On being #teamnatural...

July 19, 2016

In 2012, I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair. For those not aware, relaxing is chemically straightening your natural hair, so it is free from its curls and coils. For many people, especially those with small children, it makes styling and caring for hair much much easier. However, I stopped this because I watched a video on Youtube of a woman who went to get her hair relaxed, only for it to go horribly wrong and fall out...

At this time, the natural hair community was gaining momentum, and it has now grown into a community where women (and men) all share tips and offer each other encouragement. When I stopped relaxing my hair, I felt a sense of excitement; I was taking charge of my own hair and deciding to do what was best for myself. I was going to go "back to the way God made me" (as many naturals like to say), and I was going to make sure I enjoyed it.

Four years on, I can still say transitioning to natural was the best decision I made for myself. I had been getting relaxers since I was maybe 9 or 10, and stopping when I was 15 made my hair grow even healthier. (This is not to say you can't have healthy relaxed hair! There are many naturals with very very unhealthy hair). 

When I transitioned, I went out of my way to buy as many products labelled "natural" as I possibly could. First rule of transitioning: do not become a product junkie! I bought and bought until I firmly knew what I needed for my own hair. After this came actually styling the hair. I wore my hair in braids for most of the time, and I have just now started introducing weaves and crochet braids into my protective styles. My hair is free to curl, straighten, wear in up-do's, or just wear out if I wish, unlike when my hair was relaxed and I could only wear it down in fear of getting heat damage.

It wasn't easy to go from having long hair, to feeling like it wasn't growing anymore. But, I hold firmly the belief that, for me, transitioning to natural was the best decision. Having an aunt that sends me natural hair products also helps with this change, as she lives in the US and sends me all the products I wish for.

There are some days where I wish I could relax my hair and not have to deal with it as much. There are definitely days where it feels as though caring for my hair is a 9 - 5 job, and wash days are just that - whole days of just washing hair! But despite this, I am 100% happy with the decision I made four years ago, and I only look forward to what I can do with my hair next.

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