Things I Wish I Knew When I First Went 'Natural'...

what i wish i knew when i went natural
I stopped relaxing my hair back in November 2009, and cut off the last of my relaxed hair in February 2011, if i can remember correctly. Natural hair back then was still relatively new in the UK and I relied heavily on blog posts and youtube videos of women with kinky curly afro textured hair across the pond for advice. Kimmaytube and Naptural85 were my saviours! Now, black, brown and mixed race women across the globe are embracing the hair that grows out of their scalp, and it's a lovely thing to see. 

Here are some things I wish I knew when I first went 'Natural'…

kinky natural hair bloggers uk
1.) Your hair might be more kinky than curly and that is OK. Boy oh boy, was this a shock to me. During my transition I had assumed that my hair would be more of a type 3 texture rather than the 4a/b texture it is (tight kinks and pencil shaped coils) because type 3 hair was the type of hair texture that was presented to me over and over again on the internet, and this is actually a discussion i'll maybe talk about in another blog post as it's been on my mind during the past six months or so. So surprisingly to me, when my hair wasn't immediately defined after a shower, or when it dried into a shrivelled H.A.M of a wash n go rather than bounteous shiny curls down my back, I was quite upset, and hid my hair in wigs, braids and straightened the crap out of it until suporise surprise, I got heat damage and my entire head of hair was gone in a haze of blunt scissors and looking at too many pictures of Solange when she big chopped. 
twist and curl natural hair
2.) Your hair can be coarse AND thin. Because we've been presented with a slew of luscious thick haired  naturals with kinky hair, there is a common misconception that kinky hair is naturally thick, but that's not always true, a lot of naturals bulk up their fro's by letting shrinkage play it's part, or simply by using clip in's to give the illusion of thicker hair, a good option if your hair is coarse and thin because most natural clip in's I've seen blend very very well!
3.) You don't have to use a million and one products. I got caught out by this one SO badly when I first went natural and bought about every product under the sun. Months of lurking on various hair forums and hearing women who swore by this product and that had me on a mission, running back and forth from varying hair shops trying to find the new miracle product from Shea Moisture or Dark n' Lovely. My wallet wasn't happy and neither was my hair to be honest. Now I just have a few main products in rotation and will occasionally try out a new release to see how well it works but for the most part, I stick to my ride or die products.
4.) You don't have to focus on length. There is a length obsession in the black hair community, and almost this defiance that yes black women can grow long healthy hair, but why do we need to prove anything? This isn't to say that growing your hair out is a bad thing, but i think there's a fine line between enjoying longer hair and obsessing if your hair hasn't hit waist length in four years like some naturals, despite your most valiant efforts at deep conditioning twice weekly and protective styling 24/7. Yes long hair is pretty, but hair is beautiful at every length. Enjoy the journey because when your hair is waist length you'll probably miss the ease of it being short!
5.) It's just hair. This is one of the most important ones i've learnt. I find myself… attached to my hair sometimes. My hair, it's texture, it's shape, it's size, everything about black women's kinky natural hair is politicised. "You can't wear your hair in a puff it's unprofessional" "You should hide your hair" "Why would you cut your hair off it's so long" "People who colour their hair aren't natural". Honestly. It's not that deep, hair is hair. Have fun with it, and most importantly LOVE YOUR HAIR, Natural, Relaxed, Texlaxed, whatever.

What do you wish you knew when you first embraced your kinks and curls?



  1. Your hair is so beautiful Sade. Loved this post x

  2. Your hair is EVERYTHING!!! And I totally agree about trying a million and one products. I recently adopted a minimalist attitude towards my hair (and my products). Stick to what's worked best and then keep it moving!

    Thanks for sharing!

    KLP @ www.savingourstrands.com

  3. Great post, your hair looks great. Taking care of my natural hair has definitely been a journey haha. It's a lot of work and I've had a lot of setbacks. One thing that they don't teach you in the natural community is to leave your hair alone and let it breathe haha.

  4. This is your hair? It's actually gorgeous. Now maybe I'll let me hair grow out to see how it looks!


  5. Beautiful hair! I went natural due to my hair being damaged from straightening and I missed my curls! :) I feel more at home now with my back in its natural state. I was natural growing up until I was thirteen and went through my awful emo phase where I wanted straight hair and cuts... Now I just want long pretty braids and buns!

    Thanks for the post



  6. I wish someone told me that I shouldn't use clarifying shampoos so often when I first went natural. I didn't realize how harsh it could be on your hair otherwise I would have only used it once a month like your supposed to. ( .-.) xx

    Autumn | A Fabulous Hippie

  7. You have gorgeous hair. I tried going natural I just couldn't keep up. And you are right hair is hair. People who criticise ladies who opt for relaxed or weaves. Like honestly why !!!! It all comes down to how well you rock whatever rocks your boat. Keep on shining Shade.x


  8. What I wish I knew was that I actually had to take care of it. I just assumed that natural hair was tough so it would not break and my hair would automatically grow.

    NOT SO!

    Berry Dakara Blog

  9. I wish I knew that I needed to clarify once in a while. This was because I would put gel on my hair and normal sulfate-free shampoos couldn't cleanse all the build up out. I also wished that I was more confident about my hair when it was short. I would hide it in braids because I didn't want people to see me with short hair. I laugh at myself now because it's just hair.


  10. I've been natural for years but always straightened it, I feel like I have gone natural again since I have stopped straightening it!
    I have just come out of the 'need all of the products' phase and I totally agree! Love your instagram and your blog x

    www.mayamariesworld.blogspot.co.uk x

  11. Hi Sade!

    I'm a big fan of your blog & your hair!

    Like you, when I big chopped, it came as a rude shock to me lol that my curls were not 3C curls like Fusion of Cultures, and most of the youtubers I had been watching!
    I still love their videos but I needed to get over myself!

    I wish I better understood shrinkage when I went natural. Because if I did, I wouldn't have let a barber give me a trim with a clipper, on shrunken WET hair, straight after a shower. Well, that happened & my hair was a patchy mess! It was a haircut not a trim & a horrible one at that. My scalp was showing in some places. I had to hide my hair for 4 months to grow, just so I could cut it again in a decent manner. 8 months of transitioning wasted! But as you said, hair is just hair. It grew back. Growth is a little stalled right now, but I hope to get past this plateau!

  12. Your hair is gorgeous!
    I've never relaxed my hair but I've always straightened it till June last year. One thing I wish I knew was that Shea Moisture products aren't God gift to naturals, overrated IMO!

    I'm the opposite to a product junkie, I like to use as little products as possible. I'm still trying to get over my focus on length, as you said, it's just hair! xx


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