My Natural Hair Story
I’m pretty sure my natural hair journey is a lot different from many women out there who decided to stop chemically relaxing their hair. I did not wake up one day with an epiphany, or this urge to get closer to my roots, or claim my identity nor did I have particularly bad experiences with relaxers. I guess you could say I became natural by accident!
Here’s my story:
One day, a good friend of mine sent me a link to a video of a YouTube beauty/fashion guru (Patricia Bright). I ended up watching a bunch of her videos and instantly became a fan! I discovered that she also had a channel that was all about natural hair and from there I discovered the world of YouTube’s natural hair community that was devoted to teaching black women throughout the world how to care for their hair, whether it is relaxed or straight. Since at the time (Summer of 2011), I had relaxed hair and had been wearing hair extensions since I graduated from high school, I gravitated towards the videos that were about growing long relaxed hair. I learned so much information that I was in shock that literally every black girl I knew had never learned any of it!
So from there I began to create my own regimen that included moisturizing my hair and and sealing it with an oil daily and I also decided that I would stretch the amount of time between my relaxer applications. I learned about the line of demarcation, which is where the natural hair meets the relaxed hair and thought I was taking good enough care of my hair to avoid any breakage. But I soon learned that the years of abuse that my hair had endured being put underneath extensions and being basically neglected had left it weak and barely able to hold on for dear life. So the inevitable happened and I began to experience serious breakage that left my hair in a state of utter disaster. I realized there was no way that I could actually relax my hair with out it being extremely uneven and looking crazy so I thought to myself “I guess I’m going natural!” and that’s when my journey began.
From there, I continued to transition with clip on extensions, but was very diligent with making sure to care for my hair everyday as it grew out. I eventually went to a braiding salon to get long box braids installed which I LOVED and wore for about six months. After taking out my box braids, I wore clip- in extensions, with my natural hair braided underneath as a protective style and was basically waiting for my hair to grow out to a length I was comfortable with. As the weather got warmer, I began to experiment on the weekends with wearing my natural hair out and one weekend I just decided not to put my hair extensions back in and the rest is history!
Although I never imagined I would wear my natural hair, I can honestly say, it is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It has given me a new sense of self and confidence that I never knew was missing and that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.