What Are You Doing With Your Hair?
The super effing annoying question every naturalista gets asked when she decides to go natural (in addition to “Can I touch it?”) *rolls eyes.* I began my natural hair journey, nine years ago after getting permanent relaxers, aka “perms” (#JustForMe brand lol!) since about the age of six or so (on one of my grade school pictures I had a fresh perm, click-clacks, a green silk shirt, gold dolphin hoops, and a gold herring bone necklace. #Hood90’sParents). I grew up in an area where no one I knew rocked natural hair; I mean nobody. I got a relaxer every twelve weeks and went to the salon every two weeks, starting in middle school, for my “wash and set.” In 2005 I started dyeing (bleaching) parts of my hair and I rocked blonde, copper, and honey highlighted hair on a constant rotation. Although it never grew past my collar bone, I absolutely loved my hair and women told me how pretty and shiny it was all the time. And it was. At first.
In addition to the bleach and steady flat ironing, I was still getting relaxers. No problem, right? Until a 2008 Spring day; yes, I remember the day. I went to the salon asking for my usual highlights and my beautician assured me “Yeah girl, sit down, I got you!” I came out with nearly my entire head bleach blonde!
At first I tried to like it, I told myself the brightness would calm down, but then…honey, you wanna talk about dry? Tuh! My hair was so dry it was tragic. The shine and luster were GONE. Because, see, relaxers and bleach both break down the polypeptides in your hair and you kind of like need those.
Enter my Godmother, Dennie. She told me she had started going to this new beautician who did “natural hair.” In my head I was all “Natural hair? WTF? Who does that? People don’t have natural hair where I’m from.” (Note: Natural hair on this site will always be defined as: Individuals who have made the decision to stop using permanent relaxers and chemicals to straighten their natural, God-given, textured hair. This is important to note because in recent years attempts have been made to hijack the term “natural hair.” But not around here, baby.)
Anyway! My Godmother persisted that I give this “natural” thing a try, made me an appointment, and basically changed my life, lol. I started seeing her natural hair stylist and became, like all other new naturals- obsessed with youtube. I followed my first hair crush and then my second and basically did everything they did, lol. Since going natural my hair is healthier, longer, and my strands are much silkier when I straighten it (yes, it’s silkier WITHOUT relaxers).
Although I have been natural for a while now, I still like to try new products and I’m still working on maintaining a regular routine with my crazy work schedule. Wash days are long and my hair isn’t perfect, but going natural was the healthiest thing I’ve ever did for my hair.