Updated: Jun 2, 2019
Being “natural” is a task. It is one that I never could’ve imagined myself taking on, yet here I am. Two years down. A lifetime to go.
If someone would have asked me two years ago, “how do you feel about going natural”, I would have laughed in their face… seriously.
I had been receiving relaxers since the 6th grade. I had always had fairly healthy hair until my mother allowed me to start doing it myself in the 7th grade. I hated the idea of "poofy" or curly hair and I desired a bone straight look, so I took to straightening it everyday on top of it already being relaxed. Obviously, overtime this made my hair break off. Then once I had gotten it back semi healthy with a few trims, I decided I wanted my hair lightened, which then fried my hair to the CORE. My hair started to break off in chunks in the back and it was tiring trying to constantly cover it up. My mom and I discussed trying out the whole “weave” trend to try and give my hair a break and allow it to grow back healthy. We had no idea what we were doing because my mom had always just worn her own hair and as did I. Once we got the hang of it, I cut all of my hair off into a short afro and wore weaves for practically two years straight.
Finally in 2016, my senior year of high school, I decided it was time for a change. I was tired of being so bound to my hair. I didn’t feel myself without a head full of weave. Although my hair had grown back long and healthy, I couldn’t fathom even trying to take care of my natural hair. So, I decided I wanted it all cut off into a a very short cut. In my mind, this was me embracing my beauty instead of hiding behind weave, but in all honesty I wasn’t embracing my true beauty at all. I was still hiding.
I returned to getting relaxers so that my short hair would lay down correctly and my hair was extremely healthy. Me being me, however, I just had to experiment with dye again. I dyed my hair red, then a blue tint, then blue black, and then a light copper brown. I did all of this in a matter of months. Once I dyed it the copper brown, my hair was cooked. I could feel and see the difference in it. I tried dying it back to a blue black hoping it would help, but nope. It was over. I had ruined the little hair I had left on my head. I was drained and irritated with myself. I regretted even cutting my hair off in the first place at this point. So, I did the only logical thing I could think to do. On September 14, 2016, I picked up a pair of scissors one night in my dorm room and I cut it all off again (yes my logic is illogical to most). I had a friend help me to clip off all the dead ends and only leave the little bit of new growth I had. My hair was completely gone. It took me awhile to get used to it and figure out how to style it. You could say I was oblivious to natural hair products and had no idea what to put in my hair. I wore it out for some months, but then I thought back to how quickly my hair grew back when I wore weaves. My hair was far too short to be braided for weave, so I discovered wigs. From then on it was history. From 2017 until 2018 I wore wigs religiously and my hair began to actually flourish.
Spring 2018 I decided to start embracing the mane. I started out in just puffs and buns because I still wasn’t quite comfortable with this new look. I hadn’t wore my natural hair since I was a child. This was foreign to me.
Finally summer 2018 (yes, this passed summer), I took the leap and began attempting to perfect a wash and go. I decided to fully embrace the natural life, and I must say it is the best decision I could have ever made.
The love I have for my natural hair now is beyond words. I’m no longer trying to fit into a certain box or fit a certain look. I’ve grown up around girls with loose curl patterns or just no curl patterns at all my entire life. They had silky hair, while I had kinkier more course hair and ever since I was a child I sought to have hair just like them; to not be different. I wanted to force my hair to be something that it wasn’t so bad to the point where I compromised its’ health repeatedly. Today I can say with the most sincerity that I am in love with my kinks and coils. I am in love with the course texture of my mane. I am in love with the volume and frizz. Even though it takes patience, I am in love with the hard work attached to my hair. I find pride in every strand. Every wash day is a labor of love. So I raise my spray bottle high and say cheers to two years. Cheers to a lifetime of self-love.