The 5 Stages of a Natural Hair Journey

*edit: We have a new home!

Today we welcome a guest blogger to Socialite Dreams; let’s give a warm hello to Raven of She came up with the idea of breaking down the 5 stages of a natural hair journey and I found it to be quite interesting, hope that you do as well.  I cracked up at how spot on it was, like wow are we all that predictable?? LOL.  What step are you on if also a natural babe?  I’m a Naturalista Geek.


Writer Babe Raven


The 5 Stages of a Natural Hair Journey
Naturalista Newbie
You either did a big chop or you’re just not straightening your hair anymore.  Right now, you may be at conflict with the “un-straightness” of your locks. You feel liberated and at once shackled. You feel like you don’t “know” yourself without straight hair. Looking at other curly coifed chicks, you wonder if God cursed you with untamable kinks that know no bounds when it shrinkage, dryness or definition is involved.
Verdict: At this point, you are a complete stranger to the stuff growing out of your scalp.

Naturalista Novice
You’ve discovered Terri LaFlesh, BGLH, Curly Nikki or one of the other many online natural hair care communities. You are learning Naturalista lingo and lore like the “Curly Girl Method” or what co-washing is. You are busy categorizing your hair as 3a or 4a. You are in pursuit of the almighty perfect curl (or twist out). Lurking YouTube or voraciously consuming various beauty blogs is a 6-hour pastime. You have about 2 sets of satin pillow cases and nighttime routines for your hair are a hilarious spectacle to behold.
Verdict: Product junkie-ism has just begun

Naturalista Geek
You’ve seen your hair at its best and at its worst.  Your product junkie-ism has reached its apex.  Now, you’ve become obsessed with learning about specific hair care ingredients, techniques and whatever else you can learn. You dream of going to a Miss Jessie’s or Devachan salon. When you discuss hair, you damn near sound like a chemist. People suspect you have a lab somewhere in your basement stocked with beaker tubes and shea butter tubs. You’ve got a few routine styles under your belt.
Verdict: Essentially, you and your hair are like old friends who have the occasional fight.

Naturalista Pro
You are dedicated to a routine and very rarely stray from it.  You’re still looking for “holy grail” products, but you keep up with a set of stylers and conditioners that haven’t let you down. You understand what stylers to use (and when).  You are well-versed in understanding product ingredients, certain hair care techniques and methods.  You’ve given up fighting your curls and let your hair just “be.” However, you know with some coaxing, it can behave. At this point, you’ve set some goals to achieve with your hair (like certain length, strength, porosity, etc.). People who have never seen you with straight hair say they “like your hair better that way.”
Verdict: Your hair has developed character which enhances your own style and image.

Naturalista Goddess
black model Jordan Richardson wearing a natural curly black hair style
You’ve reached whatever goals you’ve set for your hair (and its health). Now, it’s just about proper and consistent maintenance. Holy Grail products are old jokes to you. They’ve been replaced with a set rotation of products and techniques that you know work after months of experimentation and (re)searching. This comes along with a night routine that doesn’t take 20 years or have you looking like a nut case. You are no longer hung up on having your curls look a certain way since your curls will look different everyday of the week. You’ve mastered a variety of styles and are even less of a product junkie than ever. You may have even become an inspiration to other women who want to become Naturalistas.
Verdict: The almighty curl is the one growing out of your head.

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32 Responses to “The 5 Stages of a Natural Hair Journey”

  1. Ms. Lyssa Says:

    I love it! I’m still in the novice phase. But I realize what the limitations are to my hair. We just gotta work on the dryness. Lol

    • Socialite Dreams Says:

      Lol, yes when I first went natural dryness was my NEMESIS…just make sure to deep condition weekly with a creamy moisturizing conditioner, and apply a good moisturizer often; my favorite is Qhemet Biologics amla and olive heavy cream.

    • Raven Says:

      Hi Ms. Lyssa,
      I’m glad you enjoyed my guest post. When I first went natural, my hair suffered dryness too. I realized a lot of it had to do with a good moisturizer and sealer. I like Yes to Cucumbers layered with Deva Curl One Conditioner. I then seal with Aveda Defining Elements whip. But, in the end, it’s all about trying out things and seeing what your hair likes. Good luck!

  2. freeyourheart Says:

    i’m somewhere between the novice & geek stage.
    almost over being a product junkie,
    and learning to accept my hair’s current limitations.

    great post!

    • Raven Says:

      Hi Freeyourheart,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m almost sure that all Naturalistas come out of the product junkie phase – and then jump right back into it 🙂 I would say I’m edging towards Pro, but I sometimes revert to my geek stage

  3. Moni Says:

    I’m somewhere between the pro and goddess stage, based on the descriptions (though I feel like I still haven’t “arrived” at only 2.5 years natural). I haven’t really set any hair goals, so I can’t achieve them. I’d like to see how long my hair will grow, but don’t have a set length in mind. I don’t have HGs. Instead I know what types of products my hair likes and have a routine that rotates several of the preferred type of product, instead of just sticking to one specific HG. I have even inspired 2 friends and my aunt to go natural! They’ve all asked me for advice on products and techniques.

    I love my hair and let it do what it does. I love trying different styles/techniques, but the goal is always to look like Moni’s hair in a braidout/bantu knots/etc, not like Corinne’s or Tracee’s hair.

