I was on Instagram going through my timeline the other day when I realized how many naturalistas I have met since joining in late 2013. It occurred to me that I haven’t really talked about the beginnings of my natural hair journey which is now going on eight years. I honestly can’t get over the fact that I have been natural since the spring of 2009. Prior to that, I had relaxed hair and didn’t even know there was such a thing as, “going natural.” So I thought that I would share a brief “natural history” with all of my new readers and followers.
My hair journey started all because I couldn’t figure out why my hair was stuck at one length. At the time, my hair was dyed, relaxed and I used heat constantly. The reason for my stunted growth was pretty obvious but I was completely oblivious. My store bought, auburn hair color put my hair porosity levels on the high end which meant it was constantly dry. This was in addition to having a relaxer. The two chemical processes left my hair with twice the damage. Then there was the heat. I loved using heat on my hair everyday. Sure, I wrapped my hair at night, but I still did touch-ups with a curling iron or flat iron each morning before work. I basically didn’t know how to care for my hair. I just knew how to style it and there’s a big difference between the two.
When I did my research I finally began to see how the combination of damaging practices wreaked havoc on my hair. I started to consider relaxer stretching. That’s where you apply your relaxers less often. Then I learned about people who stopped relaxing altogether! Say what?! I never even heard of such a thing. The idea of going without a relaxer was actually pretty scary at the time. I mean, what was I supposed to do with my hair in it’s natural state? It makes me laugh now but that was actually my mindset at the time.
|My relaxed hair before I went natural|
After looking in to it further, I realized how versatile natural hair was. I went from being scared to death of the idea to being really excited. My transition from relaxed to natural hair lasted nine months before I did my own big chop. I deep conditioned my hair every week without fail. Sure, I made mistakes like giving myself heat damage and using henna that was full of twigs and dried leaves (don’t ask). It was all good though; I was totally up for it. My hair grew so fast, I barely had a chance to enjoy my TWA. I still straightened my hair though so I experienced setbacks during my natural hair journey due to heat damage (see my previous post).
I’ve learned a lot about my hair and I’m still learning everyday. At least now I feel like I have my staple products down. I like to try new things so I’m looking forward to doing some reviews in the future. Well, that was my very brief natural hair journey story. If you go way back to my earlier posts you can read more including how I did my own big chop. See ya next time!