After a pretty “life changing” vacation to Negril, Jamaica 6 years ago, I decided to grow out my relaxer and go natural! My Aunt, Sister and I were swimming in the beautiful clear green-blue water mindinggg our own business when this white man with long big blonde curls came up to me and my sister. He told us how he was a celebrity hairdresser and loves curly hair but he basically said that ours were a hot mess, ha! He was very blunt—but that’s exactly the push we needed. Right when my sister got home she decided to start growing her relaxer out—and I followed her 6 months after. I stopped getting relaxers and let my hair grow out long enough for me to feel comfortable to cut it.
In May 2007, I did the big chop! And it was the start of my natural hair journey. Butttt it was not easy. I was used to having long straight, tamed hair, and instead I now had a short, curly, frizzy afro. People would be like “ooohhhh so you cut your hairrrr,” (that’s what people say instead of “your new hair looks nice” lol). Others would crack jokes about my afro, call me Macy Gray and say all types of other stuff making me really insecure about it. Plus going natural wasn’t nearly as popular as it is now. So it wasn’t “in” and I didn’t have a lot of support or anyone to encourage me. To hide my curls I would slick them back in a short ponytail and when it got cool enough I straightened it. Also back then I didn’t know about getting weaves so that I could still have long hair while it grew, or about protecting it so that it COULD grow without damaging it, and all the dos and don’ts of natural hair.
It took almost two years for me to embrace my hair and start to love it. I realized that it truly is beautiful! But even when I came to this realization, I still had SO much to learn ! I damaged it by dying it a million times and I was even blonde at one point! I also flat ironed it often, causing heat damage. It really wasn’t until a year and a half ago that I started to truly learn my hair and take care of it. I dyed it black, stopped straightening it AS much (I still straighten it but not as often and I am very careful when I do) and a whole bunch of other things that I’ll write about later on.
So here are a few photos from over the years:
About 2 years ago with blonde hair! My hair was sooo dry and unhealthy! You can see how straggly and undefined my curls were.
A few months later (2 years ago). I cut off the dead ends & died it black. It was shorter but on the road to recovery.
My hair today. Recovered, healthy, fuller and long! The curls are much more defined and bouncy :)
So I say all of this to encourage and help you! It might take time, but you can LOVE and ENJOY your beautiful natural curls. I hope that what I’ve learned and STILL am learning will help you whether you are just starting your journey or if you have been natural for years! You really can never stop learning about natural hair—there’s so much to do with it and so much to know—that’s the beauty of it!
Until next time,