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I'm on a natural hair journey for the second time. I started relaxing my hair at the age of 11. I had a break between the ages of 17 and 24. My hair was hardly ever out of braids or weaves during that time. It grew to about six inches and seemed ok but it never grew past that length. After years of being told that "black" hair only grows to a certain length and being told off by hairdressers, I decided to care for it myself. Initially, I just kept it in single braids/cornrows because I didn't actually have a clue how to handle it. I'm a self-confessed Hair Freak! I love it. I've braided my own hair and been my cousin's stylist on an off for the best part of 10 years. I get really excited about any new techniques I come across. I just find the whole thing fascinating and the internet has fuelled my thirst for knowledge. Walking around London, you see the full spectrum of hairstyles. There are so many new developments and so much innovation out there! Over the last 10 years or so the stylists in London have definitely been pushing the boundaries where black haircare is concerned.
A few years ago, I was browsing on the internet for products and I stumbled upon Cathy Howse's website. I bought her book and hair products. Things were going well, I kept up my hair regimen and my hair was growing quite nicely. Then disaster struck! I had a bad body perm retouch which ruined my hair. I would've cut it off but I didn't need to as it was breaking off so badly anyway. I pretty much had to start from scratch ie half an inch. I texturised it for a few months and it was great! I could wash it as often as I exercised. I'd injured my back and needed to go swimming for rehabilitation. I never had to worry about my hair being wet in the wind and the rain. I kept it quite short and felt really comfortable within myself.
Eventually, it became a bit unmanageable so against my better judgment, I gave in to the no-lye relaxer. My hair got damaged and ultimately, the relaxer didn't agree with me or my lifestyle. I decided to give it a break over winter 2006 to see how it would fare under a weave.
My last relaxer was at the beginning of March 07.
Six months down the line, I've cut off nearly all of the relaxer. I'm taking skin, hair and nail vitamins and using a Nisim scalp treatment whilst wearing braided hair extensions. I don't deep condition it weekly because I wash it every other day and moisturise daily.
My hair's healthier than it's ever been and my goal is to wear my natural hair without hair extensions in time for summer 08. I moved back to London about a year ago and have seen so many women my age and younger wearing their natural hair. It's truly inspiring! The way I wear my hair is an emotive issue as far as my mother and aunts are concerned. I'm sad that I haven't felt comfortable enough to wear my own hair in my 20's without needing to hide it away under fake hair or inflicting chemical damage. There's a lot of political/cultural baggage that needs to be cast off. It's my birthright to wear an afro if I feel like it. It feels a bit lonely at times especially in my workplace but now's the right time for me to make that step. So long harsh chemicals and hair frying!
- General Information
- Saturday, August 11, 2007
- English, French
- Cathy Howse, Robin Woods, natural hair, braids, extensions
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- Background & Lifestyle
- Marital status:
- Post grad
- Black/African descent
- Interests & Personality
- hair, dance, music, world cinema
- running, swimming
- funky house, grime, hip-hop, dance, r'n b, disco, rock, classical - choral
- Bridges of Madison County, Sleepless in Seattle,
- SATC, Lost, ER
- Fear of flying, Why French women don't get fat, The Alchemist