I remember growing up, my grandma would always put relaxers in my hair for me. I loved it. My hair was easier to maintain and straight, which is what I thought was beautiful. I always dreamed of it growing down my back and being at least waist length. (A girl can dream, right?)
As an adult, I started to watch YouTube videos about how to grow your relaxed hair long because mine never seemed to be growing as much as I’d hoped. I tried different products and styles, but ultimately was never completely satisfied. My hair still never bounced like a person who who wasn’t of color unless I applied crazy amounts of heat (which could easily have damaged my hair in the long run). It honestly frustrated me because I just wanted my hair to flow nicely in the wind without having to try so hard. I even wished that my dad was a different race so that I could at least have had more of a shot at having “nice hair”. I hated it.
It started to change in the summer of 2015. I started to get fascinated with natural hair. I thought of the pros and cons. To be honest, at that point, I had no idea what my natural hair texture was even like. My hair was relaxed since I was a child. My grandma told me it would be super nappy like hers (she wasn’t lyin’ either), but I appreciated her “good luck”. I thought I would just try it because I could always relax my hair if I didn’t like it. Little did I know what I was getting myself into, though.
I originally decided to transition slowly into relaxed hair by letting it grow out so I at least had a few inches of natural hair before cutting off the relaxed hair. Let’s just say, I got impatient. My hair got harder and harder to manage with the two textures. I made an appointment at a hair salon and scheduled my big chop for September 8th, 2015. I had less than an inch of hair on my head. And guess what?! It was the first time I felt CONFIDENT. Better believe I was workin’ my TWA (teenie weenie afro). And besides, I was finally experiencing the hair the Lord blessed me with.
But – it got harder and harder as my hair grew. At first I got excited to see my microscopic curls that caused shrinkage to the extreme because it was easy to maintain. All I had to do when I had to get ready was apply moisturizer or water and leave. It was THAT SIMPLE. However, as my naps grew, it was harder to maintain. It would literally take an entire day to wash my hair, detangle it, and style it. I started to hate it again. Why couldn’t I just have hair like a person who wasn’t of color so that I could just get on with my life?!?! All I wanted to do was wear cute natural hairstyles but I no longer even wanted to put in the work. It got to the point where I would just put it in twists and leave them in as long as possible. I wouldn’t really take care of it. I kind of gave up on finding products that my hair actually responded to. It was exhausting. I really have no idea how there is still hair on my head.
Until yesterday, that is. I remember when I first went natural, I decided that I wouldn’t get extensions or anything like that because I just wanted to wear my hair completely natural. That changed clearly. Over the past few weeks, I thought of ways to wear my hair where I didn’t have to do much to it so I decided to get faux locs that I plan on keeping in until about two weeks before my wedding. My stylist is awesome. But, I realized just how much I wasn’t taking care of my hair when she combed it out because of how tangled it was. Y’ALL. First of all, ya girl is TENDER HEADED. This experience was painful. As she yanked out all the tangles from the roots, I couldn’t help but regret how much I wasn’t showing my hair any love. I want to change. Plus, I have a lot of hair to learn to love. It was completely straightened, but when it was blown out, it was just above bra strap length. YASSSS!
The next couple of months as I have this protective style in, I really want to figure out ways to take better care of my hair and learn to love it completely. I’ll be keeping track of my progress and sharing the tips I learn along the way on the blog! So stay tuned. 🙂