Fourteen years ago, Tamika Fletcher, co-owner of Natural Resources Salon, made the decision to wear her hair in its natural state. Here, she tells rolling out about her journey from relaxed hair to natural hair.
“Like many of you my hair was healthy after my first relaxer, but over a period of wearing relaxers, I seemed to have fewer strands of hair. I went to see my stylist regularly and I believed that I was taking great care of my hair. I hate to admit the number of years that I did not realize that each time I experienced a chemical burn, I was exposing myself to secondary infections, permanent hair loss, severe scarring and emotional distress. I didn’t realize that each time my skin healed over the chemical burn, I was losing precious hair follicles.
“I really needed a change. I’d always admired natural hair but I was not sure how to make the transition mentally or physically.
“Many of the clients that visit Natural Resources Salon are in transition to natural hair and looking for answers. Many of them are professional women who, like it or not — have to be image conscious, and 75 percent of our clients explain to us that certain styles are not an option. They are concerned about transitioning hair with styles that are professional and safe for the hair.”
Tamika Fletcher’s Tips for Transitioning to Natural Hair:
- Styles to avoid include those that put tension on the hairline. The hairline is the easiest area of the scalp to cause permanent damage due to styling.
- Beware of using excessive heat during your transition. Excessive heat can lead to permanently straightening new growth. It will be more difficult to determine where to cut hair if the goal is to grow curly hair.
- Try to avoid daily combing if you experience excessive shedding of hair. Use conditioner after every shampoo. The two competing textures will cause hair to tangle if not properly conditioned.
- Natural hair oils like Earths Nectar Monoi Hair Milk that contain natural oil help to keep scalp and hair soft and healthy and prevents breakage when styling or detangling.
- Extensions should not be worn for longer than two or three months on fragile or over-processed hair.
- Keep in mind when choosing your style that bonding glues or tight braids can lead to permanent damage.
- Try to avoid wetting hair daily and slicking hair back with gel. The tension on the hair may cause breakage.
Tamika Fletcher is the co-owner of Natural Resources Salon, a chemical free hair salon in Houston. The salon specializes in natural hair care, organic products and the treatment of hair loss in adults and children. Fletcher is a strong advocate of environmental awareness and client education and hopes to inspire others to work toward “green” lifestyle choices while making smart beauty decisions.