Not only has it been a while since I’ve posted, but I have definitely not posted about natural hair for a LONG while! I am exactly 18 months natural – technically it has been longer than that, as I have not had a relaxer in my hair for over two years. But my “natural debut” occurred on July 27, 2011, the day before my 42nd birthday. Did I plan to “go natural?” Yes. Was I trying to make some statement about natural hair? Absolutely not! The only reason I went natural was because I was tired of spending money on weaves, relaxers, etc, just to have my own hair left in a weakened state. I looked back at pictures of myself as a child and longed for the days I had an old-fashioned “press and curl.” My pre-perm, pre-weave days. My hair was thick and shoulder length. But more importantly, it was HEALTHY! That is why I wanted to go natural. I wanted MY hair back, my strong, healthy hair.
Now don’t get me wrong…there are people with relaxers and weaves who have perfectly healthy hair. My stylist of 16 years always made certain my hair was treated with the utmost care. She wasn’t just one to style my hair – she helped take care of it. But there are just some times when our hair doesn’t want to be bombarded with chemicals that disturb the natural curl pattern. I knew that the only way to restore the true health of my hair was to take it back to the old days.
When I stopped wearing the wigs and braids I had used during my transition period (transitioning is the process by which you slowly grow out your natural hair, gradually cutting away the relaxed ends of your hair), I was worried that I wouldn’t like having such short hair. I was afraid of becoming bored with the style and want to go back to using the “creamy crack” (a term used to describe chemical relaxers).
So 18 months later, I am happier with my hair than I thought I would be. Not only is it healthy, but it’s FUN! I love feeling my natural waves, curls and coils. I have embraced my textures without feeling the NEED to straighten my hair. Since going natural, I have had my hair flatironed about 3 times, for a length check and to have my edges trimmed. I love being natural because my hair is actually MORE versatile. Does every woman need to be natural? No. I have not become a fanatic who insists that all women stop putting chemicals in their hair. My journey was MY journey. God bless the sisters who are still relaxing and weaving. As long as you are taking care of it, and happy under it, do your own thing.