Today I want to share my natural hair journey with all of you out there that are natural, or thinking about going natural! I don’t talk about natural hair on my blog as much as I would like to, but that has a lot to do with the fact that my YouTube channel is mainly about this topic. But I definitely want to talk about it more on here for those readers out there that can relate! So lets get into the details of my natural hair journey.
**For anyone who doesn’t know, when I say “natural hair”, I am talking about no longer processing my hair with chemicals to make it straight. Basically permanently stretching out my natural curls. By “going natural” I grew out my relaxer (which is the name for the product that is used to permanently straighten curly hair) and allowed my natural curls to grow out. This process is called transitioning. Another option is to cut off all of your hair (The Big Chop) and grow your natural hair out from there. So I will be explaining how I decided to go natural, what transitioning was like for me, and what I learned from it!**
So if you want to know the time table and details of how and why I went natural check out this video, where I talk about why I have gone natural twice now, what made me decide to do it, and how I got through the transitioning process.
In this post I want to expand upon what I shared in my “Natural Hair Journey” video. I’ve decided to go natural twice in my life. The first time was while I was in high school. Unfortunately back then I didn’t really know what to do with my natural hair, I didn’t have youtube videos and tutorials to help me understand my hair better, so I never truly embraced my natural curls. This was because of multiple things. The first reason was that I was expecting my curls to “look” a certain way. The ladies that I looked to for inspiration when transitioning all had loose curls, mine were tight and coily. (which I am TOTALLY fine with now!) So, its probably safe to say that I was somewhat disappointed in how my curls ended up. Another reason I didn’t embrace my curls was because I had NO CLUE what to do with my hair. I wore it in a bun ALL the time. I didn’t feel comfortable with it out, because I didn’t really like how tight my curls were, so I got bored with it, and eventually started missing having straight hair.
I ended up going back to a relaxer, I was very self conscious about my hair and how I looked, I mean I was in high school, no surprise there. And at that point in my life how my hair looked was more important to me than whether or not what I was doing to it was good for it. So I relaxed it again, and kept it relaxed for 3+ years. My hair started to get shorter and damaged over time, and eventually I got fed up with it and cut it to a short bob. After keeping it in this style for a while (straightening it every day, not being able to do anything with it because it was so short), I decided in June of 2010 that I would no longer get relaxers. I started watching youtube videos on natural hair that summer, I found websites like CurlyNikki, and I started to learn about what it really means to be natural, why relaxers are so bad for your hair, and why my hair would be so much stronger without those chemicals in it.
The difference between my first time going natural and the second time (and last, I’ve been natural for 4 years!) was the resources available to me. I know they weren’t there the first time because I looked for them, the second time around I was able to find so much more information from women who were going through the same thing as me! I learned the terminology, different hairstyles to help me blend my natural hair with my relaxed ends as I grew it out, and how to properly take care of my hair.
I transitioned this second time around for about a year, another difference was that instead of wearing my hair in a bun for a year straight, I actually tried braid outs and twist outs, I experimented as my natural hair was growing, and I learned so much. This got me excited for the day when I would finally be fully natural and it prepared me for when this day came, because I was able to learn so much about my hair beforehand. The waiting had to be the hardest part for me, slowly watching my hair get longer and longer, it never seems to happen quick enough. But it did happen. And this time around I was able to find out what products and styles worked for MY hair, instead of trying to get my hair to look like someone else’s.
The biggest lessons I learned through my natural hair journey were to accept my curls for what they were, and learn to love them, and most importantly don’t compare them to others. I still drool over other YouTubers’ curls, don’t get me wrong, but I do it out of appreciation and with a mindset that all natural hair is beautiful, and no two curly heads are the same. Going natural is such an amazing journey, it’s a great opportunity to do something for yourself that will benefit you and your hair in the long run, and it is also a time to really get to know yourself and your hair better. It’s a time to make mistakes and learn from them, and it’s a time of excitement and celebration for all of the milestones you reach!
I am so happy that I decided to go natural, it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. If there is anyone reading this that is considering going natural, please do your research and make sure you truly understand what it means to go natural, learn what it will take, and make an educated decision! This was why I went back to relaxers my first time, I didn’t have all of the knowledge and understanding before hand that I had the second time. If there is anything else that you want to know feel free to ask any questions you may have in the comments below, also check out the video below for more details on my journey! xoxo