The lovely Ylonda writes:

Finally it’s time for me to sit on the therapists couch! It’s been a long time coming. My journey to becoming natural has really been amazing.

In 2006 I witnessed very long hair growth after having my child. I never was the type to go to the beauty shop and get relaxers. I was in the Army and pretty much did my own relaxers and put my hair in a bun on a daily basis. When I left the Army in 2006 and came home, I really didn’t know what to do with my hair. I’m the type that loves to style everyone else’s hair but my own. During that summer I decided to change birth control pills. The beginning of 2007, I noticed some changes. I seemed somewhat depressed, and I had harsh breakouts. One day after washing a relaxer out of my hair, I noticed strands of hair falling out of my scalp. Literally I could pull hair and it would fall out in the sink. I was horrified. After researching the birth control pill I switched to, I found out that many women had the same reaction. Most of my hairline on the sides and front were thin. Almost half the back of my head had suffered hair loss. I decided to go the beautician for the first time in years. The beautician informed me that she would have to shave my hair in the back because it was basically gone. I had never worn a shaved style and I couldn’t believe my hair was gone. After this I started wearing half wigs, quick weaves, and sew-ins. I was really depressed about losing my hair. I had stopped relaxing my hair back in 2007 but never really did anything to it since it was always hidden under weave. Finally around May of this year, I decided to just cut my relaxed ends off and just grow my hair out. I have a 4 year old daughter and I always suspected we had the same hair type, and wanted it to be that way again.

About a month ago, I began researching natural hair and decided to really take my hair seriously. A lot of my sorority sisters have decided to throw away the relaxer and they’ve been my support system. My boyfriend told me I would look good bald so I knew he would be okay with whatever I decided. My family wasn’t as supportive. When I told my mom about never relaxing my hair again she said something about me looking like a slave. One of my sisters asked me did this mean I would start writing poetry. I received a lot of negative feedback but 2 weeks ago I decided to just be free. I threw away any type of weave I had laying around, I was broke so this meant I couldn’t decide at the last minute to run to the beauty supply and buy any. I had work the next morning and I had to work with what I had. I will admit I was nervous but after being on YouTube and reading the stories on CurlyNikki.com I was ready.

My first hair style was a twist out. It was okay for my first time ever experimenting with my hair. I had ordered the Bee Mine’s curly mustard. It moisturized okay but when I woke up, my hair looked oily but felt dry and I had lots of frizz. I’ve been doing updos, trying to get my professional look on! My co-workers loved my hair and kept coming into my office trying to figure out how I was able to “get my hair like this.” Since then I’ve been researching different products and trying to find out my hair type. I recently tried to curl my hair on rods and was pleased.

This journey has really been an emotional one. I never knew about all the insecurities I had with my hair and my looks in general. At first I felt naked to the world and that I was exposed. I’m working on my third week of wearing my natural hair and I absolutely love it! Sometimes I get tired of dealing with my hair and wish it was different…..longer…curlier…etc… but I’m growing everyday! The negative comments from my family still bother me at times but yesterday my 4 year old daughter told me she wanted her hair like mine and at the point I realized just how important it is to love myself and to be secure with the way the Lord made me.