    • Raven Says:

      Hello Moni
      I love hearing how you are not into the HGs. I honestly thought I could find the *perfect* product to style/condition my hair. But there is no such thing. You begin to know the difference between what your hair likes and doesn’t need, but being a Naturalista is just as much as about technique and method as it is about using good products and tools.

  4. Joy D. Says:

    I would love Naturalista hottie but my hair is more Natralista Pro.

    Thanks for viewing my blog!

  5. Farah Jones Says:

    This article was dead on! LOL…I think I may still be in the novice stage. I am slowly but surely letting go of my product junkie ways ;0)

  6. Keke Says:

    I really love this blog! Many of my friends have natural hairstyles, and look absolutely amazing! I’ve been thinking of going natural myself but…I think am still clinging to the weaves. *sigh*

    • Socialite Dreams Says:

      thank you for checking out the blog! the beauty of going natural is that you can still wear weaves, I’ll be getting one for my new york trip next week and my cousin who is 2 years natural wears weaves all of the time. Just have to know to use a good heat protectant when flat-ironing your hair. I am here if you have any questions about anything in regards to going natural and thank you for checking out the blog, very glad that you are enjoying it! It can be a big decision, but the overall health benefits of leaving the relaxers behind are great, the chemicals are not good at all for the health. Still can have versatile styling choices with natural hair, even MORE so than with relaxed hair, I’m finding because can do both straight and natural styles easily 🙂

    • Raven Says:

      Hello Keke,
      I haven’t worn weaves since going kinky natural – but i rocked them quite a bit when I straightened my hair. There’s nothing wrong with weaves, like Vonnie says. CHI makes a good heat protectant, you can get a small bottle for about 5 bucks at Ulta.

  7. FaceFab Says:

    Love it!

    Great guest blog post!
    I’ve been natural for over 10 years & just hang in there for any who are experiencing a case of the in-betweens.
    There’s nothing like it & there’s a whole new world of versatility that awaits!


    • Raven Says:

      Hi FaceFab
      You’ve nailed it. I think the more ‘natural’ you are with your hair, image, etc. you can become even more versatile and creative with your style, just like Vonnie says. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  8. Kirstin Walker Says:

    What an interesting post! I think I’m in the Naturalista Geek phase. I always dream of going to the DevaChan Salon or Miss Jessies Salon!! That is my ultimate dream!

  9. Kristen Says:

    Love this post!

    I guess I am a Naturalista Newbie but I’m loving my hair right now. It’s so soft I just want to touch it, but I wont. lol

    • Socialite Dreams Says:

      hand in hair syndrome is the bane of me, lol, because it causes single strand knots…but the hair is so soft and curly! i know your pain 😛

    • Raven Says:

      Hi Kristin,
      LOL. I, too, suffer from hand in hair syndrome. I just LOVE feeling the little curls and tendrils. It’s so awesome. I have to remind myself that every time I touch my hair I’m adding dryness and knots – that usually stops me mid-stroke 🙂

  10. Zabeth Says:

    Very informative. I’m between the novice and geek!

    • Socialite Dreams Says:

      I wish that I could go to one of those places too! It’d be so nice to have someone ELSE do my hair all pretty 😀

      • Raven Says:

        Hi SD,
        I’ve seen info on “Devachan trained” stylists, but I have yet to read reviews on them (or if they are really any good at cutting curly/kinky hair). I think if I ever go to NYC, I’ll just make a special trip to have my hair cut/styled by the folks at a Devachan (or Miss Jessie’s) salon

    • Raven Says:

      Hey Zabeth,

      Glad to hear that the definitions helped you find where you were on your natural hair journey. Good luck with the rest of the way :-D!

  11. Wishin Aint Doin Says:

    Definitely a Newbie! Been gloriously bald for three years, and all of a sudden woke up with the desire to grow it out. Crazy! Having fun with the natural growth, and my curl pattern is unexpected. This should be interesting!

    • Socialite Dreams Says:

      oh nice, bet that you are enjoying the new curls! What curl pattern do you have that is unexpected, more curly than you thought it’d be?

    • Raven Says:

      Hello Wishin Aint Doin,
      Love your name by the way! I have never been a big chop, but I think it’s interesting to watch/see the girls who are brave enough to do so. Did you cut out relaxed hair or heat damage?
      Good luck with the growth!

  12. Danyell Says:

    I Am The Naturalista Newbie ! But I Won’t Do The Big Chop No Time Soon… 🙂

  13. Sasha-Shae Says:

    This was a great post! Loved it!

  14. Avid Accents Says:

    This post is too cute! Im sooooooo a Naturalista Geek! LOL


  15. shyquietfaith Says:

    I love this post and it’s categories. 🙂 I’m a geek trying to move into pro. Just need to stop playing in my hair all the time and to find a moisturizer that works for me.

  16. kendra Says:

    Lmao, this is dead on! Right now I’m currently a Newbie, but I’m sort o transitioning into a Novice. I actually catch myself watching random youtube videos dedicating to curls and then would literally put them in my favorties, so as soon as my hair gets longer, I’ll have some ideas to do with my hair. Omg. And I actually just discovered Curly Nikki like two weeks ago. Haha Amazing.

    Awesome blog btw:)

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