My natural hair and I have had an “on again, off again” relationship. My sophomore year in college (1998-99), I met a phenomenal freshman who wore her hair in it’s natural state. Someone who was that confident and prideful doing something that was so touchy (at the time)- – I had to meet. She played a huge part in my decision to explore the “other side”. But how could I, why would I… SHOULD I?! My hair was one of the things that made me who I was, or so I thought. One of the things everyone complimented me on was my hair- – no matter the length, color, style, etc. It was always on point. So, I started thinking long and hard about ridding myself of relaxers. Ironically, doing hair was how I made money in college. This phenomenal freshman gave me the privilege of taking care of her mane. I braided it, twisted it, coiled it, and eventually I was head over heels. I knew this lifestyle was for me. I cut my hair gradually in the fall of 2000 and stopped getting touch ups. By the beginning of 2001, I BC’d with only 3-4 months of new growth. I loved it!…Until the in between length came. I hated it. All the while, people were in my ear with “OMG, I can’t believe you cut all that pretty hair”, or, “your hair was so pretty, why did you do that?!?!”
*SIGH* With all the forces against me, sadly I didn’t last a year. I relaxed my hair again in 2002. Looking back I can say that I was unequipped at that point in time. I didn’t have enough education about taking care of my hair, I had no support, I didn’t have the confidence or strength, and I just wasn’t ready! Period.
Fast forward to February 2005. Although I had just gotten a touch up, I couldn’t shake the thought of living a natural lifestyle. Inside and out. I really wanted to, but this time I needed to be prepared. This time I would study, so I lurked on sites like Fotki with a huge appetite for learning all I could about everyone’s experiences, rituals, etc. I read all I could about products, protection, and co-washing. I decided to transition for a whole year. March 2006 I BC’d and ironically although I “prepared” myself for this, I BOO-HOOED like a baby! It took a couple of days to get over the shock of it. One day I woke up and said, “This is you. Embrace it.” And I did. From that point on I wanted to show my Creator that I appreciated the way He created me. Ever since then, I’ve felt a sense of freedom, pride, and an extreme oneness with God. Now, everywhere I go I hear, ” I love your hair!!!!” Most importantly I love my hair! 🙂