battled illness,… Read more »

Tenisha
8 years ago

Nice Article.

I never had much expectations accept that I’d save money. which is true.

trackback

[…] FOUND AT BLACK GIRL WITH LONG HAIR! […]

hyspin
hyspin
8 years ago

I had none of theses expectation since the only reason I went natural was mainly money, the economy was going down, My boyfriend was changing companies, my agency was restructuring and got rid of my main network/contact, and I didn’t want constantly rely on weaves. So I did it for money saving which it definitely helped. What I did expect, that doesn’t seem to be happening, is that I could continue to grow my hair at the same rate without need of a weave or braided extensions. Sadly that has not been the case. Actually that reminds I was supposed to… Read more »

rw
rw
8 years ago

it sooo much ef-in work.…..

every 3–4 months i have to rework the regimen…my saint bonnet no longer fits over all of this.…just ordered satin pillowcases.….

tbaby
tbaby
8 years ago

i really thought it would have been less work, but i was wrong! when i had a perm i could put my hair in a pony tail and just go to work. now i have to prep my hair at night and get up a few minutes earlier to work on a style. but either way im loving my natural hair, i am just taking more time for myself and that’s not a bad thing.

Jade
8 years ago

Assumptions I made when I went natural:

1. I wouldn’t be slathering harmful chemicals on my scalp.

2. I wouldn’t be confined to a salon that smells like burnt hair and gossip every 6 weeks.

3. I’d save money by not having a hair stylist.

4. My hair wouldn’t be straight.

5. I would get more compliments (compared to zero compliments on my long, thick relaxed hair).

LBell
LBell
8 years ago
Reply to  Jade

Co-signing on all but #5 because while I also never got compliments on my relaxed hair, I never had long relaxed hair and I think I would have been labeled as “dark but pretty” had I had it. (That’s just a function of where I’m from; no offense meant.) Comparatively speaking I get lots more compliments on my natural hair…almost all of them from white folks but that’s another subject… As I’m reading this I realize that most of the things listed apply to what I’m going to call “Internet naturals”…those who were lucky enough to go natural in the… Read more »

CoCosgoneKinky
CoCosgoneKinky
8 years ago
Reply to  LBell

I agree. That my hair would be Nappy. And it is; and I’m love’n every kink, coil, curl; and napp that I have {:-).

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago
Reply to  Jade

+1000

Marcia
Marcia
8 years ago
Reply to  Jade

DITTO!!!
🙂

Steph...In Motion
8 years ago

#8. You’d work out more.

This did happen for me, but not until I was a year in and realized I was more concerned with what I did to my hair than what I did to my body.

Jasmine
Jasmine
8 years ago

A‑man!

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

I applaud you Steph…In Motion!! I’m curious, did you begin to experience more freedom with your hair and greater appreciation of your facial aesthetic (you are lovely btw) as a result of exercise? Reflecting back over my multiple natural hair journeys’ over the years,I’ve finally become truly comfortable with my looks (face/hair/body and I’m an average attractive woman-no stunner) even if my hair is in Ms. Celie plaits (simply plaits back in my day, but always enjoy a Color Purple reference=) and I am thinking exercise may have played a larger role in these feelings/beliefs than I had previously presumed.… Read more »

Steph...In Motion
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

@Anastasia Thanks for the compliment! I definitely think working my body helped me love and appreciate the whole me (even before the weight started coming off). That included my hair and face. I also think my facial features make much more sense with natural hair than when my hair was super straight, so I’m not as concerned with always being “done” now. At this point in my life I’m undergoing a similar change of openness and peace, and I agree with you that these are results of the physical changes and of aging and maybe even a result of people… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

Smiles and flowers to you sista for responding =) Your openness and peace shows, =) Bravo! Maybe our little stories will inspire a sista to begin to love herself wholistically and without apology.

side note* I love the community we share on these boards,regardless of accord or discord.

mangomadness
mangomadness
8 years ago

#1, 3 and 6 are true for me. I didn’t expect them to happen though–I had no expectations about going natural other than getting rid of the chemicals. Nevertheless, this article is def the truth.

