3 Years Natural and Here's What I Know...


Dear Nikki,

I have to always thank you and the CurlyNikki community for my successful natural hair journey. Why you ask? Well on CN I was inspired, encouraged, motivated and educated for FREE! LOL! Can you tell I love this blog a little bit?! Anyway, here we are, 3 years later, and here is what I now know...

Hair type = Mine!

Lol! If I've learned nothing else, I know for certain that my concern should have always been what MY hair could and could not do. I don't care if I licked the screen, my hair would not miraculously look like MahoganyCurls (my first hair crush) or Naptural85 (is her hair to die for or what?).  I can buy EVERY product that the always fabulous CurlyNikki uses and my hair will never be as dope as hers.  *swoons* Now, my hair is by no means shabby, it's just that I was being inundated with all of this fabulous hair and I was convinced that if I did EXACTLY what they did, my hair would look like theirs... O-o Uhm, NOT! Did that fact make me hate my hair and run for the chemicals? Nope.  But it did make me pay closer attention to what my curls wanted and needed. My hair is EXTREMELY curly/coily/spirally or whatever you want to call it, and it likes water, period. It shrinks beyond belief and it's very soft.  And I've just about done it all... even lost count of the number of Big Chops!  I loves me a TWA... #TeamLazy all day! LOL! I am currently allowing it to grow out because my beloved daughter wants big hair, so I can't cut mine ?!?! 


As for products, I know for sure that less is more for me. A good leave in (my favorite is Koils by Nature) does just fine. When I get crazy and start adding all the fancy stuff, I wind up with crunchy, hard hair and I don't like that at all. So I KISS (keep it simple silly)! The funny part about all the products is this... my hair is #TypeMine no matter what I put in it. There is nothing in a bottle (besides some harsh chemicals) that will change that..and I know it. I embrace it. I love it..whether it's stretched and big or shrunken and curly....I love it!


What have you learned during your natural hair journey?

66 Weigh in!:
babygirlshon said...

This is exactly how I feel to its like dang she read my mind lol . Those were my 2 hair crush as well along with Charyjay, but yes through it all my type is my type and I don't fight with it anymore I just let it be herself lol kinky curly cotton self LOL

KeetaRay said...

I can truly relate to this. I was having similar thoughts just yesterday. After wearing my hair in protective styles consistently for the last 6 months (braids/twists), I feel like now I am relearning my hair all over again b/c I haven't had to do it since like, February of this year. And I realized (again) that my hair doesn't like certain things that others can do. My hair is my hair, and I have to do what I know works for me. Nothing I do or use with change that. Lol And I can appreciate that :) Great post!

Radiance said...

I felt this way yesterday and was about to do a chop again out of frustration.... Thank you for this and yes I have the same hair crushes and had to realize that my hair is my hair and it will be fabulous in its own way as long as its healthy. Today I am officially giving my hair a name, Ruby...lol . I will let Ruby do her thing and keep her healthy. Thank you for sharing your experience : )

Davina916 said...

I've learned that what works for someone else's hair may not work for yours. Embrace what you have, and learn to take care of your hair.

Ree said...

That's a beautiful top photo (lady in blue).

Miss Anne said...

Go sweetdrk1!!! Love your hair and all your encouragement. I'm always on your blog and truly learning to love my hair in all her imperfection. Thank you!!!

And I say it again. That photo - Hot-NESS... Nuff said ;-)

Lena Townes said...

Great article! I love it, i totally agree with Miss Gaye, and she has the most gorgeous curls.

Chris said...

I went natural almost 15 years ago, way before natural hair blogs and video tutorials. My hair idol was my best friend who BC'd 6 months before me. I idolized her for being so daring, not because I wanted my hair to look like hers. Fast forward to now...I love that the natural hair community has grown and I love blogs like CN's to hear about other natural hair journeys and get product reviews and styling tips. But sometimes, I get annoyed with the number of folks who vent frustrations about what their hair "won't do". IMO many people spend too much time and money trying to manipulate their hair to look like someone else's. How many times have I seen questions on how to prevent shrinkage? Fact: shrinkage is just part of being natural for most of us. It's not bad, it just is. I choose to accept and embrace my hair, shrinkage and all and I don't trip on a little frizz. After 15 years, and sporting every length from a teeny TWA to APL, here's what has worked for me all these years: maintaining focus on hair health and finding styles and products that work with my hair and lifestyle.

