WARNING: This is a long post! LOL >.<
Natural, relaxed or texturized, it is imperative that we take care of our hair. My hair journey began by realizing that I needed to make my hair a top priority and also came from a place of self-love and self-acceptance. This is my journey . . .
MY OUTLOOK & IGNORANCE AFFECTED MY DECISION
As a kid I hated my natural hair! It was a frustrating task and made me slightly insecure. Brainwashed by societal norms, I always wished I could have that healthy, long, bone straight hair. Of course, with my mixed textured hair, this could only be achieved by either relaxing my hair or flat ironing it – the latter was too much of a task. However, as I approached my teens, the most I was knowledgeable about was that relaxers were, in many ways, bad and that lye was a brutal chemical for hair. So for me, relaxing was not an option! From this, I decided to texturize my hair in Form 2 of my high school life. I enjoyed it but, because I knew very little about hair care, my hair eventually broke up badly and forced me to go back natural in Form 3/4. Surprisingly though, I enjoyed this a tad as I began doing my hair by my aunt who is a hairdresser. She would mostly twist my hair in corkscrews which was fine by me. My hair was restoring into a healthier state.
WHAT HAVE I DONE? ABORT!
Eventually however, she suggested I tried texturizing again to tame my curls a bit and even highlighted that it was not as harsh as relaxers – she would use the kid’s texturizer with no lye. As my hair was soft it actually responded to this quite quickly and only required me to leave in for a few minutes. With my trust in her and with some thought, though skeptical at first, I decided why not try this again! At first, I was pleased with the results, it was a boost in my confidence and I loved having the best of both worlds (straight or curly). I continued doing this for years but then, I entered University in 2013. I realized that although my hair was healthy to some extent, the natural colour of my hair was changing into a lighter, unattractive brown. From once having hair that was of a darker brown, almost black, my curls appeared lifeless and were becoming too loose. Added to this, my hair would only grow a little passed my shoulders and then break at the ends.
SOMETHING HAD TO CHANGE
This was a period of enlightenment for me and the period within which the natural hair community was making a name for itself. Backstory though, at this point of continuous texturizing, my aunt had suggested I switch to adult texturizer, which contained lye, as it seemed my hair was changing. As such, I was no longer getting optimum results with the kid’s texturizer which now had to be left in my hair longer than usual to get the preferred look. This was the main catalyst for me to merely think about going back natural once again. Additionally, I was slowly becoming exhausted with going to the hairdresser, spending the money and noticing the unsatisfactory changes in my hair growth and overall health. I began doing research and watching many Youtube videos. The wealth of knowledge blew me away and propelled me, after long thought, to go natural. This decision however, was more than what I bargained for.
LEARNING AND GROWING – KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!
The journey was frustrating and fun all at once. I was not courageous enough to do a Big Chop so I decided to transition. I had undergone months upon months of money wastage attempting to find the right combination of hair products, in order to improve my hair’s health, while having two (2) completely different hair textures. Styling became a real pain after my hair was about a quarter to half-way through my transition. The scissors became a serious temptation and experimenting became a fun challenge that had me on my toes in great anticipation. However, along the way I finally learnt to care for my own hair and eventually stopped going to my aunt to style my natural hair. This was because I found that taking care of my hair myself yielded more satisfying results. The money that was once invested in visits to my aunt was now allocated to finding the right products for my hair. My full transition went on for about 2 years (2013 – 2015) and today I am fully natural, loving the versatility of my hair and my hair has never been healthier and happier.
Being one of the best decisions of my life and one which required a lot of patience, it taught me to love the natural me and, for the first time, genuinely love my hair. The journey to this day, has not ended and I am proud to say that along the way it has made me more courageous about my hair where I am actually bold enough to trim my hair myself now.
To my readers, if any of you are contemplating to go back natural, I urge you to take that leap of faith. Your hair will thank you later! Sometimes playing safe does more harm so why not try something new and adventurous. However though, be sure to continue educating yourself during and even after you have gone fully natural, for knowledge is power.
Sorry for the long post but I hope this motivates you guys in some way.
If you want to know more about my hair journey and general tips on healthy hair care, drop a comment below and let’s talk!
As always, to God’s blessings, prosperity, faith, happiness and love!