Geniece
8 years ago

definitely thought my hair would be long effortlessly while using the same regimen i used with my relaxed hair. WRONG! combing my hair everyday and not moisturizing regularly worked for chemically straightened hair. that does NOT fly with my natural hair. now that i’ve figured it out i have the hair i thought i would have when i went natural in 2004. it just involved more patience and different techniques. had sites like this been around it might have taken me less that 5 years to figure that out 🙂 the wash n’ go thing is so true. it worked when i… Read more »

Coco
Coco
8 years ago

1. I actually believed the opposite. My relaxed hair was always long and I was afraid that I would have trouble retaining natural hair. 2. Now I don’t mind getting caught in the rain because I want my hair to look like a curly/kinky poof. Maybe when I actually stretch my hair I’ll be more concerned. 3. This is the first time I have actually felt beautiful and unique. I can walk into a room like, “Yeah, I know, I’m bad.” 🙂 4. I can “fluff” and go. 5. True 6. I don’t trust anyone else to touch my kinky hair so keeping a… Read more »

Stayce
Stayce
8 years ago
Reply to  Coco

I can sooo feel you on your #7! My relaxed hair fell right below my shoulders (but would need constant trims, so was never longer than that) and I would feel really a little annoyed when people would gush all over my hair length and tell me “Ooo, girl you better never cut your hair!” It just felt fake, ya know? Like all this praise for something that is not even the real me. Something to just hide behind. Now when I get compliments on my natural hair, it feels different. Special even, because my hair matches the rest of me(fun,… Read more »

Ernestine
Ernestine
8 years ago

I so loving my new look. I wish I had done it a lot sooner. I did the big cop on March 27,2012 and each day it looks better.. my black is Beautiful and I love the Skin I’m In…So glad to be Natural..
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/559299_1980962540354_1731918230_973253_1154352139_n.jpg[/img]

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Ernestine

Congratulations! Welcome =)

LM
LM
8 years ago

I try to schedule my styles according to the weather..I view the forecast for the week and determine what I am going to do with my hair based on that, whether it be a puff or not bothering to retwist/braid the night before it’s suppose to rain.

Nika
8 years ago

styling has been quite the journey, lol. I’m still trying to perfect my twist outs

Mai
Mai
8 years ago

BC’ing was the worst for me, I should’ve transitioned. I can honestly say I wasn’t happy with my hair til 2 years after my BC when it finally reached the same length my relaxed hair used to be. So #3 definitely. In terms of #2, I just never understood that when I was relaxed or natural. Why would I want to be dressed to the nines and get rained on. Hair or no hair, most people don’t like to get wet when they don’t expect it. I don’t care if you’re relaxed, natural, black, white, asian, man, woman, dog —… Read more »

Omodudu Onidada
8 years ago

I must say, #6 is the only one that seems to apply to me and if my hair wasn’t locked, it wouldn’t apply, as it didn’t when my hair was a fro. Great post though.

ttemfash
ttemfash
8 years ago

Just had to comment on your name LOL “dark child with dreadlocks”.

Stayce
Stayce
8 years ago

I honestly didn’t expect my hair to be curly when I started going natural, lol! My hair had been permed since I was 5 or 6 years old and I was just raised to believe the out-dated mantras that most of us have heard before. “Black women have to relax their hair, or else their hair will be matted and unmanageable” I was shocked that after stretching the time between perms (since I always hated going to the salon) I started noticing that my hair was much curlier than I thought it could be, being a black woman, so I… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Stayce

Dear Lawd Stayce, good thing you didn’t get my head of hair, LOL! Very few curls in sight, mostly knock your socks off kinks!

Dee
Dee
8 years ago

# 6!!! I could just cry!!

AH
AH
8 years ago

I agree with #7. When I chopped all of my hair off, everyone just said I have a nice haircut. After that, no one cared. No one calling me nappy headed or waving a relaxer in my face. I get a compliment every now and then but that’s it. I really don’t care either. I like being left alone by strangers, lol.

bethy
bethy
8 years ago

#2 is so true. I was never afraid of the rain when relaxed but now I make sure to bring my mini umbrella with me. Rain and humidity always ruin my styles.

