Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Starting Over...the Obligatory Natural Hair Story

Natural hair seems to be all the rage these days. Folks are denouncing perms left and right and regaining “freedom” and “power”.

Hair’s my story.

I stopped perming my hair about 2 years ago in an effort to be all natural. I didn’t document my journey in words and there are few pictures. My decision to go natural was solely because I didn’t want to be bald-headed. Improper perm applications, lack of money to get my hair professionally done regularly and sheer laziness lack of good hair knowledge were taking me down the road to a thinning hair line and broken off, crunchy hair. I’m pretty sure I got on the bandwagon at the beginning of the natural hair wave and boy did I let the world know.

Random Person: You’re hair looks nice!

Note: I transitioned using flexi rod sets to hide the new growth

Me: Oh thanks, I’m going natural! (insert swole up chest with pride >here<)

Question: Did the random person say anything that would even lead me to offer the natural hair journey story? You don't see it? Yeah, me either. Moving right along…

Since there are quite a few nice random people on this earth, the conversation continued as such:

Random Person: Oh really? Interesting. Good luck with that.

Me: Insert conversation about how perms are breaking my hair off…I really want to see my true texture…this is so much healthier for the world me…every time I re-do my hair, I cut a little bit more straight ends off…blah, blah, blah >HERE<

Yeah, I was becoming THAT person. Looking back, I can’t believe: 1) how much I was embarrassing myself, 2) how nice people were to indulge me and 3) how much I was embarrassing myself.

I was knocked got off my high horse pretty quickly because my love for “going natural” was waning because…well…I was going natural and MY nappy natural hair was not THE acceptable natural hair that is portrayed in commercials and print ads.

The more those silky straight ends disappeared and the kinky coils appeared, my confidence began to take a hit and not in a good way. But the easy thing about “going natural” is that you can “go UNnatural”. But before that, I got all the permed ends cut off, got a decent cut and…

Enter: the perm texturizer. I had heard that this practice – texturizing – would “loosen my curl pattern” and give me the coveted “wash-n-go hair” (see above pic). You see, I got tired of the manufactured curl pattern that was achieved by washing, conditioning, detangling, flexi rodding, and sitting at least 1.5 hours under an uncomfortable, hot hair dryer. It would take no less than 4 hours from start to finish once a week to achieve this look. And because it took so long I either had to save the routine for the weekend (which meant I had to sacrifice social activities) or I had to stay up ‘til the wee hours of the morning because I decided to do it on a week night…starting at 9. o_0 Well, the texturizer didn’t work. Just because I refused to fight the power of my naps didn’t mean that my hair didn’t have to continue in the struggle. Wash and go’s didn't work without the help of a couple of VERY expensive products. I know y’all natural ladies know the magic that is Kinky Curly Curling Custard . I loved the results but my bank account didn’t love spending $50 on 2 products to achieve the look, so…

Enter: the ceramic flat iron and my holy grail, the Maxi Glide. I told myself I would only straighten my hair every 4 weeks. And that worked for a while. But I could do so much more when my hair was straightened: pin curls, bantu knots, twist-outs were my styles of choice. See?

a comic strip!

Plus the Maxi Glide used the “steam puff technology” to protect the ends. I was still natural, right? Right. But then I came into another problem…

Heat damage and straight ends. Ugh! I don't think the “steam puff technology” was deceptive; methinks I went a little heavy on the straightening and a little light on the hair care in between straightening. It was like battling the permed straight ends again. But this time, there was too much natural hair and not enough straight hair to mask the problem. I had long since given up sitting under that God-awful hair dryer so flexi rods were not an option any more. I vowed not to use heat on my hair for the summer and try to get my straight ends to revert. No dice there. So last Friday, I took the plunge and did what in my mind is a Big Chop. I got about 3-4 inches of hair cut off to reveal all of my naptural, kinky coily goodness. I love it!

Here’s to starting over.


  1. Its pretty. :) The entire journey of natural hair is an amazing one. I'm glad that you decided to chronicle the adventure.

  2. Looking forward to reading about your journey!

  3. Love it! Your story and mine are similiar.

  4. I'm glad you're back to blogging!!!!

  5. Thanks everyone for the comments. Stay tuned.

  6. Love it!!!! Love it!!!! Love it!!! Hi 5 to you in all ur naturalness :) Mz.Sixx

  7. Very cute! (And I haven't forgotten about you!)


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