My Hair Story

My Hair Story

When I say never in a million years did I think I would wear my hair in its natural state, I really mean it because I associated natural hair with a specific type of woman – Erykah Badu, India Arie, Lauryn Hill. No not me, I was Beyonce and I was not for the natural look. It wasn’t that I had anything against a woman’s choice to wear her hair natural, I just felt like it was not for me. I thought natural hair was not glamorous and even when I told my friend that I was considering going natural, she said something to the effect of, “I can’t picture you natural. Natural hair doesn’t suit your personality.”

These photos were taken just days before my high school graduation.

This all changed when I was YouTube one day watching funny, ratchet videos (one of my favorite past times). I don’t know how I got to viewing natural hair videos, but I came across a video by crownofhisglory called “How to Bantu Knot” and I was intrigued. Then I came across prettydimples and I believe she was doing a twist out and I was astounded. I never thought natural hair could look moisturized and soft!

Those videos, and others from the likes of nikkimae, blackonyx, africanexport, and kimmaytube, literally changed my life. I started to really consider this whole ‘natural thing’. I told a few people about it and one girl said, “Girl, when you see those naps rolling up in the back of your head, you’ll change your mind.” (She’s natural now too by the way). I never had a problem growing hair, it’s just that my relaxed ends were not being retained. My rationale was that I had absolutely nothing to lose and a lot to gain, longer and healthier hair.

To make matters worse in December 2009, I went to a scissor happy stylist who cut off at least two inches of my hair. I was mad and frustrated. Furthermore, I considered myself to be a young woman who was comfortable in her own skin and my hair is an extension of me. The fact that I thought apart of me was ugly was disturbing to me. I wanted to change that.

The photo on the left is my hair after I left that stylist and the photo on the right is my hair the day I had my last relaxer.

To recap, I went natural for three reasons:

1. I thought natural hair was beautiful. point. blank. period.
2. I wanted to attempt to change my negative opinions of my hair.
3. I wanted longer hair.

I had my last perm by the hands of my friend, in our college dorm during Easter break in March of 2010. I transitioned for a mere two months wearing a weave, a afro puff extension, and kinky twist extensions. The transition period went by very fast…mainly because I was more concentrated on other things like school and grades. I could have cared less about whether or not my hair was growing. I knew it would grow. I just had to be patient.

When I got home to The Bahamas, I asked my mom to take me to the hair salon to get my permed ends cut off. She took too long to take me (I’m patient, but not when it comes to certain things), so I went in the bathroom, wet my hair so I could see the point of demarcation (where my natural hair and permed hair met), and cut my hair off with regular scissors. My permed ends were dead to me and I felt like they were preventing me from starting my journey. I needed to get rid of them.

When I was done, I felt and free, but I also felt afraid and alone. Hence, I ran out and got a wig. To make matters worse, I could not find any products to use on my hair when I was in The Bahamas. What wasn’t packed with mineral oil, was packed with sulphates. Earlier in the semester, before I big chopped, I discovered African Export’s crotchet braid video and I bought some of the hair I needed to do them. I did not have enough hair to do them until about July, but when I put those it in, I was happy.

Kyss My Hair Natural Hair Journey

My Hair Story kyssmyhair.com

The photo on the left features the wig I bought after my big chop and the photo on the right features crotchet braids that I wore.

I continued to wear wigs and weaves until I was comfortable enough to wear my hair out. I revealed my natural hair to the world in December 2010, experimenting with twists outs, braid outs and coils. I wore wigs back at school mainly because Minnesota winter is the devil and the work associated with college is also the devil. I had no time to be fixin’ some hair. However, that summer, I can say that for the most part, I wore my hair to work. I was still self-conscious about my hair, but I fought through it.

Kyss My Hair Natural Hair Journey

I was so happy when I saw that puff on the right!

