I always say that going natural for me wasn’t a conscious effort, rather it was enforced on me!! But….it was the best thing that could have happened!! Why you my ask?? Well, lets start from the beginning….
I chose to relax my hair at the grand old age of 18!! The reason I relaxed my hair, and the only reason I relaxed my hair was to prevent it from sweating out after being outside for longer than 5 minutes. No matter what style I would wear, my hair would revert to its natural state. My hair was just doing what my hair was suppose to do, it wasn’t suppose to be straight with no kinks, curls etc so it was only doing what came natural to it!!. Of course you don’t understand this and you try to go against type e.g insert here…’relaxer’
My hair initially did quite well with a relaxer, but I wasn’t educated in how to take care of my relaxed hair so i would constantly use hot plates and blow dryers on it, not realising the damage this would cause…what? no one told me!! I abused my poor hair for a good 10 years before it finally gave up the fight. Oh I forgot to add, I would also color the hell out of my hair with rinses, semi permanents etc. I remember one year going on holiday to Ayia Napa and tonging my hair everyday to have lovely ringlets, this was on top of the scorching heat. Funny thing is, even though I relaxed my hair, I rarely wore it straight, I would always wear it curly. I’ve always loved ‘big hair’ and always will. Anyway, I digress…….
It was just after getting back from Ayia Napa that I noticed the breakage,and it wasn’t pretty…. and after that started, there was no stopping it!! Horrible wispy dry hair was now what I had in place of my once luscious long hair……I tried the protein treatments etc but my hair wasn’t having it, it had been abused one time too many…poor ting. So there was nothing else for it, I had to chop it off!…..
Well maybe I wasn’t that drastic about it….come on, bald head wouldn’t suit me, my features are not conducive to short hair…ha ha.. I decided to wear a weave and every time I re-weaved (is that a word?), I would cut more and more until it was approximately 5 inches?? Considering I was between maybe APL and BSL, that was a lot that had to go. I didn’t know that what I was effectively doing was transitioning, I just knew I had to put my hair away for a bit. That ‘bit’ turned into approximately 7 yrs of wearing weaves and i’m talking continuously….of course what this did was thin my hair. I had hair down to my waist but it was thin. One weekend, I decided to take my weave out myself and wash and treat my hair as I was due to get it re-weaved (there’s that word again) on the Monday. So i took the weave out and low and behold what I saw swore me off weaves for life!! Where I had continuously wore the same parting, I saw the biggest bald patch in my hair! actually it wasn’t a patch, it was a landslide…(one day if i’m brave enough, I may post said picture). I couldn’t believe that not once had my ‘hairdresser/s’ and I use the term loosely, not once had they advised me to stop wearing my parting on the same side otherwise I risked getting traction alopecia (self diagnosis). That was the last time I put weave in my head!! (fast forward 3 years and I wore a weave as a protective style with some luscious Virgin Brazillian curly hair).
How I’ve adapted to Natural hair? I think that’s a story for another day….