It’s amazing to think I have been a natural head for about 3 years now and I am absolutely in love with my hair(pronounced hurr) I didn’t even have to do the big chop as I decided to transition i.e I stopped using relaxer sometime in 2012 and then after a few months of growth, I cut off the relaxed ends.
The best thing I love about my natural hair is that I am presenting myself to the world in my natural state. In a world with a created idea of what beautiful is, I feel liberated when I’m working my fro. You could almost hear MC Hammer playing in the background when you see me in the street rocking that fro! You can’t touch this!!..
There’s something about being a black woman walking around with your God given hair. Some form of confidence is on show or should I say a sense of (I don’t really care what you may/may not think about me..followed by two finger snaps in the air,hair flick-if long enough and the ever exaggerated left turn plus a deuces up as I walk away) Yaass honey!
So many women have decided to not chemically straighten their hair so much so it has become a movement in the last few years. I am in awe when I see how fierce some women rock their fros and I believe that it has definitely had a positive effect on how we view ourselves as black women and also changed some men’s perspective. For so long not only is it drummed in that being black is ‘wrong’ or ‘weird’, we have also been told that not only is nappy hair not beautiful,it is also not professional enough, nothing to be proud of and that we should try out best to cover our nappy heads. We have been provided with chemical straighteners to put on our hair that actually burns the skin all to remove those beautiful curly locs that God has blessed us with!
I decided to embrace myself as I am. That includes the ‘nappy’ hair, my big eyes and bags, flaws and all! Now I’m not saying that if you relax your hair, you don’t love yourself or that you should go natural. I’ve heard a few natural heads say such things and it’s truly shocking because at the end of the day having natural hair is not for everyone. Everyone has their own preferred ways of taking care of their hair. Whatever may work for one person may not necessarily work for another person. As long as you know how to look after your hair and keep it looking great,you go girl!
I personally cannot use relaxer ever for two main reasons:
1. I’ve made a conscious decision to be a natural head so that means no chemical straightening whatsoever
2. My hair is super soft. The first time I ever put relaxer in my hair I looked like a wet cat! It goes thin and lanky,has no body or vavavoom whatsoever and because of this, as soon as I put any chemical on my head I get burnt almost immediately leaving me with scabs all over!….ain’t nobody got time for dat!
The main thing I’ve learnt along the way is that the key to having a beautiful curly mane is the care and attention you give it. My hair may look gorgeous (sometimes) when you see me but what you are not aware of, are the amount of hours I’ve spent on it! From the washing, co washing, conditioning, finger de-tangling, my days the list is endless. You have to find a routine that works for you. YouTube was my biggest helper and other hair forums online.
The main points I discovered for myself that as a naturalista you should consider are:
1. Moisture- your hair needs to be a constant state of moisturisation (made up my own word) if you don’t, you are guaranteed no growth and breakage. The main products I use on my hair are:
Water(yes..water), olive, castor, coconut, avocado, tea tree oils and my all time favourite, cannot live without – Shea butter!
God thank you for Shea butter! My hair loves that stuff! Don’t know how I lived without it for so long but it’s definitely made my hair care a lot easier. Not only does my hair soak it in but it ends up so soft and manageable with the least amount of breakage.
If you decide to go natural do your research first as what works for me isn’t necessarily for everyone.
This is essential for hair growth. I know this because the few times I have blow dried my hair to prepare it for braiding or styling, it has ended up limp, dry and I have less growth so I now don’t blow dry my hair at all unless I really have to. There are ways to do it safely, I just haven’t found them yet-work in progress!
Now don’t get me wrong, I still do the occasional weave or braids because as much as I am part of the natural crew, it is hard work! In saying that, I wouldn’t change a thing. My hair is much more healthier, fuller and growing every day. I have discovered that everything is trial and error. What may work for someone else may not necessarily work for me. You have to find what’s right for your hair type.
That’s a little bit about me and my hair journey.As I learn more I will try and share with you guys. I wish you luck with your hair journeys. It’s all worth it in the end.