Well every natural hair journey has a beginning (and hopefully no end but as my brother says life happens and then you die). This is my story of when I became natural and how I discovered how to have healthy natural hair.
I first big chopped (BC’d) my hair on 1Jan 2008 and rocked my teeny weeny afro (aka TWA) until I relaxed my hair in June 2009 to install yaki braids #Fail. Then in Nov 2009 I had my last relaxer just before a photoshoot on the beach (that found me a husband – more on that on another day, lol!). Anyways I got over the short thin raggedy straight haired look as soon as I started dating my husband back in Jan 2010 but I waited until I had some “growth” to big chop again in April 2010. Since then I’ve never turned back to chemicals (which makes me natural for just under 5 years, yay!)
Fast forward to the middle of 2011 and I got bored of my ‘fro coupled with my receding hairline (a.k.a injibs) so after MPL medicated oil failed to help I opted to be like my mom and get dreadlocks to save my hair. That was great for the first 4 months until I realised that all the pulling and styling they were doing at the salon I was going to was sabotaging my hairline even more! So by the time December rolled around I had to install fake dreads on top of my own to look presentable for a friend’s wedding AND my graduation. I really really liked that look, it reminded me of Noluntu on Generations and I probably would do it again, except on a head of healthy hair.
I kept my own dread locks in until April 2012 secretly hoping that they would miraculously come back to life under the weave that I put them in but alas that was not the case. So one fateful afternoon I went to a barber to cut off all the dead ends so I could start a fresh. I say fateful because there was some serious miscommunication and I walked out that barber shop without a strand of hair on my head. Nothing! A week before thee most important job interview for me at the time! I was soooo furious but there was absolutely nothing I could do so I went to town and bought myself some hoop earrings and sunglasses to rock the look as best as I could. I did end up getting the job by the way. I decided to dye my hair Auburn in winter (June /July) and my regime then was shampoo every other day and apply dark n lovely every other week (eeek I know!)
I rocked my TWA that year and for my wedding in December 2012 I installed some twists and styled them up in a Mohawk inspired style.
Come 2013 life went on and my hair was acting a fool so it was wrapped up in a head scarf 99% of the time until I stumbled upon Aisha’s hair blog My ‘fro And I quite by chance in May 2013. For the first time in my life I learnt about my hair and how to take care of it and that it actually can grow!
All my life up until that point I’d held strong beliefs about hair care that led to me (and every other black girl and woman I knew) never growing hair past my shoulders and on top of that I only had a memory of a hairline but boy did I rock that nonetheless! LOL…
I’d always believed that:
1) Water is a black girl’s hair’s worst enemy
2) If you wash your hair more than once a month it will break
3) You need to suffer for beauty (heard this mantra everywhere, my earliest memory is when I got my first set of braids at 6 and it hurt so much! )
4) If I use Dark and Lovely maybe one day my hair will look like the girl on the box
Needless to say none of those beliefs helped me one bit and all of them actually worked together to kill my hair
But Thank the good Lord I ran across Aisha’s blog and did a 180 turn…
I spend months pouring over hers and other natural hair blogs (listed below) and youtube videos and the amount of info I learnt was incredible. I changed my ways and tried to rescue my hair, I got my hairline back but my ends had been through hell and back so I decided to BC again on the 31st Dec 2013 to start on a clean slate.
After my 31st Dec 2013 Big Chop
I’m still learning and as part of my learning process I want to share with you guys what I know and learn from you too.
My turning point in May 2013 – Photographer Pamela McGinty