Happy New Year !!!
We made it to 2018! Thank you God because so many people were not given that opportunity.
I did a poll on my Instagram story and most of you guys voted that my first blog of the new year be about natural hair. My first blog of the new year will be about my natural hair.
So here goes …
Growing up I always had alot of hair, but I was used to being told it was nappy by family members and friends. Although they were only jokes, I hated the idea of having nappy hair. My mom only allowed me to get my hair straighten on special occasions so most times it was in braids or twists. I hated getting my hair combed because it was an ALL DAY process. Sunday was always hair day. Hair day consisted of getting my hair washed, conditioned, combed out, platted, blow dried, and french braided or twisted.
Well 9th grade year I decided I wanted a relaxer. I always wanted long and straight like my mom. She had a relaxer. I was tired of wearing braids, twist, barrettes and knockers. My hair isn’t very thick so it barely held a press or flat iron. The rare times I was allowed to get my hair pressed, it would sweat out the same night. No matter how much I begged my mom refused to let me get a relaxer.
On my 14th birthday, I used my birthday money to pay for my first relaxer. I never was one to take “no” for an answer and I always found a way to make things happen. My mom wasn’t happy at all but she knew I would have to learn the hard way. I was sooooo happy with my new straight hair! I felt so grown up. LOL Everything was going great until the breakage start happening.
My first hair cut was in 10th grade due to breakage so my hairstylist cut my hair into a bob. I also asked her to add a burgundy red color. Something else my mom wasn’t happy about but I talked my mom into letting me get a semi-permanent cellophane hair color. The hairstylist told us the cellophane doesn’t damage the hair as much as permanent hair color. The downside to semi-permanent hair color was that the red dye bled onto all my pillowcases, shirts, hats, scarves, jackets, sweaters, and bed sheets.
That first hair cut and color was the birth of so many more hairstyles for me. After that, every year I’d cut my hair shorter and would try many more hair colors. The summer before my Senior year of high school I decided I wanted to cut my hair off and into the same haircut Rihanna wore in her ‘Take A Bow’ music video. Once I got my pixie cut you couldn’t tell me nothing. LOL
My sophomore year of college I shaved my sides. I was inspired by Kelis. At the time, my mom was no longer paying for me to go to the hair salon so I start experimenting with doing my own hair. I was using over the counter box relaxers and box permanent dye. I was not worried about the health of my hair as long as it looked cute. I would also glue in hair extensions to achieve different lengths. I realized the back of my hair was very dry and brittle, the middle of my hair was broken off, and overall my hair was thin.
Toward the end of my junior year of college, I became a hair model. I traveled to Los Angeles to model in a hair convention with one of the top hair salons in Sacramento. This is where my hair was introduced to bleach. I am thankful for the opportunities and exposure I got from hair modeling but it was detrimental to my hair. My hair was bleached multiple times in one day. The hairstylists also relaxed my hair after bleaching it. My hair was literally fried. I remember just touching my hair and a patch of it coming out. This was the scariest hair experience of my life. Everyone loved the end result. The platinum blonde was pretty fly but it wasn’t worth the scabs, bald spots and paper thin hair.
Needless to say, after that experience I cut my hair completely off. There was no use in trying to revive it, I had to start over. But I was still faithfully getting my hair relaxed and getting more natural hair colors like light browns or black.
After impatiently growing my pixie cut back and sticking to the natural hair colors, I got bored. You would think after that horrific bleaching experience I would’ve had enough of damaging my hair right? WRONG. For the next two years not only did I continue to be a hair model but I was consistently coloring, cutting, giving myself box texturizers, box relaxers, braiding, highlighting, flat ironing, and doing everything else to my hair. I LOVE every hairstyle but still I had little to no concern about the health of my hair.
So finally after years of cuts and colors I am ready to grow my hair out, forreal this time. At the end of 2016, I told myself if I was actually going to grow my hair out I had to do it with no relaxers. Part of the reason why is because living back in the Bay Area I am too broke to get my hair done at the hair salon every other week. LOL I am no longer a hair model which means I would have to start paying full price to get my hair done regularly. 😐 But the main reason I decided to go natural is because I noticed how thin my hair was due to heat damage, coloring, and relaxers. I did not want to grow my hair out only to be forced to cut it again because of breakage. If I’m going to actually grow it out, I want my hair to be healthy.
I did not choose to do the big chop this time instead I transitioned to natural. In the beginning of this process I stopped getting relaxers but I was still flat ironing my hair. This was burning my hair out bad. I was using twice the amount of heat on my roots to try to make them blend with my relaxed ends. This was defeating the purpose of going natural. Major deep conditioning and oil treatments brought my curly roots back. I was taking hair pills to help strengthen my damaged hair. Now I had a small afro under my relaxed hair and I honestly had no idea what to do with it.
My friend Keela (@keelahairco on ig) made my first custom wig and I wore it for the first time on New Year’s eve of 2017. I wore this wig for the first 2 months of 2017. I would deep condition, moisturize, and braid my hair underneath my wig cap. I saw my grandma do this when she transitioned to natural. And it was a great way to allow my hair to grow without messing with it too much. I was able to change my look without damaging my hair. I was also able to go on job interviews without being prejudged for my hair.
For the next few months protective styling became my best friend. I am always on the go and my hair was really fragile while I was transitioning to natural so the least I touched it the better. I never leave my hair up for more than 3 or 4 weeks. I learned to braid my own hair extentions to save time and money. Because I braid my own hair I don’t make the braids too tight in order to protect my edges and avoid breakage. For the more complicated protective styles, I’ve had my cousin Dalvanay (@slayedbydalvi on ig) do my french braids, my friend Zyah (@locsbyzyah on ig) do my faux locs and my friend Chaunci (@whoischauncilanise on ig) do my twists. Keeping my braids or twist moisturized and clean is a must. Some naturals aren’t fans of protective styles but for me personally braids are more convenient for my hectic schedule.
I tried buying wigs at the beauty supply stores and although they weren’t horrible they didn’t last long. I was over them fast. The wig you see in the photos below I wore to interview for the job I have now. LOL I took a break from my protective styles and my afros because I knew to get hired at a Law Firm I had to look the part. R.I.P to that wig about a month after gaining my position I went back to my protective styles. LOL
The video below is from June of 2017 a few months after I stop using chemicals and heat in my hair. My curls and new growth was thriving. I still had alot of straight ends that needed to be cut but for the most part I was happy with my progress.
Here are more photos from June. You can see that my hair was majority grown out but still had some straight ends. I actually had to clip back my sides because they were still really straight.
September of 2017 I went to the hair salon and got my hair straightened and cut for the first time in a long time. Amber, the hairstylist better known as Charli Marie on Facebook and @charli_mariee on Instagram, cut all my dead and relaxed ends off!! I am officially 100% natural!
It has been a little over a year since I start transitioning to natural hair. Since my straight ends have been cut, I have embraced my afro even more. I still wear protective styles mostly due to my schedule and while I am figuring out different products and styles. Just like with my short haircuts, I have to give myself time to find my rhythm and what works best for me. I am not a hairstylist nor do I plan on giving you guys tips on how to get the perfect fro. My journey is about learning and embracing my hair texture in order to grow healthy hair. I plan on blogging my process. I am excited to share my products and stories with all of you!! Let me know some products or styles that has worked best for you. I love following natural bloggers so send some my way 😁
Thanks for reading. Until next time guys …