My weekend was spent taking down my braids, yes my very long wonderful braids. I enjoyed the time that I had with them but it was definitely time to take them out. As I was unbraiding my hair, I realized that I’ve come a long way with my natural hair.
I started the transition to natural hair in October 2011. I had gotten my first relaxer when I was just 5 years old and to be honest, I was surprised at myself when I decided to transition. I never had a desire to be natural and I always felt that my hair would be too much to handle. I was inspired to be natural when my sister told me she was going to transition. I pretty much copy everything she does so when my younger sister told me she was going to transition, I called her crazy then secretly started doing research.
My original goal was to transition for as long as I could, I thought I would be able to last at least 2 years but when my natural hair started growing, the two textures were too much to handle so I only made it to 11 months before driving to my childhood hair salon and telling my stylist to cut it all off.
I was proud of my TWA (teeny weeny afro) and I feel that without confidence it would have been hard to rock natural hair especially because when I transitioned not a whole lot of people were doing it. It had not become the norm quite yet. Yes I know many women who were trying to transition but women with my hair texture weren't as popular. My parents absolutely hated my hair cut but I loved it! I looked in the mirror and thought it was beautiful, I felt beautiful and that was all that mattered to me.
Throughout the years I've learned how to nurture my hair and I've gone through so many phases!! There was that time in the beginning when I was an absolute product junkie and I wanted to try everything on the market. I couldn't even wait for my products to be finished before heading to target or natural hair websites to load up on new and different products. I spent countless hours reading blogs and connecting with other naturals and just talking about natural hair. Of course there was a phase where I wanted to create every product from scratch. I created my own deep conditioner, regular conditioner and my own hair moisturizer all from scratch! That phase didn’t last very long. Did I mention my obsession with YouTube videos? I spent hours on YouTube trying to learn as much information as possible on how to care for my hair.
It's been four years since I did my big chop and I can definitely say that I won't be going back to relaxed hair...actually haven't straightened my hair in over two years because I've completely programmed my brain to take care of my kinky coily hair. It's been quite the journey and also quite the love story. I've always had a great amount of self-love but after having natural hair it has taught me to love myself even more. I went natural during a time that not a lot of black men were dating women with TWA’s (at least not in Boston) but I did it anyways, I didn’t care what anyone else thought.
What kind of Natural am I now? Well I'm the one who looks at her hair and sometimes gets absolutely frustrated so I pick hairstyles that I know will last several days. Also, I am no longer a product junkie. I have no desire to make my own conditioner and I've learned what works for my hair and I stick to it; my days of exploring are long gone. I am the natural who has realized that a wash and go will only cause a tangled mess and will never work for me. I am no longer envious of curls that I do not have. I’ve embraced my natural curl pattern and I can't imagine it any other way.
What kind of natural are you are you?