Up until winter 2010, my hair was long, thick, chemically straightened and I loved it. Ignore the fact that it also broken in places, and I was somewhat unaware how bad it was. So, you can imagine my horror when out of nowhere, my hair started to break off by the clump-load. I clung onto my strands for a good two years but then in 2012, I experienced the true meaning of postnatal hair loss. After unintentionally transitioning for 8 months, I had no option but to CUT IT OFF.
At that time, I remember going through the following emotions:
- Traumatised because my former hair was part of my identity which added to my confidence.
- Curious because it gave me the opportunity to handle my natural hair texture which I hadn’t seen since I was a child.
- Terrified because I literally had NO idea what to do with it or where I should even begin.
Even though my husband was really supportive when I Big Chopped, other relatives were surprisingly less so. They made it clear that (in their opinion) they thought I had made the worst decision. I constantly received the following unhelpful and unwanted comments – “But your hair was so long and pretty”, “What made you do that?!”. I’ll save the rest for another article. It was tough at times and I had to pick and choose my battles. It also didn’t help that no-one around me was natural either.
As well as feeling alone on this daunting journey, I had questions and concerns that I felt no one could answer.
- What products to buy for my Natural Hair?
- How do I start a Natural Hair regimen?
- Which tools should I to use? .
I then started to remember the unfortunate childhood experiences of my Natural Hair. The wincing from the pain of having my hair blowdried with an afro pic. Having the afro pic snapping due to rough handling of my delicate strands. To the generous application of Dax and Sulphur 8 that was supposed to moisturise my hair.
It was blatantly obvious. I needed help.
It was a completely fresh start for me. Slowly, by researching different websites (mostly Youtube videos by American Naturalistas), I began to actually understand my hair and learnt what was done wrong all those years. It was a R.E.V.E.L.A.T.I.O.N !!
I must admit, I was not a fan of my hair in the first couple of months. Remember, I didn’t go natural by choice and my idea of beauty just didn’t roll with short hair. Plus, I just didn’t think it suited me.
Fast forward to 2020, my journey has been an eye opener to not just understanding my hair but also being comfortable with who I am. My style has changed and I’m more confident in trying new things. When I first cut my relaxed hair off, my only focus was growing my hair long so I could ‘re-establish my femininity’. However, looking back, I see my priorities were all wrong. My hair doesn’t define me, it’s just an added accessory of who I am. My focus now is making sure my hair is healthy and well maintained. Length is just a by-product. This perspective is even more important now I am raising a little princess with beautiful natural hair.
I haven’t appreciated and loved my hair more than I do now. Don’t get me wrong, wash day and/or styling can be a long process (at least 4-5 hours) however I’ve see it now as a pamper day. Plus maintenance is so minimal. Even though I was questioned by those close to me for going Natural, I have to say going natural was the best decision I ever made.
Keep it Natural! 😉