Lenora, a gorgeous CN.com reader and subscriber, submitted her story to share with, and inspire long-term transitioners. Check her out!
I am beginning a journey that I never imagined I would embark on. I received my first relaxer at the age of 9 years. My mother felt my hair was too “nappy” and she could not handle it so she enlisted the help of my aunt who was a licensed beautician. She immediately slapped a relaxer on my head and this marked the beginning of my slavery to the straight world. For years I grew up envying women with lovely, curly hair. I always wanted a big, curly, full head of hair, but I thought it was totally out of my reach. One day at the age of 40, I began to notice that my hair was not growing like it used to. I have always had a head full of hair and I would cut it in a short style and it would grow back two weeks later. At 40 I had my stylist cut my hair into a short pixie cut. I noticed that after two months, my hair was the same length. This was not good. I also noticed my hair was thinning at the temples. My stylist at the time stated it was because of my age. I immediately told her I was not buying that and I began to seek out another stylist. I had received a card from my boyfriend who visited a stylist in St. Louis with his friend. I kept the card for months before finally calling her to help.
This marked the beginning of a love affair with my natural hair. She told to me that my hair was not “nappy”. She stated I had a tight “s” curl pattern and I did not need to wear relaxers. Since my hair was very short, she began my natural journey by giving me a sew-in weave to allow my hair a rest and to give me some length while at the same time allowing my relaxer to grow out. You see, I did not want to do the BC because I felt my head was way too big for that. I wore the weave for six months and my hair grew out 3 inches. I went through the in-between stage for 3 months and I hated it at first, but the rod set really helped me out. My stylist suggested I go to CurlyNikki and take a look to find some tips and hairstyle options so I would not give up on my journey.
This was what the doctor ordered! Not only did I receive very helpful information on how to treat my hair, how to manage my tangles, and what products work best, I also realized there were other sistas out there just like me who had the same issues as I did. I finally realized it was not me or my hair that was the problem, but it was my lack of knowledge on the subject. I now embrace my natural head of hair and I will never look back. Not only has my hair grown tremendously over such a short period, it is also much healthier than it has been since I was younger. My last relaxer was November 2007 and I will never go back!
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this article has further inspired me to continue with my transitioning journey. i am so glad I have started on my own journey to freedom.
To answer Anonymous on how my stylist got my hair so straight – she blow dried it then flat iron it. When it is blow dried out, it is a big afro. I can't believe how straight she gets it, but her dryer is a beast. For this reason, I only get my hair straightened a few times a year. Oh, she only blows it out to a certain extent – not totally straight and the flat iron does the rest.
1) NOBODY needs relaxers. All hair types can be properly cared for in their natural state, even the nappiest of the nappy.
2) It's not uncommon for women over 40 to experience thinning due to hormone changes…but only a doctor can confirm it, not a hairstylist. My hair has started thinning a little and I've been natural since age 30. Fortunately, the thinning isn't as obvious as it would have been had I been relaxed.
how did she get it so straight looking
Your hair is beautiful! Just imagine if you'd listened to that other hairdresser that told you that your hair wasn't thriving b/c of your age. This has inspired me to do a rod set 🙂 Thanks for sharing.
Thank you for the love ladies! Much love right back at ya!
Her hair is just fabulous all around!!
The rod set is so pretty!! A must try!