A couple of years ago, whenever I saw “them” wherever, somewhere at the back of my mind I used to think to myself, “she must be eccentric, she wants to amplify her individuality…well, good for her!” and then just simply walk on by. More often than not, our ideologies on any subject are form based on the earliest influence(s) on us as it relates to that subject matter.
I grew up accepting without questions that what sprouts out of the hair follicles on the scalp of a black woman required intermittent “conjugation” with a relaxer in order to bring forth a socially acceptable and conformed “offspring” – straight tamed hair. I found it an act of deviance when I see a black woman with her hair in its natural state. Our hair isn’t meant to stay in its natural state I’d think and say to myself! Jeez..the depth of my ignorance on this matter was bottomless!!!
Little did I know! I had basked in ignorance for so so long! I was so clueless and didn’t know anything about a part of me that is so integral and true to the very essence of my beauty & being. With people becoming more conscious about their health and taking responsibility for it, I started looking at things I could change in my lifestyle. Going natural wasn’t a “join the movement” thingy for me. I went natural for the following reasons;
- First of, I realized the chemicals in the relaxers I put on my hair and scalp every now and again have been proven to contain poisonous substances that are harmful to me. (I will be dedicating a post to this in the future)
- Secondly, there is actually nothing wrong with the curly, coily, kinky strands that grow out of my scalp, contrary to the fundamental understanding I was cocooned in. My natural hair is not defective!
- Thirdly, curiosity got the better part of me. I became super interested in experiencing my hair in its natural state…seeing that I hadn’t seen my hair in its natural state in over 20 years!
Going forward, I knew I had to address this ignorance about my kind of hair texture if I must go through this journey with minimal frustration. I was totally clueless about how to deal with my hair nonetheless I stayed determined! I was at peace with myself and my decision. Google became my friend and I got engaged to YouTube! My gaze was set on a new horizon so much so I almost suffered a chronic case of information overload! I came alive and was ready for my journey after 6 months post-relaxer.
I get asked a lot of questions about growing and maintaining the natural hair. Here is my disclaimer – I am no expert neither am I pretending to be one. Everything I would be sharing about going natural and staying natural would be based on my personal experiences and observations.
One of the basics keeping me steady on this journey is accepting that our natural hair is diverse, individual and unique by nature. I learn something new everyday about my hair in its natural state and I am loving the entire experience.
I will be sharing my hair journey from hence forth on this blog so it can serve as a reference point and a resource for all the people who keep ask me many questions about my hair regimen and more.
It’s been 18 months since I last applied a relaxer on my hair and to be honest I do not miss it! Goodness….that “creamy crack” burned the living daylight out of my scalp for years and I thought that was the ONLY way to go. Anyways, now I know better. During the course of my research, I learned new terminologies and jargon peculiar to the natural hair community. “Creamy crack” as used above is a term used to describe or refer to a relaxer.
The term “Big chop” is another one used to describe the act of getting rid of your perms or simply chopping off your hair to the roots! After I had my last relax in April of 2013, I pretty much knew I was ready. To be honest, that was the second “last relaxer” episode. The first was November of 2012 which I though was going to be the last but it wasn’t! I thought I was ready…apparently not! I was still clueless with what to do and how to handle the new growth beneath my perms so in frustration I succumbed to the dreadful beckoning of the creamy crack
Last September made it a year since I did the big chop and amazingly the growth I have experienced has been phenomenal. In later posts, I will be sharing my hair regimen that keeps evolving…lol!
Peace & Love!
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