If you’ve been using relaxers or other chemical treatments to straighten your hair for years, you might be wondering if going “natural” is a good decision. The term “going natural” can mean different things to different people, but in this article, we’ll be focusing specifically on the practice of letting your hair grow out without any chemical straighteners, also known as going “native.” But is this really the right choice for your hair? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of going native, as well as some alternatives to consider.
Who Should Consider Going Native?
Going native can be a great option for anyone who wants to embrace their hair’s natural texture and avoid potentially damaging chemical treatments. However, it may not be the best choice for everyone. Here are some factors to consider:
- Hair type: If you have naturally curly or wavy hair, going native may be an easier transition for you than if you have very straight hair.
- Personal preference: Some people simply prefer the look of straightened hair, while others love the way their natural texture looks and feels.
- Lifestyle: If you’re used to spending a lot of time styling your hair, going native may require some adjustments to your routine.
What Are the Pros of Going Native?
There are many potential benefits to ditching chemical treatments and embracing your hair’s natural texture. Here are just a few:
Chemical straighteners can be harsh on your hair, especially if you use them frequently. Going native allows your hair to grow out without exposure to these chemicals, which can help keep it healthier in the long run.
When you go native, you have the freedom to experiment with different styles and textures. You can wear your hair curly or straight, depending on what you feel like that day. This versatility can be a fun way to change up your look and express your personal style.
Chemical treatments can be expensive, especially if you have them done at a salon. Going native can save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to pay for these treatments anymore.
What Are the Cons of Going Native?
While there are many potential benefits to going native, there are also some downsides to consider. Here are a few:
Going native can be a big adjustment, especially if you’re used to having very straight hair. You may need to experiment with different products and styling techniques to find what works best for your hair’s natural texture.
Depending on your hair type, going native can lead to some unpredictable results. Your hair may be frizzy or difficult to tame at first, which can be frustrating if you’re used to having a more controlled hairstyle.
Styling natural hair can take more time than styling chemically treated hair. You may need to spend more time washing, conditioning, and detangling your hair to keep it healthy and looking its best.
What Are Some Alternatives to Going Native?
If you’re not ready to make the jump to completely natural hair, there are some alternatives to consider. Here are a few:
Keratin treatments are a popular alternative to traditional chemical straighteners. They work by infusing your hair with keratin protein, which helps smooth and straighten it. While keratin treatments aren’t completely natural, they’re generally considered less damaging to your hair than traditional relaxers.
If you want to avoid chemical treatments but still prefer a straightened look, heat styling can be a good option. Flat irons and other tools can help you achieve a sleek look without the use of chemicals.
Protective styles like braids or twists can be a good option if you want to give your hair a break from chemical treatments. These styles can help protect your hair from damage, while also giving you a low-maintenance look.
How to Go Native: Step-by-Step
If you’ve decided that going native is the right choice for you, here are some tips to make the transition as smooth as possible:
- Start with a big chop: If you’re ready to commit to going native, consider cutting off all your chemically treated hair at once. This will allow your natural hair to grow out and give you a fresh start.
- Experiment with styling: As your hair grows out, experiment with different styling techniques to find what works best for your natural texture. You may need to try several products and methods before you find the perfect fit.
- Be patient: Going native can take time, so don’t get discouraged if your hair doesn’t look exactly how you want it to right away. With patience and persistence, you’ll learn to love your natural texture.
Compare: Going Native vsAlternatives
To help you decide if going native is the right choice for your hair, let’s compare it to some of the alternatives we discussed earlier:
Going Native vs Keratin Treatments
While keratin treatments can be a good alternative to traditional chemical straighteners, they’re not completely natural. If you’re looking to avoid any kind of chemical treatment, going native is the better choice.
Going Native vs Heat Styling
Heat styling can be a good option if you want to avoid chemical treatments, but it can still be damaging to your hair if done too frequently. If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option that won’t damage your hair, going native may be a better fit.
Going Native vs Protective Styles
Protective styles like braids or twists can be a great way to give your hair a break from chemical treatments, but they can also be time-consuming and require regular maintenance. Going native may be a simpler option if you’re looking for a low-maintenance hairstyle.
Tips for Maintaining Natural Hair
If you decide to go native, here are some tips to help keep your hair healthy and looking its best:
- Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner designed for your hair type.
- Avoid heat styling as much as possible, or use a heat protectant spray if you do use heat tools.
- Consider using natural oils like coconut oil or argan oil to moisturize your hair.
- Experiment with different hairstyles to find what works best for your natural texture.
- Be patient! It can take time to learn how to care for your natural hair, but the results are worth it.
The Best Products for Natural Hair
If you’re just starting your journey to natural hair, here are some products that can help:
- Shea Moisture Coconut & Hibiscus Curl Enhancing Smoothie: This cream hydrates and defines curls without weighing them down.
- Cantu Shea Butter Leave-In Conditioning Repair Cream: This leave-in conditioner helps detangle and moisturize natural hair.
- Mielle Organics Babassu Oil & Mint Deep Conditioner: This deep conditioning treatment helps strengthen and nourish natural hair.
- Kinky-Curly Knot Today Leave-In Conditioner/Detangler: This lightweight leave-in conditioner helps smooth and detangle natural hair.
- As I Am Coconut CoWash Cleansing Conditioner: This cleansing conditioner gently cleanses and moisturizes natural hair without stripping it of its natural oils.
Going native can be a great choice for anyone looking to embrace their natural hair texture and avoid potentially damaging chemical treatments. While the transition can be perplexed and bursty, the potential benefits – including healthier hair, more versatility, and cost savings – are worth considering. If you’re not ready to make the jump to completely natural hair, there are some alternatives to consider, including keratin treatments, heat styling, and protective styles. Whatever option you choose, there are plenty of products and tips available to help you keep your hair healthy and looking its best.
5 FAQs About Going Native
- Is going native better for your hair than using chemical straighteners?
Yes, going native can be healthier for your hair in the long run, as it avoids exposure to potentially damaging chemicals.
- Does going native mean I can’t style my hair at all?
No, going native simply means that you’re embracing your hair’s natural texture. You can still experiment with different styles and products to find what works best for you.
- Will going native make my hair frizzy?
Depending on your hair type, going native can lead to some frizziness or unpredictability at first. However, with patience and persistence, you can learn to work with your natural texture and create a look you love.
- Can I go native if I have very straight hair?
Yes, anyone can go native regardless of their hair type. However, you may need to experiment with different products and techniques to create volume and texture in your hair.
- Is going native a permanent decision?
No, you can always choose to chemically straighten your hair again if you change your mind. However, many people who go native find that they love their natural texture and decide to stick with it.## FAQs About Going Native (Continued)
- How long does it take to transition to natural hair?
The transition period can vary depending on your hair type and the condition of your hair. It can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more for your hair to fully transition.
- Will going native save me money on hair care products?
It’s possible that going native could save you money in the long run, as you won’t need to buy as many styling products or pay for regular chemical treatments. However, there may be some initial costs associated with finding the right products for your natural hair.
- Can I still use heat tools if I go native?
While it’s best to avoid using heat tools as much as possible, you can still use them occasionally if you use a heat protectant spray and don’t apply too much heat.
- How often should I wash my natural hair?
How often you wash your natural hair will depend on your hair type and personal preference. Some people prefer to wash their hair every week, while others may only wash once a month.
- Is going native suitable for all hair types?
Yes, anyone can go native regardless of their hair type. However, the transition process may be different depending on your hair’s texture and condition.
I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.