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Last Relaxer: March 18, 2005
Big Chop: February 18, 2006
The main reason I went natural was to have healthy, LONG hair. With a relaxer, my hair never really grew past shoulder length. Once it got that long, it was just start breaking off. And when I looked at individual strands I could tell the texture of my hair just wasn't right.
I tried to start going natural back in 2004... that lasted about 2 months. Then I just broke down and got a relaxer. I hated to see my hair getting "nappy" and I just didn't know what to do with it if I couldn't wear it in my usual relaxed styles!
My last relaxer was on 3/18/05. I just finally decided to take the plunge! Every time I saw someone with beautiful, curly natural hair... I was so envious! I wanted that for myself. I started noticing alot of black women in commercials had natural hair... dreads, curls, afros, etc. Was the media trying to tell me something??
I started out getting braid outs. I would wash my hair, and while it was wet my sister would braid it and roll it into balls. I'd sit under the bonnet dryer for about as long as I could stand it and then go to sleep. I took them down in the morning. Most of the time my hair would still be slightly damp (sometimes too damp, which makes for a disaster) because it is just so thick! I loved that style though.
I then moved on to goddess braids, afro twists, a curly weave (my first and last) and in between all that I would have my sister give me a braid out or some kind of cornrows. I grew impatient however. I wanted to style my hair myself! I tried twists but my relaxed hair wouldn't hold them. If I didn't feel like going to my sister for her to braid my hair, I would just blow dry it and gel it up into a ponytail.
The gelled ponytail was pretty much the last style I had before I did the big chop. I finally decided I was ready! I had previously told my hair stylist that I was going natural in April 2005 and he was supportive. He pressed my hair a few times during my transition but I didn't like that too much because it didn't last. I called him on Wednesday to make an appointment for Saturday (2/18/06) so he had 4 days to prepare...
Prepare as in learn how to cut/style naturally curly hair. At my appointment I brought some pictures from missjessies.com and the Curly Pudding and Curly Buttercreme that I had ordered from them. I showed him the pictures and he said, "You know those pictures can be very deceiving. Those styles look like straw sets. I don't think I will be able to get your hair like that." This was before he had even touched my head. So he started cutting. He cut off most of the relaxed hair. He washed and condititon my hair. He cut some more. "I don't even know how to shape it", is what he said at one point. Then he preceded to pick out my hair with no product in it. Now I really knew nothing about natural hair at that point. But I did know that if you pick out curls, you end up with a fro. He picked out my curls, he put the Curly Pudding on my dry picked out hair, and then said "See I knew that stuff wouldn't work. Those pictures can be very deceiving." I had a dry, misshapen fro. I looked in the mirror horrified and he said, "I kinda like this look, you look like Jill Scott." HA! As I left the salon I could feel everyone in there looking at me. As soon as I walked outside there was an explosion of laughter. I don't think I had ever been so embarrassed. I went home and rewashed my hair and applied the Curly Pudding to my wet hair (as it is supposed to be done). I got slightly better results. I still had work to do.
Apparently most hair stylists that specialize in black hair only know how to do one thing... straighten it. If you're not getting your hair pressed or relaxed they are just at a complete loss. I find this very disconcerting.
I was determined to work with my natural hair. I transitioned too long to give up now. The first couple of weeks my hair was hit or miss. I used up the Curly pudding in one week. I had to find something else to go on my hair because there was no way I was spending $38 a week on hair product! I got on the net and started doing research. I found motowngirl.com and she gave me alot of helpful hints. I became a product junkie, buying anything that looked like it would work with my hair. I kept looking at pictures and hair journals but could not find someone with hair similar enough to mine that would really help me.
I finally stumbled across a California girl's geocities hair journal. Hair looked like mine! I bought every product she used on a daily basis and followed her hair regimen and I have been so happy with the results.
So I encourage anyone who is thinking of going natural. I do not really try to convert the non-naturals but I do try to get them to realize the truth. Relaxers damage the hair. If you are constantly fighting your relaxed hair, if you have split ends and your hair just doesn't seem to grow.. Seriously consider going natural. Once you learn what to do it's not hair. Natural hair is truly beautiful. My hair has never been so healthy as it is now. Each strand is strong and silky, I can hardly believe it's mine. I have had unprecedented hair growth in the past year and a half. It doesn't matter if your hair is curlier or coarser, once you start working with it and not against it, it can and will be beautiful.
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- Sunday, October 15, 2006
- natural curly hair curls kinks waves
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