Curls, curls, curls, curls, curls I do adore! This year marks my nine-year natural hair journey. Let me tell you it has been a longggggg journey! I love my curls… well, whenever they do decide to curl up. Because in my case, my curls have a mind of their own, I embrace them, love on them and give them the nurturing they deserve, but they decide to curl on their own time. I didn’t do the big chop, I transitioned from relaxed hair to iron outs. Although my hair wasn’t damaged with chemicals, it was fried with heat. My hair started to thin and I finally decided that if I was going to do it right, then I had to go without heat if I wanted to see my natural curls. So, in 2012 I stopped flat ironing it. For one year, I went without heat or trim… not recommended by hair professionals, but my curls were poppin!
I didn’t have the long bouncy curls like the women on IG. In fact, my hair shriveled up and it looked like I had a helmet on my head (insert sad face). I hated my hair at first. I would read articles, watch YouTube videos (all-time favorite is Ms. Vaughn…she had me out here like I was the natural hair queen!) and I tried various products. I started very basic, natural hair is a learning process and the more I tried different styles and techniques, it made me fall in love with my hair even more. Start small and learn from my mistakes. I identified with what my hair wants and feed my body and soul good nurturing food and positive energy.
My hair is my hair, some days I love it and some days I hate it, but I continue to learn more about it every day. I still can’t tell you if my hair is low or high porosity or if I am a 3b, 3c, 4a, etc. That stuff is like a foreign language to me, but I can tell you to not give up. If you are thinking about doing the big chop or transitioning, then do it! Your hair will grow back!
I’ve been natural for 9 years. No big chop for me. I had it cut short and I let my relaxed hair grow out and let the natural do its thing. I wore sew-ins, however, for several years because I was not ready to let my natural hair show. I had always had issues with my hair. My hair is soft and fine. My hair was so fine that when I had relaxer in my hair it looked like my hair was stuck to my scalp (soooo not cute!). So at the suggestion of hair dresser at the time I went natural. Only thing, my hair did not take curls very well nor did it take heat well. And forget about going outside in high humidity. It was a complete hot skunky mess!
Sew-ins were my best friends and the best option for me at the time. I had the long hair don’t care attitude, Malaysian, Remy, I even had the same beauty supply store I frequented that would hook me up. But something about paying $200 for human hair and another $200 for the sew-in started not sit to well with me. Don’t get me wrong, I slayed with my hair and my hair stylist was on point. I spared no expense when it came to my hair, and I love my whip action! But I was at a point where I wanted and needed and a change.
I was seeing all my sistahs out there with their natural hair smelling like coconut oil looking completely fabulous and real that I thought maybe I should go this route. My body and hair was something that was important to me. I worked out religiously (complete gym rat), ate super clean (I stayed hungry), and the nutrients that I fed my body was also being fed to my hair so it was only natural (no pun intended) that I went natural all the way. So I said good bye to my sew-in styles (Marissa, Charmain, Deidra, Kay Kay…yeah they had names) and decided to embrace my natural hair. So, I went to the salon, told my stylist to free me of my hair helmet that had me looking like Penny’s mama from Good Times after a while and my curly hair self was born.
I loved it! I honestly felt free. I had no restrictions, no hair to hide behind, nothing in my way. I could do a Beyonce spin move with my hair and did not have to worry about my hair flying anyway. It takes away the affect but you get my point. I tried several styles to get and stay comfortable. Now, I won’t lie, I get bored with my hair at times. Color is one thing that perks me up and now I’m in the process of letting it grow out completely.
This hair journey is just that, a journey. It’s about embracing you in your natural state. A few tips I’ve learned:
- Watch youTube videos. Some of those ladies are on point. I can’t say I have a favorite like Cher but in my head their styles work for me
- Try different products (As I Am is like LIFE right now for me); I’ve tried other products that did not suite my hair because, again, my hair is soft and fine. Many products will just weigh it down or dry it out. The products that may work for you may not necessarily work for me and vice versa. Read the ingredients ladies! Make sure you are not using products that have alcohol in it, it will dry your hair
- Talk with my other naturalistas, you may learn something about your porosity or curl pattern type
- If you have color, keep your hair moisturized because that is the first step to breakage
- Co-wash, co-wash, co-wash! Co-washing moisturizing your hair without stripping it of its nutrients
- Eat healthy
So, to my ladies that are considering the natural route, I say do it. If you’re not ready, it’s not the end of the world. But your hair will thank you for it. It’s all about what makes you comfortable at the end of the day. Natural is not for everyone, and that’s ok. Be you and be beautiful.