V has always had beautiful, naturally curly, hair that I never dreamed of chemically altering, but I, like most melanin filled girls my age, had a relaxer when I was younger. At the time, I thought it was great … a wonderful alternative to the dreaded pressing comb when my mother would tell me it was just the steam that was burning me, rather than the actual hot comb touching the back of my neck (insert major eye roll). I welcomed the easier to manage, straight hair and hated when the new growth would start to show in my “kitchen” area, not wanting the label of “nappy” from my peers. Little did I know then, a revolution was coming. One where women were throwing out their relaxers and searching for products to better showcase their God given curls. Tired of the chemicals, thinning and damaged hair, and 4 to 6 week touch up schedule, I wanted to follow suit, but was nervous about the transition period, so I gradually started going natural in November of 2014.
I opted to refrain from a touch up to my relaxer and, instead, started putting my hair in protective styles that required minimal touching … mainly up-dos. I stopped drying my hair with the blow dryer and never used the flatiron anymore, wanting to prevent any additional heat damage. Exactly one year later, when it just became too difficult to work with my combination natural/relaxed hair, I chopped it off at the demarcation line myself. Definitely not what some would consider a “big chop”, but enough that I could no longer put it in my signature ponytail.
A year and a half from that time, here we are and my hair has grown a fairly good amount … a little past my shoulders to be exact, but with shrinkage, can appear above my ears … and I have fun finding new hairstyles to create with it. More than anything, I love the “easy” feeling of natural hair and while it can be time consuming with pre-pooing, deep conditioning, and finding just the right products for my hair type, the versatility and thickness beats out my old limp relaxed hair any day.
Jump in the comments and let me know what finally made you go natural … are there any products you’ve tried lately you simply can’t live without?