LillianMae
8 years ago
Reply to  bethy

I think that’s so interesting!
I’ve never met a woman with a relaxer who wasn’t afraid of the rain! For me, getting my relaxed hair rained on was style suicide, not to mention the smell!

I am still transitioning so I can’t speak to running in the rain with natural hair, but since I wear mostly protective styles, the rain doesn’t bother me a bit 🙂

Jasmine
Jasmine
8 years ago

2 words…Army & Nurse…Therefore, I have no time for twistouts, bantu knots, blah, blah, blah. Plus, with my Army cap on, I cant have puffy hair under it causing the hat to look tall or displaced. I’ve been natural for 2 years, but I big chopped 4 times. I like to keep it short because this 4b hair is no joke. So, I’m going back relaxed. It doesn’t mean I feel ashamed of my hair, or whatever. Going natural, I’ve bought dozens of products, spent hours and hours in the mirror, and a lot of time that could have been… Read more »

Annie L.
Annie L.
8 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Black women do center themselves on higher education, physical and psychological health and positive relationships. This is a hair blog, devoted to natural hair, so of course we are going to discuss our love of natural hair in-depth, ad nauseum because it’s educational, fun and community-building. I don’t believe that having a passion for hair is trivial or that those who do, do it at the expense of other pursuits. Articulating what you want and devising what works is in some cases a learning process, not everyone gets it quickly, a fact I feel this article addresses. And I’m happy… Read more »

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Annie L.

Amen and well-stated Annie L.!=)

Barbara
Barbara
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

ICAM.

ladyluo
ladyluo
8 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

You seem very defensive about your decision to relax again. As someone with natural hair, I could care less what someone else chooses to do with their hair. While it is just hair, it also isn’t especially for black women and what it means to have great hair which natural hair was not (and maybe still isn’t) considered to be by many black people. So I have no problem if we like to talk about natural hair quite a bit. It is exciting to finally accept and like what grows out of your hair follicles and want to share that with… Read more »

CoCosgoneKinky
CoCosgoneKinky
8 years ago
Reply to  Jasmine

Amen!

Lateefah
Lateefah
8 years ago

Hair comes with what is called a growth cycle, which is the length of time it grows (on average) before it breaks. Some women’s growth cycles are 12 and 18 months. These are the women you see with longer hair. Women with only a 5 or 6 month growth cycle have trouble retaining length because their hair shaft weakens a lot sooner. Let us point out that this is a completely separate concern for women who have length, but because of curl pattern, their hair LOOKS short. This is another common complaint, especially among 4b/c’s like myself. My hair is… Read more »

camille
camille
8 years ago

Two words: defined curls.

I didn’t have a transition from relaxed to natural but rather a transition from locd (10 years) to loose. Armed with all YouTube wisdom and a shelf full of product, I thought I’d reveal my “true” head of hair — bouncy curls that emerged as soon as they made contact with kinky curly. For better or worse it was not to be.

NaturalHairStyles101
8 years ago

I thought that ecostyler and water were gonna give me luscious curls that were both bouncy and defined. Lol… I still have not mastered the art of a wash and go yet, but it’s a work in progress. Also I thought that I would have less of an issue with maintenance. I soon found out that natural hair is not exactly a serene stroll in the park. Actually, having a carefree attitude towards natural hair ends up with split ends and setbacks. I also thought that it would be more economical than the creamy crack, but any diehard PJ will… Read more »

Dee (Durelene)
Dee (Durelene)
8 years ago

1. I thought i would retain and be able to keep all the length i retain…WRONG.

2. That i would never have to trim my ends again b/c natural hair = healthiest hair.

3. I would be at at mid way length by now.

Crist
Crist
7 years ago
Reply to  Dee (Durelene)

your singing my song right now

NicciNaturale
NicciNaturale
8 years ago

I guess I had no expectations about going natural because I never planned on doing it. It just sort of happened and I went with it. I’m so happy I did!! I always had very thick hair. As a child, it was pretty long but I don’t remember having it straightened a lot just shoulder length ponytails with major shrinkage. I will never forget when I was in the 4th grade and my mom decided to Jerri Curl my hair. Major fail. My hair literally fell out do to over processing from my head to the floor right before my… Read more »

Natural-Again
Natural-Again
8 years ago

I’m so glad this article was written! I have had natural hair for 10 years (loc’d for several of them) and I have to say this is probably the first time that I have COMPLETELY accepted my hair and its glorious texture. I have a few coilies and lots of kinkies and I’m glad about it. I hate getting my hair wet when I’m wearing a certain style and I no longer care if others have something to say…good or bad. Great article!

