My Hair Story & First Blog Post!

Roller Set

Roller Set

*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!

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