From Relaxed to Natural Curly Hair
I figured I would put up some information about my Hair Journey from Relaxed to Natural Curly. Hold onto your seats people… it will be a long one! First, once again I am not try to bash Relaxers/ Hair Dyes or anyone who uses them. As I said in my first post, there are ladies who are able to take care of their Relaxed and/or Dyed hair. It just did not happen with me.
I should start at the beginning. As as child, my parents would style my hair in a lovely Afro (yes even my father would…he loved doing it!). I had my hair in its ‘natural’ state up until I was about 14. That’s when I started to beg my mother to Relax my hair. I had several reasons as to why I thought I wanted it done 1. I thought if I had it ‘straight’ it would be easier for me to manage by myself because by then I was of course doing my own hair and I was having hard time with it. 2. All of my friends had straight hair. They seemed to jump out the pool/ shower/ wake up etc with hair that look like they left the Hair Dresser and I wanted that too. 3. I just did not know how to take care of my hair. After begging for what seemed like forever, my mum gave in (with A LOT of dread). My younger sister also followed into the Relaxer Journey eventually. And so began my Relaxed Hair Journey.
After I got my hair Relaxed it still did not do/look the way I wanted/expected. I think I went into that Journey with this misconception that the Relaxer would be like magic and I would have flowy straight healthy hair and all I needed was the Relaxer…little did I know that if I wanted HEALTHY hair I would actually have to do something to make & keep it healthy. My hair just got thin and brittle. It also seemed to look ‘lifeless’ so I would scrunch it with products to try and give it ‘body’.
Following my leap into Relaxed hair came Hair Dyes. I would Relax my hair and then after a few weeks Dye my hair. My mum would Relax my new growth and then I would re-dye my new growth and on and on went the cycle. I went through all sorts of colors ranging from light brown to dark but because I was using chemical on top of chemical my hair would sometimes end up…I do not know… an orangey/coppery/brown?
Due to my overuse of chemicals and lack of proper care/ pampering/ moisture/ protection etc. My ends would eventually break off. Sometimes just the very ends and other times more. So I would have different lengths of hair throughout…some people would think I ‘cut’ my hair when it fact they were just breaking off. Even with the breakage I continued to get my hair Relaxed and would Re-dye it back dark when I got sick of the odd orangey/coppery/brown color. I sometimes would also blow-dry my hair and I had this really bad “flat iron” that did not have a setting option (it just went to piping hot). Overall, I just had damaged dry, brittle, weak, fine and at times strangely colored hair.
I went through this cycle until 2009. By then, I was tired of the breakage and the damaged unhealthy looking hair. I did not wake up one morning and think ‘Hey, I want to have my Natural Curls’. My leap into my Natural Hair Journey was not quite as “Romantic”. I just got tired of Relaxing my hair. So by the middle of 2009 I just stopped.
And then began the “transition phase”. I did not want to ‘part’ with the hair I had so I decided to trim my Relaxed ends as my new growth would grow out. So it was one snip at a time. Eventually by the middle of 2010 I had cut off all the relaxed ends. But I was still using Hair Dyes every time I got ‘bored’ and I was still not taking proper care of my hair in terms of doing protective styles, deep treatments, moisturizing and so on.
It was not until 2011 that I found out that my hair actually needed things like that deep conditioners, moisture, protection etc! This is where the ‘experimental’ side of me came out. I researched, read, watched videos, asked questions etc. This is also where my Trial and Error phase started. I would experiment with products and styles to see what my hair liked/did not like. 2011 was also the year where I decided I did not want to Dye my hair anymore. My hair was loving my new found passion of taking care of it and was rewarding me.
By 2012 I pretty much had my routine down. Do not get me wrong I still looked out for new looks and methods but as I mentioned in my first post, I did not try to fix something that was not broken!
I know there are things I could do a little better such as more protective styles (I love wearing my hair out), but I have to say my hair has never been this long or healthy EVER! And I am currently on a mission of incorporating as much natural products into my routines…I am basically making my own products! I like knowing what is in the products I use and since I am an experiment/mixing junkie I am loving this new natural journey!
It has been quite a Journey and I did have a few pit falls on the way. But I managed to get through them and not cave! I by no means have “perfect” hair and I am not a professional. I just know MY hair and I LOVE it!
I feel that this Journey is not over… I am always learning new things and want to continue to learn new things about my hair.