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago

One thing I left out regarding being natural that I actually did not expect to happen was my overall perception of the ‘ideal feminine beauty’. When I see women of African descent with natural hair, regardless of texture, it’s as if I’m privy to seeing a goddess, an otherwordly ethereal being that is the Queen among Queens. And we all have our favorites, but for me, if I see a combo of a ‘kinkier’ hair type coupled with richly melenated skin, I feel like I’m seeing the secrets’ of the Universe, God’s confidante and lover. I shall conclude my confessions with… Read more »

Pamela Nicole
Pamela Nicole
8 years ago
Reply to  anastasia

truly beautiful! Thanks

anastasia
anastasia
8 years ago
Reply to  Pamela Nicole

=) My pleasure.

Jasmine J.
Jasmine J.
8 years ago

Does anyone know the name of the woman in the pic? Her hair texture is soo similar to mine. I would love to know how she does her braidouts ^_^

BrooklynCoily
BrooklynCoily
8 years ago

#2

+1,000,000

I think a lot of new naturals spew ‘talking points’ they hear that seems to be the “thing” or “phrase” to say… hearing folks say that they no longer run rom the rain always makes me giggle, because when I was relaxed, I never ran from the durn rain. Returning to my natural hair — yeah I run, because my hair would shrink to my eyeballs!

Vivi
Vivi
8 years ago
Reply to  BrooklynCoily

LOL I agree. When I had straightened hair I would waltz through the rain like it was nothing, now with the natural hair I HAVE to run unless I want to end up with this teeny tiny little afro, which is a super pain when I consider all the stress it take to stretch my hair

nafja
nafja
8 years ago

Lol hair length being genetic?? Wow some of talk nd to do more research on genetics…discover the hair gene…js sayin. I had a laughter from my professor on this one.

Elle
8 years ago

Cosigning with the folks who said that length is NOT genetic (Although yes, we do have a terminal length…but it’s rare for it to be…shoulder length. I believe on the low side the terminal length is three years of growth ~ 18 inches). Your hair texture (fine, normal, coarse) is however genetic and people with thicker hair strands are able to subject their hair to more abuse before the hair breaks, while someone with finer hair will need to baby their hair more.

Washea
Washea
8 years ago

Going natural was on of the best things I ever did, but I’ve noticed that alot of men seem to have a problem with women when they go natural. Has that been some of you guys experience?

Melissa
Melissa
7 years ago
Reply to  Washea

I have had the opposite experience. My husband loves my natural hair and comments on it all the time. He touches it a lot more often than he did when it was relaxed.

Nikki
Nikki
6 years ago
Reply to  Washea

I have had the opposite experience. Men of all races approach me more now that I am natural. I was fortunate enough during my BC to be in a relationship with someone who encouraged–and even helped–me to BC.

My current partner loves my hair and can’t stop touching it, which is annoying quite frankly.

vero77
8 years ago

7 things I didn’t know when I went natural 1. I didn’t know white people would wanna touch my hair and would stare. I didn’t know Asians would notice and comment about my hair (Asians own the hair product shops in London). 2. I didn’t know or think my hair would be so tight 4b and tiny 4c on the crown! I didn’t know that the back was so lovely soft and curly like 3c -(no wonder relaxers burnt me back there!) hair is so much softer — if only it was like that everywhere! Life would be so much… Read more »

Marcia
Marcia
8 years ago

*******SEVEN THINGS I DIDN’T KNOW WHEN I WENT NATURAL******* I never really gave it much thought. This is something I wanted to do for a while, and I was done being the “wanna’be” natural – wearing natural hair pieces and afro puffs, etc. I had quite a bit of new growth, so in February 2009, I had the rest of my relaxer cut out, and I have not looked back. In April 2009, I went to my hair stylist for a trim, and he trimmed to much, plus one side was shorter than the other. 🙁 That was that. I… Read more »

Juanita
Juanita
8 years ago

Hi. I made the decision to go natural a year ago after a drug chelation process cause by already thin hair to break off in sections. I loved it at first. But I wanted it to grow. It’s not. I had tried all types of different products and finally found that the Wave Nuveau lotion works best along with a Shea butter sheen. But it still wouldn’t grow. So in frustration, I stopped trying. I thought to go back to a perm, but could not bring myself to do it. So I just wore a cap, a scarf or anything… Read more »

tinabobina
tinabobina
8 years ago
Reply to  Juanita

Maybe just comb less often?