Then, in August 2011, I went back to school wearing my own hair for the very first time. I was terrified still, and still wore wigs. I continued this until the summer of 2012 (around the time this blog was started). Earlier in the year, I began posting my pictures of my hair on www.blackgirllonghairforum.com and I was surprised at the amount of people that were actually looking at my pictures.

To be honest, I don’t like straightening my hair. It’s hard to maintain at the time I was working out regularly so I couldn’t go to the gym.

Kyss My Hair Natural Hair Journey

I wore my hair out for the rest of the semester and started documenting my hair stories for the blog. By this time, I had accepted my hair for everything that it was – kinky, curly, coily, springy, mean and happy. Most of all, I started to love it simply because it was mine. My mother makes me angry at least two times a day, but I love her because she is my mother and I’ve only got one. Similarly, sometimes I don’t like my hair, especially when one side wants to cooperate and the other side does not #naturalhairproblems. But it’s my hair and complaining about it is not going to change it. I’d rather work with my hair than curse it.

On the left is a mini twist out and on the right is a blow out I did for my birthday.

On the left is a mini twist out and on the right is a blow out I did for my birthday.

  • Quatasia

    Hi , I have a question my hair is somewhat a meduim length and I just want to know how can I style it if it is all natural with no perm and it has a thick texture .

  • Lilian

    Wow this is totally amazing I love it so much I’m going to cut my hair this coming week. Well I’m going to be shy to return to school with short hair, how short can I cut it to be able to braid it? How long will it take for my hair to grow as long as yours?

    • brittanybass@live.com

      Hi Lillian! If you’re going to do the big chop, cut off all your relax ends and don’t worry if you can braid it. If you still want to braid it, then you shouldn’t cut it. Wait until you have enough hair to braid (an inch and a half give or take). Hair grows on average half an inch per month. If you’re average/healthy, you should see that growth.

  • Celena

    OMG…this is fantastic…YOU are fantastic. I have the same outlook…I’ve always wanted to go natural and thought it was beautiful but I just don’t know if it would suit me. I am Beyonce…same as you lol

    But your story is incredibly inspiring. I made it 4 months with no perm and was THIS close to picking up the scissors but i broke down and permed it.

    anywho…im babbling…all im saying it..because of you, im going to try and stretch again 🙂 maybe natural can work for me too!

  • Jada

    I love this. I, too did my big chop around August last year. It was so nappy & hard to comb.. Guess it’s in my genes, I am from Barbados. We have hard thick, nappy hair! So I texturized it to soften it a bit. If you don’t know what that is.. Texturiser is a weaker perm which doesn’t straighten the hair out, it just detangles the knots & soften the texture of the hair. My hair is still natural but sometimes I don’t feel like it is because of the chemical I added to it. I haven’t done this texturizer in 2 months, so my natural hair is starting to grow back out. I have been contemplating texturizing it again but blogs like yours & others have been discouraging me lol. I don’t mind. I have decided to braid my hair up til December & see how it does. Any words of advice here?

  • Natalya

    My hair is short and I want to grow it back out. What can I use to grow it back out.

  • Raerae

    I love your hair am just about to start the natural journey. What powder do u use

  • Nontie

    Great Post! Encouraging words and lovely hair by the way. I recently started my transition to natural hair, I just can’t wait to do the big chop.

    Visiting from – A Victorious Woman of Faith: nontokozomaposa.blogspot,com

  • Harlem23

    I have very short abused hair due to stress. I always wanted to go natural. dreads no locking. Less work hait style for my strong afro American Heritage. I break down and perm. No more.. I want to build and strengthen my hair without cutting it. So I intend to cornrows and twist my hair but I need the correct products to treat mu hair like shampoo conditioner and whatever is needed to build my hair for my natural look that I am going to get eventually. Can you please help me.

  • Montreana Holland

    Are you completely against relaxed hair?

    • Brittany Basden

      Of course not. I just want black women to know that wearing their natural hair is an option and that you do not have to relax your hair to look beautiful.