Thursday, March 19, 2015

Au Natural- My Journey to Natural Hair

****Warning. This will be a long one :) ****

What is "natural hair?"

Your natural hair is when your hair is in the state that you were born with. Hair that is not permed,  relaxed, or chemically altered.

-www.urbandictionary.com-

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Natural hair is something I am passionate about and because I am so passionate about it, I know that many of you guys are as well!  So today I want to discuss the topic of natural hair and share my personal journey.  

Where do I start?

Let's start with why I made the decision to grow out my natural hair

I wanted to grow out my natural hair because I believe hair thrives and is healthier when it is not altered by harsh chemicals.  I love the versatility of natural hair and the fact I can retain more length in my natural hair than with chemical relaxers.  I believed the chemicals made my hair thin, prone to breakage, and gave me dry/itchy scalp.  The relaxers also used to burn so badly and sometimes leave sores on my scalp :(  

So what on earth would make one want to relax their hair in the first place???

Let me take you back to childhood

As a child, my mom and aunt pressed my hair with a hot comb and grease every week- yikes!  Despite the high temperatures, my hair was very healthy and retained a lot of length.   When I was around 8 years old or so, the Pressing Comb in a Jar AKA "PCJ" was all the rage to moms with little girls like me.  My mom and aunt succumbed to the peer pressure and decided to relax my cousin and I's long virgin hair. 

My hair was never the same.

I have always maintained a decent length of hair with or without relaxers, but my hair with relaxers was thin, and never grew past a certain length. 

The Teenage/College/Early Adult Years

Natural hair was not popular like it is now when I was a teenager unless you were born with those big/bouncy curls which people often referred to as "good hair."   Throughout my teenage and college years I believed this misconception and thought because my curls didn't look like those girls with the big/bouncy curls it was not "good" enough to go without a relaxer.  I was brainwashed like many young women are and therefore I continued to go through the torture of relaxing my hair.  Month and month.  Year after year.  All the way until I was in my mid-twenties.

Fed up with thin, damaged hair, I started to seriously research and discuss the idea of going natural with my then hair stylist and she was not at all supportive.  She convinced me that growing out my natural hair would not solve my problems and that I will never have hair down my back regardless.  OUCH.  I listened to her because she was the expert.  Or so I thought.

I finally made the decision to move forward in 2011.  My last relaxer was Dec 19, 2011.  This was the best decision I could have made for my hair! 

Since I made the decision to grow out my natural hair.....

The transitioning phase

For about 5 months after my last relaxer, I flat ironed my hair straight every two weeks.  You honestly would never know I stopped relaxing my hair because I was still wearing it bone straight.
My new growth hair and my relaxed ends were a NIGHTMARE to work with.  Even with the help of a professional stylist, detangling sessions would take near an hour.  It was torture.  My stylist- who is also natural so she is very supportive unlike my previous one, finally convinced me to cut off the remainder of my relaxed hair.  This is also called "The Big Chop."  I big chopped when I had about 2 1/2 inches of natural hair.

From there, I wore extensions sewn into my braided natural hair until my hair started to grow out.  My hair thrived in this protective style and I was able to maintain the lengths I desired through the transitioning process by wearing Brazilian hair extensions.

I wore extensions in straight, wavy, and curly styles.  The further along I got in my natural hair journey, the more I started wearing curly extensions over straight ones.

My Natural Hair -When Flat-Ironed Straight

I often took out the extensions to wash and condition my natural hair and for a length check.  


When straight, my hair is bra-strap length.  However, the ends thinned out a lot after I had surgery in October 2014 so I am going to get a good trim to help get the ends back on track.  The top 4 pics are pre-surgery and the bottom 5 pics are post-surgery.   I would only wear my hair like this for a week or so and then I would braid it back up and put my Brazilian extensions back in to continue to protect my hair.

Au Natural

Like most new naturals, I have done extensive research on You Tube, www.naturallycurly.com, and www.curlynikki.com lol.  Based on my research, I believe I have a mixture of 3c and 4a and 4b hair types throughout my head.  My hair appears to be high porosity and high density and is curly/coily in texture.  It needs lots of moisture or it will get dry and puffy looking. 

This is me.  All natural.  No flat iron and no extensions.  As of yesterday.
 

I am still not completely comfortable wearing my hair in natural styles because I have not reached the desired length that I feel comfortable with but I am trying to embrace it.  My hair shrinks dramatically when it is not straightened and short hair and I just don't get along.  As you can see, my hair without flat ironing, barely hits the top of my shoulders.  I am adjusting to it though and it is growing on me the more I experiment with it.  I am currently on the hunt for the perfect products to bring out my curls and shine.

My goal is to grow my hair in its natural texture to shoulder length which is near butt length for me when straight.  Once I reach this goal, I will wear my natural hair 100% of the time.

For now, I continue to go back and forth between extensions and my natural hair - whether it is straight or curly.  I like to switch things up and have fun with it.  However, relaxers and other chemicals and I will never, ever, ever get back together.

I would love to hear about your experiences with natural hair if your natural hair is curly or coily.  Share your feedback on your journey in the comments and we can help each other out with style ideas, products, etc.!  This may be the only post you will ever see on this subject so if this is a topic you guys would like to hear more about occasionally, please let me know.  I enjoy writing on topics that you all want to read about and there are so many things we can discuss that stem from the topic of natural hair :)

Until next time.

1 comment:

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    ReplyDelete

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