I’ve been natural for seven years beginning with my last relaxer in 2003. I never transitioned “properly” and never gave any serious thought to whether or not my hair was natural. It just never occurred to me. I have been the BIGGEST fan of Denise Huxtable since I can remember and always wanted to pursue locs. So when my hair accidentally locked out of pure laziness of never taking down a set of two strand twists, I couldn’t have been more thrilled. However, some girlfriends of mine convinced me that “we” did not do things like that to our hair and after six months, I allowed them to comb them out.
I had the most gorgeous curly Afro once I took those locs out, but because I knew no better, I hopped in the shower trying to wash it, no detangling, regular shampoo, and found myself in a knotted mess. I promptly walked myself to the nearest salon where the owner went to the back to get a lye relaxer. He claimed it was needed to get my hair “right.” That was my last relaxer and I locked my hair again the following year.I found a very popular natural hair board to aid me in caring for my locs, but feared admitting most of my hair was relaxed. I didn’t do my big chop until I was five months pregnant with Sun. It served a dual purpose, 1) to mark the beginning of my new life as a mother and 2) to finally free myself of my relaxed ends. Since then, I have locked my hair twice more, once resulting in a chop and the other in being combed out.
I think much of my back and forth with locs has to do with not knowing about how various products and at home ingredients can help my hair. Now, however, I’ve immersed myself in Natural Hair Culture, so much so that I am using it as the focal point of my master’s thesis. My loose hair is here to stay, for now at least.