It is always so enlightening and heart-warming to see the many reasons women decide to move away from relaxing their hair. One past giveaway allowed many of our readers to share, and I gladly share their reasons with you, to serve as inspiration and motivations to those among us contemplating the decision, and who may have some of the same stories waiting to be told!
I went natural on March 2nd of this year. I went natural after having a perm since I was 11yrs old for various reasons (I am 33 yrs old now). I was tried of hair stylists taking advantage of me, of my time and money. I was tired of being so dependent on their availability and their knowledge of MY hair. I wanted to know what my real texture and curl pattern was, especially after having my sons and seeing their hair. I wanted to be natural so my sons could that “oh mom has curls like me.” I want them to appreciate black women’s hair without a perm and see it’s beauty (we live in a predominately white neighborhood). I wanted the freedom to be creative with my hair.
Thanks for reading. Love your blog.
I decided to go natural in July 2008. I had been wanting to since maybe 2005 when I graduated from college, but I of course was much too afraid since I had been getting permed (I had a wave nouveau, sort of like a jheri curl but less soul-glo curly, but still drippy!) since I was 12. My two older sisters were also permed and in a way, it seemed to do wonders for our hair. I noticed that all through elementary school, my hair never really grew. It always hovered around neck/shoulder length when my mom would press it, but once I started getting permed, it gradually grew longer and longer. It peaked when I was in the 10th grade in high school. My hair had actually gotten APL, and I was heading towards BSL I think. I was so proud of my hair and everyone gave me compliments and asked me what I was “mixed with.” When I started working at the bank, customers would tell me I looked “different” and would often ask me what country I was from. I laughed and told them I was black, and that was my hair, no wigs, hair pieces, etc.
But, with chemicals, it seems that long luxurious hair wouldn’t stay. In my junior year of high school, I started noticing my hair falling out, breaking, shedding, much more than normal. I think this might have been because my stylist was getting lazy/greedy, and scheduled too many customers at once. She left the creamy straightening product on my scalp too long one time, and it literally burned. I had to ask her to rinse it out because it burned so badly. When I went back to school that year to take my pictures, I noticed a significant amount of hair loss between my pictures from just the year before. I had lost maybe a good 5-6 inches of hair. My ends starting looking wispy and delicate. I had much thinner ends, and I had no idea how to nurse my hair back to health.
I eventually stopped going to her once I started college, and the new stylist I went to began encouraging me to go natural. So, over the next few years I thought hard about it. When I finally did it, I transitioned using cornrows. By then I was in my 2nd year of grad school, and my classmates all told me they loved my hair in them. My family and friends who’d known me for years were a bit more skeptical about it, but I didn’t care. I knew it was time to change, because my hair was done growing it seemed, with the perm. I transitioned for 5 months total, and used a wig in the last month. It just seemed so ridiculous to me, that I would continue to hold on to dead hair that was lifeless and fried to oblivion, so on December 6, 2008, I got the scissors and BC’ed. My oldest sister got a lot of pictures of me with my “fro”, and everyone had a grand old time laughing at how “crazy” my hair looked, but I was like, it’s a start.
So over the next 6 months, I wore kinky twists that I did myself from tutorials on youtube. I have to say, when I finally started wearing my hair OUT on it’s own, that was when I truly felt free to be natural. I love it now, knowing that I am fully equipped to take care of my OWN hair, and not shovel out money for someone to kill my hair every two months with chemicals. My hair is now as long as it was if not longer than it was when I first started transitioning, and my hair is 10x thicker and fuller it seems. I am now getting so many compliments left and right, and it’s MY hair in it’s natural state! Sure with the perm, it was my own hair, but it was chemically altered. At the time, I didn’t tell other people that. I just let them think it was naturally that wavy. But I was buying into the lie. My hair doesn’t naturally do that, except in the back. My nape area back there is 3c, so when I was BCing, I ended up cutting off more in the back than I needed to, because all my life I never realized what a loose curl pattern I have back there! When I finally realized I was cutting my natural hair and not the perm, I felt so silly! lol.
So now, I embrace all the textures of my hair. And trust me it spans from 3c all the way to 4b! There are some parts that shrink 5 inches, and other parts that hang so loose, I’m afraid to henna too often because that part of my hair gets so loosened almost to a wave. It’s crazy, it’s weird, but it’s all mine and I love it for what it is!
Thanks for your blog! I hope I win this contest!