*Originally posted 1/23/2011 from original blog My Natural Hair Quest
Four months ago, I decided to stop relaxing my hair and go natural.
My reasons for doing this are many. I will share them with you as I embark on my ‘quest’ to achieve a full head of natural, healthy hair and to learn how best to maintain it.
I had been thinking about returning to natural hair for over a year now. When I finally decided, I was very encouraged to find a lot of support out here on the internet. Many women have gone before me and have successfully transitioned. I am proud to see how beautiful we can be with our own God-given attributes. This certainly helps to encourage others and I send many thanks to these women! I too hope to inspire, as I have been inspired.
First up is my hair-story. I am the fifth of six children, five girls, and one boy. My mom was a SAHM, but eventually had to raise us as a single mother. With having to go out and support the family, she could no longer press and curl all of our hair each week. By the time I turned 10, she gave me my first ‘kiddy kit’ relaxer. I hated how the chemicals burned my scalp so badly each time, even without any pre-scratching. Oh well, I suppose it got the job done. Looking back, I guess I cannot blame her. I now have four heads of hair to keep up with, including my own. I know exactly how she felt.
By the time I was 12, I wanted a Jheri curl so badly. Now, don’t even trip! Yall know it was all the rage back then! My hair had always been long and I knew I had to sacrifice my length to get a ‘curl’, so that is what I did. My first BC! All I remember from that experience was an initial sadness at losing my length. Then there was a great exhilaration because I actually ended up LOVING it short! By the time I got my first Jheri curl retouch three months later, I was sad again. My hair had grown so much that I had lost my short ‘do. It was an emotional roller coaster. A few years later, in high school, I eventually returned to the relaxer.
I have since sported a relaxer for almost thirty years, and have been able to achieve length and healthy hair (so I thoughtJ) during this time. I taught myself how to do just about anything to my hair that a stylist could. I have always maintained a longer length, even though I cut several inches off over the last year. This was not due to breakage; I would just get an itch to do something different. Now, I did experience some hair loss around my hairline post-partum times four. Throughout this time, interestingly, I continued to relax my hair without missing a beat.
Sixteen months ago after delivering my fourth child, the hair loss at my hairline was much worse than the previous three times. I was finally fed up. The more I thought about it the more it made sense to make a change. I thought about how I preferred wearing my hair full and curled most of the time to bone straight hair anyway. I hated the constant burning to my scalp from the chemicals; I always had. I accepted a dry & flaky scalp as the norm (by-product of chemical relaxers). No matter how often I shampooed or what products I used, I just could not get rid of it. I woke up one day and asked myself who was making me continue down that road? As an adult, I could make excuses or make a change. Here I am now.
Four months out from my last relaxer, I am in a full transition to natural hair. I am changing my thoughts and expectations while searching for answers to sustain my choice. I am not quite ready for the BC just yet. I will post pictures and maybe a video to share with you soon. Wish me luck!
Good Luck with your journey!!!!
Wishing you lots of love and luck on your journey!!!
Hey, come on over to CurlyNikki.com
where I am hosting a 6 month Grow out Challenge.
Lots of support and info and connections to the natural community!
Thanks for stopping by and your well wishes Ty and Kim! Kim, I’ll be sure to check out that Grow out challenge, I need all the support I can get! 🙂