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you! I knew I couldn't be alone

Sweetdrk1 said...

Lol yes CharyJay just fabulous

Sweetdrk1 said...

I look at my shrinkage as a new style, folks swear I cut it.

Sweetdrk1 said...

*smooches*

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you very much

Sweetdrk1 said...

Amen

Sweetdrk1 said...

Yes set Ruby free! Enjoy her!

Meeksj1 said...

Awesome article & luv my BFF!!! It's nice to know what ur hair Luvs & as for me yes I embrace my pjism & some things do make my curly girl happy!!

Umph said...

Sweetdrk1 I must confess, you were and still is my natural hair crush. Every since I checked the CN blog two years ago I was infatuated with YOUR hair. I too learned to KISS. Less definitely is best for my hair. CN site has helped me too in so many ways and for FREE, yes free. I appreciate CN and all CN offers.

LBell said...

I couldn't agree more with this. I went natural almost 17 years ago and MY hair idol was my friend who'd started locs 2 months prior. Until she locked I had never seriously considered going natural as an option, but once I did, I couldn't be stopped...I BC'd 7 weeks after my last touch-up (yes, I was close to bald) and that was all she wrote.


Learning to accept your hair's unique characteristics -- AND THEN appreciate them, rather than qualifying them -- is huge. To paraphrase -- okay, totally repurpose -- a Bible quote: "My hair is kinky AND it's beautiful..."

Sweetdrk1 said...

Aww thank you!! I am happy I could help. What a nice thing to say!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Hahahahahaa yes you have PJISM to the 5th power! Love you!

Thetruthisoutthere said...

@Sweetdrk1 - I love the blue photo! So ancient yet so futuristic!
I am so with you on the #typemine hair texture!

melorie said...

I have learned I can't play the monkey see then monkey do game with my hair. It does not matter how much or how little a product cost. My hair just does what it wants to do. And after three years I am OK with that.

Megan M. said...

I just use what works best for my hair I had hair crushes and still do but I realized that my hair texture is not like theirs. My hair was a disaster trying out things my hair crushes use.

Davina916 said...

Thanks Sweetdrk1! I always enjoy your posts and comments.

hairscapades said...

Gaye ... seriously, I was trying to figure out if this was you or your daughter!!!! You always keep the TWA, so it's cool seeing your puff and longer curls!! LOVE it!! I know exactly what you mean about hair crushes!! Fortunately for me, I was natural 10 years before discovering this online world, so I had already figured out my hair and kind of emulated those with similar hair ... aka CurlyNikki. But I sure love to lust after HairCrush, MahoganyCurls, Naptural85 (God I love her hair) and many, many more. And Pinterest natural hair boards are natural hair PORN!! But yeah ... I've learned a LOT in the last 2 years. Probably too much, in fact!! For 10 years, it was KISS for me!! Then, I went hogwild!!! But, I'm enjoying the ride and have learned to curtail my PJ ways somewhat over the last year. Oh, and I learned how to properly use protein!! That was a biggie for me:)!!


Shelli

Sweetdrk1 said...

LOL my lil mini me is the reason I have all this dang hair on my head! LOL! Thanks for the love <3

Sweetdrk1 said...

Megan I won't tell you how I use to sneak in EVERY product MahoganyCurls mentioned and tried them all..end result....UHM my hair! hahahahaahahaha just like it was before I spent all my dang money! LOL all in fun though. I have enjoyed every minute!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you!! My honey is a photographer and I often get this phone call "baby? get your makeup and come to the studio, now!" LOL

Prinsis said...

Beautiful post...beautiful lady.....beautiful curls...nuff said

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you!

101Corkscrews said...

I love this post. It is SO true but I love the blue picture even more. You look AMAZING, girl...Black don't crack! For real.....

alara said...

While i understand most views points that you do what right for your hair i believe that my hair icons are my inspiration and keep me from just covering my hair with weave or wig etc. Also i want run away from making assumptions about other peoples hair as being diiferent so dont attempt their techniques or use same products as i have conditioned my mind that my hair will only do one thing or another. Its that thinkin that has kept us bound, thinkin our hair is unmanageble and there is only a set way to look after our hair not knowing the potential of our hair.

