I began transitioning my relaxed hair to natural at the end of 2013. I decided to go natural because I wanted Spencer to remain natural as long as possible and I needed to know how to care for her hair.
Since I was transitioning, I didn’t have to deal with my hair very much, outside of shampooing and conditioning between styles. Spencer’s hair had began growing considerably fast and I relied heavily on YouTube. My entire natural hair knowledge base began with YouTube. I honestly don’t think I would’ve been a successful naturalista without it.
I’ve always had a lot of hair. Very thick hair. That required extra attention to detail specifically because I chose to transition. The point at which natural hair meets relaxed hair is the most fragile. That is typically where most transitioners experience breakage. The comb would glide through the natural hair that had grown out and give me hell all throughout the remaining relaxed hair. I was averaging about two hours on detangling alone. One Friday night in September 2015, I stood in the mirror dreading having to go through the detangling process. So, I went and got a pair of scissors instead.
I cut off as much relaxed hair as I could see. I probably should’ve watched a YouTube video beforehand but I’m almost sure I would’ve lost my nerve before making it to the end. I wasn’t too concerned about messing my hair up because I knew I had endless protective styling options. The next day, I had a friend who had been natural for years, even my hair out. I had about two inches of hair once she was done.
Every now and then, mainly during a holiday or vacation, I would attempt do a twist out but for majority of another year, I went back and forth between wigs and crochet styles.
In October 2016, I had my hair professionally cut and it’s been on and poppin’ ever since!
If there’s one thing I regretted about my transition process, it would be relaxing my leave out every time I got a sew-in. This made blending my hair in the front with the back very difficult. The front half of my hair was considerably shorter than the back, which prevented me from wearing my hair in certain styles. My hair has since grown out, but there is still an obvious difference in length between the front and the back.
Being natural requires a considerable amount of time in the mirror. It forced me to deal with the fact that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the person looking back at me. I credit my self-care journey to going natural. What started out as critique sessions turned into full on personal pep rallies. Now, I have certain aspects of self-care built into my hair routine. That time is both sacred and essential.
I love being natural. Never say never, but I can’t imagine myself getting a relaxer again. One of my most favorite things about being natural is versatility. I like having the freedom to straighten my hair when I want to switch it up.
Let me know why you chose to go natural or what your favorite aspect of being natural is in the comments.
Love you, mean it.