It was in May 2014 when I started my natural hair journey. I had had relaxed hair since 2009.Before that,I was going to a catholic school and we had to chop our hair every what?six months maybe!Lord how I hated it.I used to be envious of other girls of my age from other schools who had long and shiny relaxed hair.You can imagine my happiness when I started growing my hair and relaxing it.From 2009 to 2013, I was pretty content with my hair,it was growing on a good pace and I would relax it every…2-3 months.CRAZY(Now I can tell)At that time, it seemed to be a normal thing for me to do despite my mother’s warnings.She used to tell me(sometimes with the support of my father) that those chemicals would just harm me in the long run.Apparently…I decided to listen to them.So here is my little story and so-far experience with my natural hair
Why I chopped my hair.
It all started September 2013 when I realized that my hair was no longer growing properly.I was no longer happy with it.Living in a tiny city,I didn’t have anyone to take care of my hair as I used to,back home in Burundi(or in Cameroon and in Ivory Coast).I only knew how to comb it and put some oil in it.Then obviously it started breaking,I was loosing my edges,it was no longer “healthy”(keep reading you will understand later why healthy in quotation marks).Then in May 2014,I grabbed some scissors and with the help of my sister,I chopped it.SIMPLE!
Now…was I happy?YES
Did I know what I was putting myself into?NO
Did I think I looked pretty?BARELY!
Why I am happy with my natural hair.
This journey has been quiet challenging for me.It has its ups and downs for sure but I doubt I would change anything if I could(No wait…I would probably switch from a 4C to a 4A;talking hair type here).My hair is very kinky and I have to admit,that’s the most challenging thing to deal with.Despite it all,I am happy with my hair because it is healthier than it was before.I am content because I am learning everyday how to take care of it.Going natural knowing nothing about it made me nervous but curious at the same time.I would spend hours on YouTube,watching tutorials, listening to other women’experiences,on google,reading reviews and even today I still do that…I really used to think that relaxed hair is healthy and gorgeous but today I think different.Hey!No offense to those out there rocking their relaxed hair.I just think that there is NO VALID reason to be ashamed of our natural hair really.I know that my parents were right and that the chemicals we put in our hair damages our scalp and I’m really glad I stopped.Better late than never right?
Pros and Cons of Black Natural hair
What would you like me to start with? The good or the bad news? The good? Okay!
So here is according to me the Pros of it:
- Healthy hair makes a happy woman(ha!I just made up this one):trust me,even if you don’t care much about this healthy life that everyone talks about,it will get to you someday.I didn’t care much either and I still don’t very much.But this is a good start I think.I realized that relaxing my hair was slowing damaging my scalp(you know when the relaxer burns your scalp?that’s what I am talking about) and apart from straightening my hair,it was not doing much.My hair was no longer brown but it was turning red because I was using too much relaxer(remember I said every 2/3months).Black hair is naturally not made to be straighten constantly anyways.
- You learn how to take care of it yourself.Natural Hair requires more time and no one will always have that time for you so you get to learn how to take care of it.And trust me,if you have time for makeup and shopping,you will have time for your hair too.
- It is cheaper to have natural hair.You stop going to a hair dresser and buying extra produts to keep your hair straight.
Now…the Cons.To be honest,the list is quiet long but it really all depends on your determination.
- Transitioning.Going from relaxed to natural hair is not an easy thing to do because you have to deal with two different types of hair on one head and you don’t know how to treat it.
- The Big Chop.If you opt for this,cool.no hustle with different types of hair.But it changes the way you look and you may not like it in the first place and your hair may take a little while to grow back.
- Products.Your hair is not necessarily the same as you friends or the girls and women you see on YouTube.You have to find out which products works better for you.
- Time.As I said before,natural hair really requires you to be patient and gentle because you are the only one able to take care of it.But trust me,it won’t be so much of a hustle as you start to love it.
- Shrinkage.This is what I struggle the most with.In its natural state,African black hair is shrinking.It looks shorter than it actually is.
Now as I said, there are many reasons for you to be reluctant on the fact of going natural by you have the choice:healthy,natural and beautiful hair VS long but full of bad chemicals hair.I think I made the best choice.Make yours now.
Til next time