Dear Sista Friend,
So last year I FINALLY decided to embark on my natural hair journey. It took me literally years to come to this decision. I went back and forth for a while for various reasons. “What will people think?” “I don’t want short hair.” “What if I can’t do it.” I got my last relaxer on November 14, 2014, TEN months ago today! Check out my #NaturalHairJourney introductory video here.
This process has been such a big deal for me because I was TRULY addicted to that creamy crack y’all. Like a fein. Every eight weeks like clockwork, for over 12 years.
I do miss my length sometimes but I am seriously loving my progress so far and I have definitely become a #ProductJunkie. It’s bad y’all. I’m sure I have enough products to last me a good year Lol Smh. Some of my favorite brands are Shea Moisture, Design Essentials, and Creme of Nature. Dealing with these two textures drives me absolutely crazy. Sometimes I just want to chop the relaxed ends off because I get so excited when I feel/see my curls coming in. But I’m not that brave! Lol In June, I cut a little patch in the back so I can measure growth and see the true curl pattern. I now have about five or so inches of new growth. It’s very exciting!
The first few months….
When I went home for Christmas break I spoke with my God-mother and long-time beautician about my decision. Some of her professional advice:
- Because my hair was so long I should get at least two inches of my hair cut to prevent as much breakage as possible but we knew there would be some (Disclaimer: My hair was already a lot shorter than in the pictures above)
- Recommended getting my ends trimmed every six-eight weeks
- Continue going to the beauty shop somewhat regularly for a while (for trims and to make sure the breakage isn’t out of hand/I’m taking good care of it)
So I got two inches cut. (AAHH!!!) This was all extremely helpful advice for me because not only was I new to this journey but I was also learning how to do my own hair (I’d ALWAYS gone to the beauty shop faithfully every two weeks). I have come a MIGHTY long way in such a short time. I actually enjoy #washdays (most of the time). I even did my own Marley Twists a couple months ago and they turned out pretty decent too! (*pats self on the back*) I think it’s extremely important to do what’s best for YOU and what you’re comfortable with. It will definitely help ease your transition. I knew I could not handle a big chop. I’ve always had very long hair so that wasn’t an option for me.
In the beginning when I first started doing twist outs and braid outs I felt like a natural hair fraud because ZERO PERCENT of my hair was natural at that point. Lol But people liked and complimented my hair. A few friends commented on a picture of my braid out saying, “Love the curls!” And sadly I IMMEDIATELY thought, “they’re not ACTUAL curls.” Smh. On the other hand, in the first two months, when my hair was straight I felt “uncommitted” or somewhat of a fraud to my journey. Someone even asked me, “Did you give up on your natural hair journey?” -_____- Of course I had to try to explain to them the magic of Black hair.
What I’ve learned so far….
The natural hair journey is about soooo much more than hair. I already see my mindset changing and I recognize (most of the time) when I’m being hard on myself for no reason. These beauty norms are so ingrained in us we don’t even realize it. (However, now all of sudden folks want to appropriate what they’ve told us was ugly all these years. But that’s another story for another day.) The journey is about becoming the best you, you can be! Getting in touch with who you truly are and loving everything about you, flaws and all.
So this post is dedicated to all my transitioners out there. Because it seems like you’re either relaxed or you’re natural. So where do we fit in the sequence? How do we balance both? Do we wear our hair straight or curly? Well I’m here to say, “DO WHAT YOU WANT TO DO!” At the end of the day the only person’s opinion that matters is yours (and God but I’m sure he has more important things to worry about than how you choose to wear your hair everyday). Do what makes you happy. If you want to wear it straight, do it. If you want box braids, do it. If you want a sexy up-do, do it. DO YOU!
One thing I’m still struggling with is PATIENCE. Remembering that it is a process. Not rushing it. Embracing every moment of it. Unruly edges and all! 🙂
Your Sista Friend,