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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.