Rstyles
Rstyles
7 years ago
Reply to  Juanita

Not only comb it less but don’t feel that u have to get all the tangles out. If ur doing a twist out, comb with a wide tooth comb then start twisting.

Latoya
Latoya
7 years ago
Reply to  Juanita

Look at your comb. Hold it flat with the back facing you and look for a line that splits the comb into two sections. Follow that line around the outer edge of the comb and when you get to the teeth, tilt the comb to inspect between the teeth. You should still see the line along the edge. If you run your finger in between the teeth and feel under each tooth of the comb, you should feel that sharp line, called the seem. The sharp seems in combs tend to cut and break the hair, so it’s best to either… Read more »

Christa
Christa
8 years ago

To me… all 7 actually happened…
I walk in the rain, but when I get home I only rinse it with water, add moisturizer and oil… all well… 15 minutes of work… been like this for 2 years now and the hair is still perfect. I do style my hair all by myself. Only cutting the ends I do at the hairdresser every 6 months.
More people do care. They like the fact that I am proud of my natural hair and just show it of. People compliment me daily (or weekly, but I only hear good things).…..

Yabby
Yabby
7 years ago
Reply to  Christa

I can second this. The whole list is a bit on the negative side if you ask me.

Angela
Angela
7 years ago
Reply to  Yabby

I, too, thought this was pretty discouraging.

Melissa
Melissa
7 years ago
Reply to  Christa

I agree with this — all 7 of these things have happened to me. My hair is growing unbelievably fast and everyone cares — I get compliments and questions on my hair all the time. And I haven’t been to the salon in the 10 months since I started transitioning. And my hair loves the rain. If I’m rocking a twist-out I just use a little anti-humectant and it swells up but doesn’t get too frizzy. *shrug* that’s what it’s supposed to look like! It’s thick y’all, we can’t make it not big lol.

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Jewel
Jewel
8 years ago

I thought my hair would have visible bouncy curls, especially after a wash and go. It’s more like a wash and stop do something with that THEN go.

cherisugar
cherisugar
8 years ago

I just chopped of all my hair. It was completely damaged. So now im pretty much bald. Have any of you ever chopped of all of your hair ? If so how long, with proper care of course did it take to get to bsl. And is it ok to wear lace wigs while growing my hair out? Thanks.

Jaslene
Jaslene
7 years ago
Reply to  cherisugar

I would advise against wearing lace front wigs for a period of time.

Marie
Marie
7 years ago
Reply to  cherisugar

Yes it is okay but you still have to take care of your hair before putting that wig on. I wear wigs and it has done nothing to my hair because I still keep my hair care regime. Heck to me a wig is just like a hat. Just put it on when you need it and let your hair breathe when you don’t.

Amanda
Amanda
7 years ago
Reply to  cherisugar

I shaved my head December 2011. Yes, with a razor. I stopped shaving June 2012 and just stayed focused on a healthy scalp and moist strands. Measured yesterday Jan 2013 (stretched it out with my fingers and held up a ruler) I’m at just under 6 inches. So, at the rate my hair grow has been growing, I figure it’ll take me a few more years, maybe 2, for BSL (stretched). I rock a TWA and twist out. But people’s hair grows at different rates. It took my mother less than 2 years to reach BSL (stretched) from her 1/2… Read more »

sassytee
sassytee
7 years ago

I did the big chop 2 years in may, I’m lovin’ it…this is not the first time,I would chop off about every 10 years. After a couple of years I would always go back to the perm.…I have learned to really embrace my natural!

