I wanted to do a post this week that is very dear to my heart. It’s about my hair! November is a monthly that is very important to me. It’s my natural hair anniversary and I’m so excited. You may wonder what the heck is a natural hair anniversary and I’m here to share that information with you!
So this is the anniversary of the day that I stopped chemically straightening my hair. In the post below I will be talking of my natural hair anniversary in the form of my journey.
Natural Hair Anniversary – Hair Journey
As a small child, my hair was natural as can be. I remember washing my hair and watching it elongate as I piled on shampoo. My mom dried my hair and began to plait it while I sat between her legs on a Sunday evening. Any child with kinkier hair textures know the pain of their mom dragging the comb through their hair. And then getting upset if you fidgeted while she was braiding a section.
At the time, I wished for longer, straight hair like the women I saw on tv. Even packing of hair products back then featured black girls with relaxed hair in elaborate styles. Hence how I got Seborrheic Dermatitis by slicking my hair with product. Thinking if I used enough pomade, my hair would look like that.Oh how wrong I was.
When I was around the age of 10, my mother gave in and texturised my hair. Texturiser is basically relaxer at a less concentrated value. It breaks down the bonds of your hair, making the curls looser. Within the next year, I transitioned to a full-blown relaxer. Let me tell you, the experience was not all sunshine. During that time, my scalp took some abuse. Relaxers can burn your scalp if you’ve scratched it before applying the product. As a result, even if my hair looked cute, my scalp was full of burns and scabs.
While my hair was relaxed, my hair started off at bra strap length. I got to sport my hairstyles that I always liked. However, because I knew little about hair care, I got breakage. After that, it was a struggle to get my hair past shoulder length.
I carried along this vein until I reached the end of my first year as a sixth former. I wanted change, I want to move away from the relaxer and to a healthier alternative. Around that time a friend of mine started to slowly transition back to natural hair. However I was not ready to make a plunge, especially at a school who didn’t make it easy. The school had no formal policies about natural hair. However braids and weaves were out of the question.
From Relaxer to Keratin
As a result of being fed up with relaxers, I moved to keratin. I went to the only hairdresser then who did Kerasmooth and loved it. It smelled of citrus, the process was an hour most and NO BURNS. I was in heaven. However my mother’s wallet was not. The process itself was $300 on a discount for me. However I only needed to go every 3 – 4 months for a touch up. Since Kerasmooth is a hydrating system, my hair grew at a faster rate. My hair was actually retaining length and was healthy!
However, deep inside, I was not satisfied with the money I was spending. Despite that, I was not about to DIY my hair straightening. I didn’t trust myself or my mother to do it right just via some paper and Youtube clips.
For my graduation, I wore weave for the first time and was elated. I did it again around the end of summer, going into my first year of university. In november 2013, I was like screw a relaxer. From there I began to transition.
Transition is the process of going from straightened hair to your original curly or kinky texture. This method is usually employed by girls who don’t want to chop off all their relaxed hair in one go. While transitioning, you let your natural grow out, but you have to deal with two very different textures. This means your is more willing to break at the point where these two textures meet.
During my time of transitioning, weaves were my go to protective style. In February 2014, I tried some biotin supplements but never went back due to the effects it had on my skin. Instead I looked at alternative methods to promoting hair growth. I was not alone during my transition as my other friends were on a similar journey. Despite that, my mom was the least supportive person at the time. She was also the biggest naysayer. And would slide in comments about my hair’s texture, length and growth.
Regardless, I pushed through and in November 2014, I big chopped. I cut off all the straight ends of my hair. From there I sported a wig as I was unsure of how to properly style my hair at that point. That was until December, where I went back to a weave. After February 2015 I had to do away with weaves. My skin condition worsened on my scalp and my hairdresser refused to install anymore until the issue subdued.
So from there I was forced to actually deal with my hair. To an extent. I was never one for wearing my hair braided or in cornrows as I got older. So it was never a styling option for me. I was a big twist out, braid out kind of girl. Meaning I wanted my hair out and proud.
However I still wore wigs from time to time. This was as a result of ease of use, styling versatility and protection from the elements. In 2015 November, I did a length check and was shocked by my level of growth. My hair was showing the results that others could see. From that point, others asked me for advice on my hair and what I used. For me, I wanted to retain length so the key for me was low manipulation. High manipulation caused breakage. So I rarely used a combed and opted for finger detangling. My hair was always in sections when washing, this shortened my wash days significantly. Except for the end of the month where I added extra steps to my routine.
From November last year to now, not much has changed. My hair has now grown to shoulder length hair when stretched. This is the same length I had when I first keratin treated my hair.
I came so very far with my hair. I’m excited every November to check my length and compare lengths. I can’t wait till the year where it will be at bra strap length.
- November 2013 -Transitioned
- November 2014 – Big chopped | Hair reaches to my eyes when stretched
- November 2015 – Hair reaches to my nose when stretched
- November 2016 – Hair is shoulder length
In my next hair post. I’ll be talking about my hair regimen and some tips that I have for growing long, healthy hair. If you liked this post, let me know down below. I’d love to hear from you all!