There is a stereotype attached to women that choose to grow out their natural hair. From the ridiculous notion that we are hippies, political rebels, vegan, hair obsessed, love reggae to being militant and feminist. Now, even though some ladies may be a few or one of those things, the fact that we are all labeled from the onset is so not cool. No, we are not going to rant about the stereotypes. Today, we discuss why I love my natural hair and would not change that even for a bag of Tropical Heat crisps, and we all know how awesome that stuff is.
I have to warn you, this is going to be a long one, so get cozy. Ok, so let's take it from the top, where it all started
// THE EARLY DAYS
As every young girl dreams, we all want long flowy hair that turns heads and gets people asking you what products you use. You know that feeling, when you have really nice, healthy hair. Well, that was me, not really the turn heads part but the healthy hair situation. I loved my hair and never saw a different future for my hair. We were good.
Looking back I laugh, I spent too much time in the salon. But it paid off. Whenever I had an off day, I found going to the salon relaxing. On a good day & in a celebratory mood, the salon was my champagne. :)
// THE BIG CHOP
Then 2012 I had a longing to do my masters. I LOVE to save money, deals. You name it. So I quickly came to the realization that spending a ridculous amount of £££'s on hair. C'mon, there are clothes, shoes and bags to buy with that :)
So I did it. It was interesting adjusting because it took me back to my primary school days. I bleached it and then colored it red because I thought, short black hair is boring (don't tell Janet I said that).
// THE FRO
My mantra with my hair has been pretty simple. Wash & Go. Literally. And I will be honest, that is on a good day. During this phase, no comb was harmed in the growth of my hair.
I once started watching all these YT videos and decided to take the "hair journey" more seriously. Combed it, plaited it at night and even made the effort of oiling it, I woke up to a migrain that lasted half the day. That was the end of me trying to fake it in the natural hair game.
// PROTECTIVE STYLES
After a while, I wanted something different. My friend Tezie used to plait her own hair with the Afro Kinky braids. So decided to practice plaiting someone else, I was the guineapig. She did an awesome job and a new partnership was formed between her hands and my hair.
I loved the kinky braids sooo much. They were light and everytime I took them out, my hair was so grown.
// FULLY GROWN
So, masters done. I moved to Tanzania and kept the movement up. My puff game was strong too. But I still had no idea how to handle my hair. Looking back, I wish I had done a better job at taking care of it.
Don't get me wrong, it wasn't breaking or one of those things but a missed opportunity. At this time, I had been natural for about 2 years.
// WEDDING BELLS
I won't really blame the wedding for my reckless decision but it is kinda what drove me to relax my hair again...worst decision. But also, one of my clients at the Agency was a Hair Brand whose biggest mover was the relaxer.
Anywho, I convinced myself that it was all for the wedding and once it was done, I would go back. This was around 2014
// PROTECTIVE STYLES 2.0
When I went back to relaxed hair, immediately I was done, I regretted the decision. So, for the few months I had it relaxed, I had it braided most of the time.
I am not good at hair stuff, I have come to realise. But I would like to be better. Wooohhhoooo this is turning into a theraphy sess :)
// OOPS I DID IT AGAIN
1st May 2015, I did. This time I decided to go orange FYI, I don't have an essentric personality but I think we all deserve a spark of madness to survive. I have been asked in the past what color it is. I will bare it all here.
The orange color was a mistake. I went to a salon in Uganda, Pamper Zone to be exact and although they are generally a goos salon, that day they didn't have bleach. So convinced me to do the color job without bleach, which I was hestitant to because I knew the bleach would make the red pop. Voila, I had some granny hair and was not happy. A few days later, I went back to redo the job, this time with bleach. Once the bleach was mixed with the red color orange hair was born.
I have relied on not combing (my personal fav), not oiling and taking my hair for a while now. But it is only until last week that I made a conscious decision to take care of my hair real good. Let me know in the comments if you would like more posts on my hair journey as I progress.
Do you have natural hair? What is your story?