Marie
Marie
7 years ago

So are not 7 things I ASSUMED with going natural. I have always combed and cared for my own hair, knew my hair would be long due to genetics and the length I had before going natural, I still do not fear the rain, it’s just water for God’s sake! Never did a big chop, just transitioned through braids, Never expected people to approach me or care because I didn’t go natural for attention I went natural for me.

New World Nubian
7 years ago

This is soo true. I first went natural in 1998. I was 18 years old. The biggest lesson I have learned is have fun, don’t take it too seriously. I have had worn the big chop, braids, fros and extensions. I also usually relax every 5 years and then start over again. It is hair and we are beautiful. We should enjoy who we are and not be afraid to experiment.

P.s Rain and water are the best stylist of all. Enjoy. I love water on my scalp, natural or relaxed.…Happy New Year

shay shay
shay shay
7 years ago

I transitioned only 8 months ago. I assumed that I would have much more time on my hands going natural.…puleeze! I am such a slave to my hair right now. Between product selections, hairstyle research, washing and conditioning regimens and buying a bunch more hair accessories, I am worn out!! I watch a million and one you tube videos and love how everyone seems to create these hairstyles with such ease. While I end up wasting a whole saturday or sunday locked up in my house because I have to wash/deep condidtioner/moisturize/braid up/air dry and tie up for bed. Then… Read more »

Nomski
7 years ago

Haha Mine were the:
1) Shake and go!
God knows I bought so many wash-and-go products expecting my hair to just pop out like a straw-set…yeah that didn’t happen
2) Afraid of the Rain
.….that is a big LIE. After stressing through that twist-out, I am NOT about to start walking in the rain…lol

jjac401
jjac401
7 years ago

I have got to say that since I went completely natural in May 2011 I have had a very good experience. I admit that I never really had issues with having a relaxer as long as it was mild strength. But since I have been natural I have to say that caring for my hair has been easy street. As long as I keep it cleansed, moisturized and allow the hair to dry without disturbing the curl — it’s all good. My only issue is the Product Junkie (PJ) in me gets out of control sometimes. But I just chalk it… Read more »

Going Natural
7 years ago

That’s really great,hmm thanks for telling. But go natural only with good prouducts not use any other technique.

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aj
aj
7 years ago

This article is very discouraging to women considering going natural. Everything is this world has pros and cons, but health is more important than these cons. The Big Picture = A HEALTHY BODY!!!!! (THAT MEANS NO CHEMICALS)

Candice
Candice
7 years ago

The only thing I didn’t know when I started my hair journey, is that at eventually I would stop thinking about my hair. In the beginning, it was a near constant obsession. Reading hair blogs constantly, scouring youtube, reading every label of every product when I went into the store, and buying new products based on recommendations. I guess that was two years ago. Now my hair is just beautiful. I deep condition when I think about it. I steam when I have the time. I wash it when it needs it. I protective style with chunky twists and buns,… Read more »

Naj
Naj
7 years ago

Yes! Looking at the blogs (we still had a dinosaur computer back then so I couldn’t get on youtube yet) I just KNEW that going natural would be a breeze. All I would have to do is cowash, condition, shake and go, and wet and gel my hair and the curls would be popping and my hair would grow like weeds like my older family members’ hair. Yeah, I wished it would lol. I did love my hair so it was worth not giving up on it and watching my kinky baby grow. I even learned that my hair would… Read more »

Vina
Vina
7 years ago

I didn’t think any of the above. I just wanted my scalp to feel better, perms were killing it. I go to my beautician every other month for a “check up” and my hair and scalp is healthy and happy. I transition for a year and been all natural for a year. I’m just enjoying my hair.

Keas
Keas
7 years ago

I don’t think this article is discouraging it’s true to some extent or at least a lot of people think that going natural then means you have it easier. People think this before they have done any research at all. I hear a lot of women say they are tired of spending hours at the salon or having to relax ever so often they will go natural because it is soooo much easier. Little do they know that instead of hours at the salon it might be hours at home doing DCs, doing research about what is best for hair,… Read more »

Afrodite
Afrodite
7 years ago

I can definitely identify with the points made in the article. I’d like to add something I did NOT think would happen…Friends and RANDOM folk offering unsolicited opinions of my style choice (Boldly stating which ones they prefer, subtly hinting at which ones they didn’t like.)

