While I’ve been natural for over 14 years, I never considered myself a part of the natural hair movement. My reason for going natural back in the day was simple: I wanted to see my natural curl pattern. I wanted the flexibility of natural hair. So I transitioned. I didn’t experience any breakage, which is actually funny because I transitioned with heat. I’d get my roots flat ironed straight every 2 weeks with monthly trims, and that was it. It took almost two years, but it worked!
Back then there were VERY few natural hair products on the market. In fact, I recall locating one store in Brooklyn called, Soda Fine, which carried Miss Jessie’s products. I was also able to order Kinky Curly Custard online, but without tutorials or reviews to find online (this was in 2003) I soon gave up. I would simply wear my hair in a bun, or straighten it. Eventually I discovered weaves, and even tried my hand at a Brazilian Keratin treatment, only to be disappointed with that, too. The entire process was exhausting
Fast fast forward to 2014, I decided to try again. Armed with youtube and basket full of Shea Moisture products and Ecostyler gel, I told myself I could do this. I could get my hair to behave. I could get the perfect and elongated twist-outs like these other girls on youtube. I could do it. I would do it. And I tried, too. For 8 good months, I tried braid-outs and twist-outs, on wet hair, dry hair, moderately wet hair, moderately dry hair, but I was rarely happy with the results. In the midst of it all I even started experiencing major breakage. I had gone from almost waist length hair in 2013, to short, dry, and terribly damaged color-bone length strands.
So in February of this year, i decided to cut to my hair a short tapered fro. I had never had short hair prior to this cut, but I knew it had to be done. I had to start over. And doing so was the single-best decision I have ever made about my personal appearance. My confidence is through the roof, and the love i have for my hair is a bonus I never expected. I had planned to simply cut it so I could grow it back long and healthy again, but i’m actually loving short and healthy hair. I also realized that part of the problem with transitioning, for me, was that I was obsessed with length. Since i kept my length throughout the transitioning process, when I was finally all natural, I wanted my natural hair to show my length. I went through countless products and treatments to try to loosen my curl enough to show the world, “Look, I have long hair!” And my hair hated it. Transitioning didn’t allow me to love my hair from the roots. I rarely saw my hair through the process of growing it out, so how could I earn to love it? Learn what works best for it? Appreciate its splendor?
Now that I’m rocking my short cut, I’m feeling my #blackgirlmagic. To say that I love my hair now is an understatement. My advice to anyone considering going the natural route is to just chop it off. You won’t know how beautiful you are until you do.
Ladies, did it take you some time to accept and embrace your natural hair? Share your experiences!