I can’t believe it has been two years since transitioning back to natural hair and a little over 1 year since the big chop! It has been a long journey to self-appreciation and discovery of my natural beauty. There is so much I have learned and still can’t wait to try more and more things.
Let’s take a trip down memory road:
So a day before graduation, I needed my hair to be laid so boom I got a perm and that was that. You couldn’t tell me nothin!
During the summer I tried Havanna twists, which I was inspired by Solange Knowles. Looking at Solange and her styles with her afro had me even more curious about the different options I could have if I went natural. Now after 7 years of the creamy crack, I was pretty proud of my hair that had fell just below my collar bones but never seemed to get any longer that. Therefore, I was ready for a change. I never knew there was so much to do with natural hair besides wearing it in an afro (which I did not yet find beautiful or acceptable), and I was entering a new phase in life so it all made sense to try this natural thing. So I said, I’m going natural 🙂
*You do not have to do the big chop right away to go natural!!!!!*
Before I had access to all these blogs and Youtube videos, I never thought about going natural because everyone said you had to cut off all your hair. And as a teenage that did not sound like anything I wanted to do. Transitioning was a way better option for me. Transitioning is where you slowly cut off the relaxed ends of your hair as your new growth of natural hair comes in. This is what I did for 10 months.
First months of transitioning
I remember the first few months when I transitioned, I was so pressed because I spent hours doing bantu knots just to find out the next morning that my hair was still straight with only the ends slightly curled. What in the world was I going to do with my hair? The relaxer was slowly fading away and I was running out of styles.I really thought cutting off a few inches was gonna make all these curls magically pop lol.
As more inches were removed, the more defined my protective styles became. I also became more comfortable rocking shorter hair. At the time my regime was co-washing and washing every two weeks. I began using Shea Moisture and Cantu Leave-In conditioner was my very first staple product.
April 2015 THE BIG CHOP
I went all out and said cut it, cut it. And away with the rest of the relaxed ends and I went on and did the big chop. I have to admit, I did not like it at first. I was trying to go for the blonde TWA ( like Usher and Beyonce’s back-up dancer) but as usual the blonde just turned into an auburn brown and I did not have any type of curl pattern. I was hoping my natural hair would look like other people’s. Almost a year into my journey, I still hadn’t accepted my hair type. I wanted the loose wave pattern, 4a at least. But coming to find out I had 4c hair girl! So that’s another thing I have learned. My hair is different from Susie’s afro over there. And no matter how coarse my hair is, it is still beautiful. But anyways, for the next few months I did braid-outs literally every single night to mock the curl pattern I desired. It worked for a while as I had to grow to like my hair without having to manipulate it.
- Around this time I educated myself on the importance of oils and the LOC method. I bought some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), and literally doused each strand of hair with oil. So in class I’m sitting over there with oil dripping down my edges and neck like an exhausted preacher in the pool-pit. It was in that moment I learned……A little goes a long way!
- Since around the big chop time, I started picking hair products based off their ingredients. The first 6 ingredients are the ones with the most amount/importance. Can’t believe I didn’t know how harmful sulfates could be. I’ve been using Trader Joe’s Tea Tree Tingle shampoo and conditioner. And only $3.99 each, you can’t beat that! And the ingredients are all nature-y and organic sounding so I was like yaaaaaaaaaaaasss
Time for more protective styles! By this time I had learned you still have to take care of your hair the same way you would do if it wasn’t in braids or twists. One interesting thing I tried was an herb rinse made from cat-nip! Naturals will try any DIY lol. Like oo girl ramen noodles will make a good deep conditioner? I got to try that! (lol jk)
I started flexing once I learned how to crochet. London and Paris weren’t ready! If any style is great for traveling its crochet braids!
After doing my own box braids, crochet, and trims, I was alot more confident with handling my hair and was so proud of the progress I had made. I loved the versatility of my hair and even wore it in its natural state and LOVED IT! For fall 2015 I rocked protective styles and it really helped retain the length of my hair.
New Year, New Me! 2016!
These faux locs took my whole life to do them and never again lol. I got TOO confident and had the nerve to do the whole process by myself. I started in 2015 and didn’t finish till 2016! *it literally took me a week and I was still twisting when school started* But they were cute and I loved the colors!
- Jamaican Black Castor Oil! This is my new favorite oil. I started using it because of its properties that foster hair growth and thickness. I used some every day for about three months. I wish I had done a length check to know for sure how much my hair grew but I’m pretty sure it was alot
And by spring 16 you for sure couldn’t tell me nothing. Twist outs looking all defined and what not, I done created a whole collection of oils and mixing them in my conditioner like a scientist, and even being a stylist and doing big chops for other friends. I was having so much fun with my hair and so happy with my hair’s progress but also my own personal development that came with it:)
Pictures worth a thousand words! The journey continues…