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Curly Nikki

The Tears I’ve Shed- On the Couch with KurlyBella

By January 27th, 202124 Comments
The Tears I've Shed- On the Couch with KurlyBellaby KurlyBella of Kisforkinky.com

I’ve shed numerous tears for my hair and the pain that it once caused me I caused myself by being in denial about my hair and ignorant of its care.

I remember it like it was yesterday. There I was, standing in the shower and had been for a while. My knees and legs ached from barely standing and balancing on the slippery ceramic of my tub as I worked to keep my balance amidst a half inch thick layer of multiple “moisturizing” conditioners; my cold, wet body shivering from the water that had once been a comfortable 80 degrees and filled the bathroom with a relaxing steam had now turned to an ice storm falling rapidly over my face, neck and back inducing waves of shivers which ran up and down my body second after second.

In one hand my fingers tightly gripped a useless denman – the brush that all those “other naturals” said I should buy. In the other a wide tooth comb that I worked in a now less than gentle and full of frustration-filled, angst tug as I tried to remove its teeth that had somehow gotten stuck on the right side of my head deep down in my tangled and brittle kinks.

If at that moment, the shower had not been on, and if one would have turned my life into the Truman show – a complete voyeuristic opportunity to see and feel my every move, you would have also seen me, standing there, buck naked, cold with tears running down my face – they would have been as real to you as the salty water was to me that came from my eyes and puddled at the split of my lips as I licked them out of frustration, hunger and thirst. and if you could, while watching me, also read minds at that moment – at that brittle time in my life – you would have known that right then, I fully regretted EVER going natural.

Those moments in the beginning of my natural hair journey were common and often. Moments of pure unadulterated frustration and almost hate for my hair and how it rebuked every thing I did to it.

But that night was the last night I stood in the shower and took an hour and a half to wash my hair. That moment broke me like a wild horse and it was at that moment, after I’d shed my last tear that I decided to finally not just listen to but HEAR to what other naturals with similar hair to mine were doing, LEARN about hair care, CREATE a regimen, MOISTURIZE my hair without pause, TRY new products based on my knowledge, MOVE ON if something didn’t work for me and LOVE what God had given me naturally.

After that moment as I lay in bed and reflected on what had just happened a few minutes earlier, and looked back and ran through where I was going wrong with my hair, the reflection alone was enough to take that big boulder of “my hair is too [fill in the blank]” off of my shoulders. what a relief when I finally stopped to really learn about what I SHOULD be doing with my hair. I slept very good that night despite that half detangled mass of wet hair on my head.

Why am i telling you this?

I know there is someone reading this now who can relate. just typing this makes me have flip flops in my stomach because I struggled soooo hard in the beginning of my journey that my shower memory, when recalled today, is still so very strong and pungent.

I’m now at a point where I could not love my hair more and my hair is finally in a happy state. My biggest hurdle and what caused me to be in that shower for so long was the sum of a few things I constantly did wrong. I refused to wash my hair in sections – completely in denial about the fact that I have hair that tangles much to much to wash it out and about. I didn’t detangle, nor did I want to take the time to do so, my hair loaded with conditioner before I got in the shower – something I automatically do now. I didn’t follow through on learning how to keep the moisture in my hair after wetting it thus my hair was severely dry from not knowing how to properly seal in that water. (please read how to moisturize hair if you are struggling), and finally, to be honest, I just had not come to the place where I was truly 100% in love with my texture.

Becoming the natural I am today took work, time, patience, and a lot of reflection. I didn’t want you to think that my journey was all puppies and lilies because it was not.

I think we all, especially those of us who have been natural for a very long time like myself and who started at the beginning of this turn around in hair care and enlightenment, have that story, at least one, where you wondered if you were doing the right thing, if being natural was the right decision.

I’ve chosen this life for me forever and I couldn’t be more happy and I no longer hold disdain for my kinky coils. I’ve shed numerous tears for my hair and the pain that it once caused me I caused myself by being in denial about my hair and ignorant of its care. If you want to not only be natural, but a happy and stress free natural who enjoys her hair, you have to start with the basics and you must be willing to learn, try, sometimes fail and to really listen.

