So, you've decided to return to your natural state. Now what? I know from experience that creating a natural hair routine can be daunting in the beginning. There are so many things to decide. You've made the biggest one already. You will be a natural woman. There is a lot of information and it can get overwhelming. I am here to help you create a new hair routine as a natural hair woman. Don't be frightened. This is a journey you don't want to miss.
First, you need to decide if you will transition or big chop (BC). I transitioned for many reasons. Mainly because I was scared of cutting all my hair off. I only had short hair once in my life. Either way, it's a huge decision. If you BC, you have to adjust to a shorter 'do. If you transition, you will have to learn how to manage your hair once it becomes natural at the roots and relaxed at the ends.
Second, research natural hair like you're going to write a 25 page term paper. Learn everything you can about your hair. Read everything you can on natural hair. Google is your friend. I relied heavily on articles dedicated to natural hair and websites like CurlyNikki. Also, I am convinced that YouTube was invented for this purpose only: to help Black girls return to their natural state via watching tutorials. I live for Naptural85 and SimplYounique. Their tutorials helped me so much. There are literally thousands of natural hair vloggers. Type in natural hair on the YouTube search engine and a new world opens up for you. But, be careful, one video can lead to hours spent in front of the computer. Trust me, I know.
Third, find what works for you. If you are transitioning, this time is easier because for a while you will still be dealing with your relaxed hair. In your research, you will read all about the oils to use and what products work well. It is all important. You are not obligated to become a product junkie or a kitchen chemist. Also, realize that there is a lot of trial and error when it comes to trying out new products. What works for some may not work for you. I suggest staying on the cheaper end of things in the beginning. It makes no sense to dole out major money on something that may not work. I still use Suave Humectant conditioner for my pre-poo. The largest bottle retails at $2.79. It's affordable and it works well for me. I have found that you cannot go wrong with shea butter, water, and grapeseed oil. Find what works for you.
Fourth, doing your own natural hair can take some time. For this reason alone, I do my hair on the weekends. This is to insure that my hair will be fully dry for work on Monday morning. My hair is very thick so this always takes some time. I live for braid outs and bantu knot outs. So, it usually takes me at least two hours to do my hair. I try not to use heat on my hair so it could take a full 8 hours for it to dry completely.
Finally, have fun and enjoy the journey. Your hair is an extension of you. It grows from your head just the way God intended. This journey should be fun. You should embrace it while in it. There has been nothing better than this journey for me. Your hair will do exactly what God meant for it to do. A natural hair routine takes a little while to perfect. You will find what works best for your hair. So whether you are a wash and go girl or a twist out sista, all of it takes practice and a little time to perfect. Your natural journey is your own. Personalize it.