Renée
Renée
6 years ago
Reply to  Afrodite

Don’t you love it? NOT!

Janice
Janice
7 years ago

I haven’t read the older comments so someone may have already said this. I thought that my hair would FINALLY be THICK and COARS!! I have fine hair. I thought the relaxer was making it even finer. So I went natural and was natural for 3 years. Guess what I had.…FINE natural hair that felt and looked like a black cotton ball.

Andiegurl
Andiegurl
6 years ago
Reply to  Janice

Yes! I thought the exact same thing. I thought once I got rid of the relaxers and stuff and went natural, that my hair would turn into this lovely huge Angela Davis looking thick fro. Instead my hair is thin and fine and it seems to only look good in buns. lol.

Jovonne
Jovonne
7 years ago

I’m guilty of the “shake ‘n’ go” expectation.

H
H
6 years ago

I thought my hair would suddenly curl when applying those “new kind of products”

Cecret
Cecret
6 years ago

I’m mixed so I expected to have loose manageable curls. Nope I have the thickest tight curl I didn’t even know existed. Like if you take a spring out of a retractable pen that is how tight my curls were and I didn’t know I had a sensitive scalp so after a wash when I went to comb it out I would cry trying to untangle my hair. I also expected the longer it got the looser the curl, also nope. I grew out my hair for 5 years and it grew to my shoulders but soon as I washed… Read more »

beautybyGodsgrace
beautybyGodsgrace
6 years ago
Reply to  Cecret

Cecret, this is my hair, too, and I had the same hopes of having a looser curl pattern but, not so. All the same, I’m falling in love with my natural hair. If God saw fit for me to have it, I’m determined to love in all its coily glory, but I understand what you mean. It takes a lot of time to deal with it in its coily/kinky state. I will be two years natural in March. I’m “BeautybyGodsgrace on BGLH.

Chyenne Roan
Chyenne Roan
6 years ago

For some reason I guess I expected that my hair would be less thick and flow in the wind when I big chopped. Lol no my hair is thick as it was when it was long and doesn’t move ????. I am, however, progressing with how to deal with my curls and I’m finding that I can be versatile with my natural hair yaaay ????
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-24.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-25.jpg[/img]
[img]https://bglh-marketplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/image-26.jpg[/img]

Lisa
Lisa
6 years ago

That I could twist my hair and the next day, unravel it and go. Um, yeah, so that didn’t happen. I can’t do a twist out to save my life. I always end up looking like Medusa.

Bee
Bee
6 years ago

I thought being natural would mean more money in my pocket. After all no more hairdresser. Boy was I in for a big surprise, the products are pricy and I keep buying a lot of stuff.… been getting a little better now. I’m nine months post big chop and loving it!

Lindaj18
Lindaj18
6 years ago

I never thought I would go natural again. I’ve been completely natural several times over the last twelve years or so, and I was certain I’d never do it again. In times past taking care of natural hair was time consuming to say the least. I’ve always had long hair,and relaxers seemed to tame the frizz, and save tons of time and effort on maintaining my hair. I decided to go natural this time due to my regular salon closing, and not trusting just anybody to do my hair; before I knew it some time had passed, and I had… Read more »

Andiegurl
Andiegurl
6 years ago

The only one of these points that I assumed was #1…I did think that all of a sudden, my hair would just grow and grow and be long finally. Now while it is definitely the longest it’s ever been in my life, it’s still not where I feel it could be. And to add to point #1, I also thought my hair would be thicker! Instead, I’m one of what seems to be the few thin haired naturals. I can’t really wear my hair out because it’s so thin and lifeless. lol.

Stephanie
Stephanie
5 years ago

After I big chopped …I looked just like my dad. I was horrified! I was convinced that I looked like a boy. Anybody can wear short curly hair obviously, but the resemblance I had to the men in my family had me running to put in two strand twists. (I transitioned for about 6 months then did the chop ). I didn’t feel confident with a mini fro at all. Even though it was my hair, I wasn’t used to seeing myself that way. Until my hair reached my chin I wore it in two strand twists. Although, after a… Read more »

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