Why did I go natural?
I had been getting my hair relaxed since I was 8yrs old. As long as I can remember, I have never had bouncing hair that I was madly in love with without the aid of weaves/extensions. My naked permed hair was so damaged you could see right through it and 'limp' was the best word to describe it. I did what I was told with no great results. Washed every two weeks, deep conditioned, wrapped at night and made sure to not touch up frequently. However 'limp' was still the nickname until I got a good Remi installation. Then I was the Bomb.com (if u know what I mean. lol!)
My best friend went natural 2 yrs before I did. I still remember her trying to persuade me to chop my 'limpness' off and go natural. I gave every excuse you can think of as to why I couldn't do it: "my hair is not soft like yours so I wont be able to comb it", "natural hair is not for me" and the biggest one, "I won't look good with nappy hair". How people were going to perceive me was a big thing that I had to get over. Well on Aug 6th, 2011, after trying to de-tangle two textures for hours, I realized I was 'DONE'. I grabbed a pair of scissors, chopped off the permed hair and have been natural since then. Now I have really strong, healthy hair.
Am I happy I made the move to being Natural?
Extremely! Taking the scissors and chopping my limpness off may seem like a small thing to some people but to me, it was huge. Having an inch of hair was shocking to me because I was a ponytail girl. What was even more shocking was how I got to see my beauty beyond the hair. I fell in love with myself again. I was terrified to go to work the next day because for 5yrs working there, this new 'do' was way outside Shelly's box. The compliments were coming left, right and center. I was amazed. I posted pics on Facebook and the response was the same. None of my hair extension installations received that much praise. My best friend was far above the moon when she saw what I did. I believe these are the things that kept me going.
Natural Hair is so versatile. The braidouts and twist outs and bantu knots and the good ole' wash n'go all excited me and still does. Mr Bobby Pins and I created a great friendship and he has been keeping my hair styles flawless since then. Lol! I am glued to YouTube and the excitement to try a new style or product is still alive and kicking. Lol! I love being natural.
Has the transition changed you and how?
Yes, it has changed me. My outlook on life has changed. Going back to how you were born and wearing the hair that grows from your scalp, in its natural state, should not be a big deal but it is. Growing up, kids who never had permed hair were teased and not seen as beautiful. There were no Black nappy hair Barbies at the toy store. Being natural was not something you do. Sounds crazy but we know it's true.
I can honestly say I love myself more. Not that I never loved myself before, but I appreciate my raw beauty more (if that makes sense). Playing in my hair, researching new techniques and natural products is so much fun to me, it makes me wonder who this new person is. Lol! But I wouldn't want it any other way. I will never have a perm again. If I feel the need for straight hair there is always a flat iron. Lol!
What is your basic hair care regimen!
-I shampoo with a moisturizing shampoo like Shea Moisture Curl&Shine Shampoo.
-Deep condition with my DIY deep conditioner mix (Click here for recipe).
-Air dry 60% then I moisturize using the LOC method and then braid my hair. (I wear braidouts more than any other style)
-Spray with my DIY hair mist and rebraid my hair.