My haircare routine is stress free, and now fits seamlessly in with the rest of my life and I could not have asked to be in a better place. Had someone said to me back then at the moment that I was stepping out of the shower, hungry, tired and weak, shivering cold and hating life, that I would one day think that my hair is “major”, “boss” and “beautiful”, I probably would have shanked them in the throat with my bar of soap.

Thank God for living and learning.

We all have that one story that for many is a turning point.

So what’s yours?

If you could give a natural who may be reading this and is at her wits end with her waves, curls or coils any advice and share one story, what would that be, what would you tell her to help encourage her and what would you want her to know?

Be sure to include your hair type!

24 Comments

  • Mel D says:

    I most def can relate. Although I have been 'natural' since 2007, I really did not take me hair seriously until late 2009/2010. I would get really frustrated with my hair and I would hate that I could not find a hairstyle to fit my style. Last year I spent the whole entire year researching (lol) and practicing. I am not quite out of the 'frustrated' zone yet but my hair has become SO much more manageable just by changing my hair products (My hair prefers homemade deep conditioners) and routines (detangling is a HUGE must….emphasis on HUGE). For those who are frustrated, stay with it and keep researching and trying because once you have got IT you will truly get IT. Thanks for sharing…haha and to think I thought I was the only one 🙂
    ~Stay Natural~

  • FunkyStarkitty50 says:

    I have to admit, when I first ditched the weaves, it was scary and I thought "Wow, this is really not what I expected." But I have come to love and embrace the real me(4a/4b/4c) I still get hair lust when I see people with the 3a-c variety, but I'm reminding myself that there is beauty in ALL hair patterns.

  • Anonymous says:

    I can definitely relate to this post. I just BC'd last weekend after a 4 month unintentional transition. I just didn't want to put another relaxer in my hair, and the 2 different textures was driving me insane! I am still in the learning stage and just this morning there was some frustrated cursing involved when trying to style my hair for work. LOL. At this point I don't know when or if I will get to the "I 100% love my natural hair" point. But reading this post and many of the comments give me hope. I have also learned in the last week or so to 1)STOP comparing my hair (learn about it instead) 2)Be patient and willing to experiment 3)I am NOT the first or last woman who has felt this way.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    @keisha — sorry for the late post, I really only hangout when I'm supposed to be working 🙂
    I use DeveCurl One Conditioner.

  • Pamela says:

    I can also relate to this post. I've been transitioning for about 14 months and while I've gotten rid of almost all of my relaxed ends, and have learned how to care for MY hair (can't detangle in the shower because I rush through it. It takes too long and the water starts to go cold!) I also discovered that I get the best results and the least shedding when I wash and detangle in sections! I learned this the hard way when I tried several months ago to wash and detangle in the shower without section my hair. I was ripping through it with my Denman and it was shedding by the handfuls! When I got out of the shower, the back of my hair was noticably shorter, most of the relaxed ends had been ripped out and it was a raggedy mess! Thankfully, I've learned that being patient and gentle with my hair, what products work best for my hair, and protective styling are my most effective weapons for keeping my hair healthy and happy. Also, as many of you have already said, realizing that my hair is not like anybody elses'. I can't make it look like someone else's style, I have to work with it and create my own. I can take tips and suggestions from other curlies but I have to modify those styles to work for MY hair and not expect to look like everyone else.

  • b. says:

    I see ppl mad at a certain Anonymous, but what comment are ya'll talking about? CN, did you remove it? 'Cause I'm confused.

    Thanks, Kurlybella, for the article. I can relate to a certain degree (my experience was much like LBell's), and I'm sure what you've wrote will help a lot of new naturals out there.