Sweetdrk1 said...

LOL 46 and counting. Thank you darling!

DaiShanell said...

I need to take more time to get to know my hair. I've been natural for a year and some change. It's growing, but there's a lot that I have to master when it comes to my OWN hair. I really enjoyed this post! She pointed out some of the things that I've been thinking I need to do.

Gwenn4ya said...

I would have to truly agree with this whole heartedly. I wanted my hair to look like everyone else's in the beginning. Everything I tried was a fail. I tried wash and gos and I got a fail everytime. I learned that my hair liked two strand and flat twists. I can rock a twist out, but not too much far from that. I finally got it together recently after almost two years of trying. I have learned to love my hair all kinky just the way it is! This was a much needed post! I loved every word of it!!

DesireƩ Battiste Watkins said...

Thank you for this!! I found myself envying my daughter's long, thick, lush hair as I was attempting to braid it for the week. My first hair crush was my younger sister. She went natural about a year before me and she had these great fat, shiny curls and I wanted them on my head...LOL!!! WELL......I found that I have these little pencil-sized coils in the back; curls on the side are a little fatter and I don't know what exactly is going on in the front...LOL!!!
All that to say, thanks for the reminder to love #TypeMine!!!

mzcnnd said...

It took me a while to get to that place, but I finally arrived and now I love my hair too. I've written in response to other posts about the suprise of "nappy" my hair was to me when I finally gave up the relaxers/texturizers and really dealt with my own natural texture. At first I was a little disappointed. But I kept at it, trying different products until I found what worked for me. I had to stop having "texture envy", and looking at other naturals wondering why my hair wasn't like theirs. I now know what products my hair loves and responds best to and I am just thankful at my age (50 sumthin) that I feel like my hair is brand new, and I'm grateful for the gift!

Sweetdrk1 said...

You go head @b3512e30616d8e554c2cc9c2964aa587:disqus your words made my heart jump a lil bit! Go head and work it out!

Sweetdrk1 said...

@facebook-1541017757:disqus trust me I understand! Team #TypeMine all day! Enjoy your journey!

Sweetdrk1 said...

@gwenn4ya:disqus please know there is someone (me) who would love to get a successful twist out. LOL that is work for me, but I know it and I dig my heals in when I am ready for one. So rock that hair because you are inspiring someone else..trust me

Sweetdrk1 said...

@twitter-176920890:disqus first BRAVO on sticking it out for a year, not everyone makes it! Second this journey is all about YOU and no1 else. So take pics, take notes of the products and how your hair responded..you will quickly find out what your needs and wants #TypeMine
best wishes!

nikkinukka1 said...

GAYE YOU LOOK MAGNIFICENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS!!!!

DaiShanell said...

thank you! I'm def going to get on top of that so by the time I hit the 2 year mark I really know what I'm working with. College really had me #TeamLazy, but now that I'm a graduate I got time..Praise the Lawd! lol

Derika said...

Great article! I'm 6 months into my transition and I went out and bought soapy products that I saw other naturals swear by. Unfortunately, some of the products laughed at my haiir lol I've learned to listen to my hair and stop copying others.

Sydney Brown said...

I could probably write a short book answering this question but I think above all I have learned that my hair is not "difficult" if given what it needs. I used to fight my hair. I would force it straight because I didn't know what else to do. Then I found the natural hair community and I was inspired to wear my curls. Being afraid of them, I was super heavy handed with products which never yielded good results. Now I know the balance. My hair isn't "difficult" after all, because I now know what to do. I don't feel defeated by the idea of wash day anymore. I turn on Spotify and enjoy myself. My hair adores a coconut oil pre-poo, sulfate free Creme of Nature argan oil shampoo, Tresemme Moisture Rich conditoner, and Miss Jessies Rapid Recovery DT. I'm a PJ for life but have finally found my staples. Once you do that I think you take a physical and mental sigh of relief and then the whole process is like gliding down hill. Easy, peasy. My 4a hair is flourishing and I'm achieving my length goals. I also discovered Bentonite clay recently and it is just the cherry on top. Love it!

