by Taylor Law of Klassy Kinks
At the end of 2012, I decided that it was time to take control and go natural. No awkward moments of carrying two textures and trying to control my “puffy” edges. No more feeling like my hair never looked as good as that first week out of the salon. I was going natural and I was excited about it.
Except, my natural hair journey was a little different than the ones I commonly watch on YouTube or read about on natural hair websites.
For me, the journey had an in-between stage. Yes, I had relaxed hair and years later I transitioned to completely natural. However, between the two polar opposite spectrums of texture, I had texturized hair.
Why The Texturizer?
A texturizer is technically still a chemical process on your hair, but not as harsh as a relaxer. The goal is to loosen your curl pattern and place your locks in wash-and-go heaven. Curly hair, but without the kinkier texture. Curly hair, but controlled, unable to reach big, afro-like heights.
My hairstylist suggested a texturizer because, at that point in my life, I was afraid to go completely natural. I was in high school and there weren’t a lot of students who looked like me. Also, I had heard too many horror stories about going through the transition to natural hair. In my head, I was already dealing with the woes of academia and the stress of social life in high school and I didn’t want another thing to worry about.
Now, years later, I sometimes wonder if this step was truly necessary. I think about how much longer my natural hair would be if I embraced it during those high school years. At times, a think about how the idea of a texturizer seems kind of silly. A lot of fellow classmates thought it was my actual hair. I can imagine them now, asking, “So you had curly hair, but it wasn’t actually yours?”
But what I always remind myself is that I needed to go through this stage. It was comfortable for me because I simply wasn’t ready to take the full plunge. I needed to see those texturized curls on my head before I really wondered what my actual curly hair looked like. I needed to feel the freedom of cutting my hair in a short bob or dying it to a mahogany color and not feeling so tied to the length or worried about the consequences.
By the time I had graduated high school my texturizer had started to turn on me. I used excessive heat to style my hair for prom and it was starting to show. Some sections had limper curls than others and it was extremely dry. It was damaged. My hairstylist convinced me that it was the ideal time to go natural and do the big chop. After all, I was leaving for college. There was no fear of what people would say because they had never seen me before. A new stage in my life, a new outlook on my hair. I haven’t looked back since.The Bottom Line
I think that it’s important for the natural hair community to recognize that the journey is different for everyone. You don’t want to big chop? That’s fine. You want to wear a weave while your hair gets a little longer? That’s cool. Want to rock a texturizer before going all in? That’s awesome. There is nothing wrong with “deviating” from the traditional natural hair journey — because the stakes are high, it’s your life, and you have to do what’s best for you.
Do you think the natural hair community needs to alter it’s views on how “the journey” should go? Can you relate to having a different journey?