When I first started this blog, I wrote about how I maintained my relaxed hair healthy (you can find that post here). After much coaxing by friends and some family, i decided to stop relaxing my hair. It was a combination of coaxing and the pandemic.
The last time I had relaxed my hair was February of 2020, and then the pandemic started. I was working from home and wasn’t doing my hair as often, so i figured, “what the heck? Let me stop relaxing my hair and see how long I can pull it off!”. I pulled it off for about two years and a half, but let me not get ahead of myself.
For two years, I struggled through the process of transitioning. I was even a bridesmaid at a wedding and had such a hard time figuring out how to wear my hair. I somehow did it, but it was not what I wanted. You see, I prefer to wear my hair straight, and because the roots were growing in my natural curly hair, I was unable to style it as usual. If I blew it out, the moment any sweat touched my scalp, my natural curls would come out to play; this made things rather difficult for me, but i bore with it, reminding myself that i would soon be able to see what my natural hair looked.
I had been relaxing my hair since I was very young. Only as a child did I wear my hair in twists, but I had never worn my curls as they were. Over the past couple of years, I have noticed that there has been a movement among women with curly hair to find ways to style and products to use for natural hair. I watched many Youtube videos on how to care for natural hair. I imagine it was one of the main reasons, so many curly-haired women relaxed their hair because they did not know how to deal with their natural hair, style, and what products were good. Well, I will say it was a great learning experience.
Last year, December 31st, to be exact, I noticed I only had a few inches left of relaxed hair to go and decided just to cut it off. I got my scissors and began to cut off the limp after the line of demarcation. I even recruited my husband to cut the hair on the back of my head that I couldn’t see. The result was quite nice. I went to church that night for our annual end-of-year prayer, and those who saw me made positive remarks about my hair. Honestly speaking, to this day, and it’s been months, no one has said anything negative about my natural curls.
When I first started wearing my 100 percent curly hair, I was unsure what to do with it. I followed what I watched in YouTube videos, which turned out ok. I bought products recommended by a friend who was natural and had hair pretty much the same texture as mine. It was ok, I would work the product into my hair while still in the shower and comb it through. I found my curls looked nice, but there was a lot of shrinkage. One day in March, I decided to try a different approach; instead of combing the product in, I decided to use my fingers to work it through and then used the diffuser to dry it. I loved the way it looked. I was finally able to see more length. I tried to replicate this look multiple times afterward, doing the same process but could never make it look the same.
So one thing to note about me is that I am a bit peculiar about certain things. I am neat but not super neat. However, I like to be in full control of a few things in my life, for example, where on my bathroom sink I place my toothbrush, where to place my keys when I get home, which order to put my jewelry away and which foot to put my shoes on first. I had not noticed until months of my natural hair journey that my hair was one of these things. I like to control how my hair looks completely, and when my natural hair was not obeying, I slowly began to lose it. Don’t get me wrong, I loved the feeling of my natural hair when I washed it, but I didn’t particularly appreciate that I was only able or knew how two styles it in two different ways. It was nice, but it wasn’t me. There were days I found myself frustrated and unable to recognize the person in the mirror. Given my new look and that I had put on weight, I became slightly depressed. I felt like I couldn’t control what was going on around me or to me.
There is a stereotype that when women go through something, the first thing they change is their hair. In my case, this was true. This constraint, frustration, and struggle led me back to what some refer to as the “creamy crack.” I went back to the relaxer and to looking more like me. I needed to control my hair, and now I can. Do I regret it? No. It was an interesting process and showed me that if I want to try something, I can. I tried it. I did it. I went natural, and I learned that it is not for me.
Sometimes in life, you need to do what makes you happy, and regaining control of my hair, did that for me. Some people asked me not to do it. My husband stated he liked my natural hair but would rather I do what I want, I appreciated that.
So that’s my story. I still plan on taking care of my relaxed hair as I did before. I believe that you can have healthy relaxed hair, I had it before and will continue to maintain my relaxed hair healthy again.
Do you know anyone who has transitioned, or have you yourself transitioned to natural hair? What was it like? Feel free to comment below and state tuned for future posts on what products I have been using to keep my hair healthy.
SDG – “Soli Deo Gloria”