Sydney Brown said...

Great comment! I think many of us have suffered from "texture envy" at one point or another. You are so right! Once you accept whatever your curl pattern is and learn to work with it/find the right products, it's like being given a wonderful gift :) Which keeps growing and is readily apparent to all those around you.

LM said...

for me...MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE, MOISTURIZE!!...AND SEAL (ESPECIALLY those ends)! then MOISTURIZE some more! lol..make sure I trim when the time comes or my hair will really rebel. However I am still trying to learn to work with the length of hair that I have. THAT is my next hurdle to overcome, because I just want to bun and go, but I can't at the time. So I have to practice, practice, practice pinned up styles until I get them right (I am very "style challenged").

Erica said...

Love your beautiful photos. I totally co sign with you. My hair is ridiculously curly, spirally, with shrinkage to spare. Less product is certainly more. After 13 years natural this September, I know my hair will not emulate others. She will do her own thing. I just go with the flow and carry hair pins to french roll or bun her up when she acts out (usually at work)! The more love I show my hair lwith a minimalist regimen, the better it grows and the healthier it remains.

Miyesha said...

After four years of being natural, I'm finally listening to my hair. It is softer than it's ever been since I'm transitioning from chemical to more natural hair products. I have to thank my daughter for that because I did not want to put all of that stuff in her head. I don't care if it is formulated for kids.

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you! Wow 13 years you are a pro!!

Sweetdrk1 said...

omg if it ain't a WNG! LOL my daughter being home and staying in the bathroom trying new styles saved me a bit!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Yes finding your staple products is a bonus

Sweetdrk1 said...

Smooches!! you know I love you..thanks babeecakes

Sweetdrk1 said...

good luck on your journey

Ms. Ke said...

Hey Gurl,

Your hair is beautiful, I could not have said it better myself....Looks like you have on a pair of 2 Lite Creations earrings (lol).

Tracey said...

Gurl, you are Beautiful. You are Rocking that Blue. As for those swirl orange earrings they were meant for you. You are Rocking those as well. Hope to see you at another event. We will have a Blue pair for you.
(2 lite Creations)

CurvyCurly said...

I've learned that idolizing others only stunts my own growth, progress, and self love. Learn what's best for YOUR hair, do what makes YOUR own hair happy and healthy and stop trying to re-invent what GOD already blessed you with. My early hair crushes were MahoganyCurls, naputural85, empressRi, Elle, and of course CurlyNikki...all of whom had hair 10x thicker and much more than me. I just do ME and encourage my daughter, who has thicker, coarser hair than mine, to do the same.
GOOD Article!

CurvyCurly said...

Did you say 46? Wow! Whatever you're doing to stay looking so beautiful and youthful keep doing it lady!

Imani Monroe said...

lol Ive learned that my hair will show as much love to me as I show to it :) instead of chemicals and softeners water has become my best friend

Yo soy blanda said...

Thank you for this post!


It has been a real journey and spiritual practice to be at peace with my own Napiliciousness (Yup i did just write that!) And after much internal debate well on my way to recovery from being a Product Junky. My hair knows what it likes and I have sworn an allegiance that i won't deviate from the plan.
I've been natural for about 3 years now and I'm still surprised with the fun things I can do with my mane.


It is humbling and reaffirming to read I'm not the only one who dances to their own beat :)


Tina

crystalswholehealth said...

This is a great story. I just reached my 1 year anniversary and have already decided this very same thing - my hair has it's own dreams and desires from what I envision in my mind, so I just have to go with it!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Thank you! I get so many compliments on those earrings. I must take business cards the next time I see you guys!

Sweetdrk1 said...

Yes I do! I love 2 Lite!

Alwina Oyewoleturner said...

My hair is truly my hair and very interesting at that. Slip up and forget to do something and it's like you have to re-learn your hair to minimize mistakes, ssk, breakage, etc. My hair is a daily learning process. Thank God I have hair to work with, because some don't. No complaints from me.

Shashou said...

My lovely lady tresses where mine to love since day one. I in previous years learned to train my hair. And through that process I was able to get my hair to grow to bra strap length. I was so excited. In my journey of being natural I've been able to further train my hair. It's a new world for me and its so exciting.

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