  • Samantha says:

    I am not quite sure my hair type…..but I know that at this point I have been seriously considering shaving my head! I've been natural for 6 yrs now, have mid-back length hair, but my hair is thinning like a beast from constantly pulling it back. And while letting it out seems like the natural solution, for me it made things even worse….I ventured into the world of conditioners, which was a HUGE mistake coz my hair hates it, and now 4 washes later I still have build-up, top it off with all of this tropical humidity, I have no idea what to do….my once best friend has turned nemesis….been trying to experiment, castor oil near destroyed my texture, my hair's been destroying accessories….seriously considered locking up, but don't like high maintenance and would miss my waves…..sigh…..

  • LBell says:

    My only ready-to-cry moment (actually it was a real-life scream moment) happened when I was relaxed. It was that moment of complete and utter frustration with my thin, limp, weak chemicalized hair that propelled me towards natural hair. (I'm mostly 4b.)

    But I went natural LONG before all this stuff was available online…in fact the World Wide Web was just getting off the ground. And I was one of the first women in my circle to go natural…I didn't have a lot of people to compare myself to or envy. So much of my early natural hair journey was trial-and-error…and I really felt like I was blazing a trail but in reality the trail was only for me and my hair.

    So one thing I would suggest to anyone who's losing their wits is to take a break from hair blogs, forums, and albums. It's much easier to learn to appreciate what you have if you're not constantly comparing it to what you see online. Now if you happen to have F2F friends who have enviable heads of hair then I don't know what to tell you except to try to accept that everyone's head is unique, like their fingerprint, and that often the grass looks greener on the other side.

    Comparing yourself, your hair, and your journey to others' is a guaranteed recipe for unhappiness because there will ALWAYS be somebody with the hair you want but don't have. Hell, that applies to life in general! Somebody's ALWAYS going to be thinner, thicker, richer, smarter, etc. You can't do anything about it except to be the best YOU you can be.

  • Anonymous says:

    Anon 5:19 I'm with you. I've looked at so many videos and websites that one day I just sat my but down and asked: what is the point of your searching? I dug deep and I discovered I wasn't learning anything new; but I just wanted to compare my hair with others(in not necessarily a positive way) That's it. Bingo-the lights went on and now I read only a few select blogs, like this one and some others and then it is only to look for new techniques and positivity.
    Once I "accepted" what I had then my energies were channeled into the right direction(finding products which work on my hair)

  • Anonymous says:

    well i have definitely had the emotional shut down and breakdown and everything else that comes with this journey..my hardest moments comes when i see naturals that have just gone natural months ago and their outgrows mine and i've been natural for 3 years…it's hard for me to see that but my advice to this natural woman that is struggling:

    my love hold on and be relentless in your efforts to figure out your hair. it's your hair and your journey and so no i dont know your pain but i do understand the struggle. keep focused and keep trying until you find something that works for you and that will restore your confidence in why you did this. speak life into your coils, waves, kinks etc and your hair will respond, i guarantee it…you are beautiful

  • Anonymous says:

    I have had the cry in the shower moment. Many. Right after I BC'd after transitioning for over 2 years. I was so ready to be "natural". And sport my curly fro. Only to have it start shedding out so bad that I would clog the shower drain. I got a thin spot on my right temple… it was bad. I struggle with this problem for 6 months. The whole time wondering if going natural was the right thing to do. When it stopped, I was left with a thin noodle head that I hated even more (was quite used to my curly head; didnt feel sexy, didnt think it looked good on me etc..) Its taken a long time, but my hair has finally rebounded. This past weekend, I rock THE fiercest wash n go ever!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for the post. I do have moments with my natural hair but also had many moments with my awful relaxed hair. I prefer the natural moments.

    By the way, Anon 4:42 is obviously a troll.

  • keisha says:

    @aishasaidit Girl I feel ya on the shedding. It just seems SO unreal to have that much hair come out and you're being as gentle as possible. what leave in do you use?

  • april says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Emma says:

    CurlyBella, your hair looks fabulous in the photo above.
    AT Anon 4:42:
    The woman was trying to encourage others who have been in a similar position and invited us to share our moments of frustration. Your negative comments are unnecessary and unwelcome.
    For you to rubbish someones experience says a lot about you. Why don't you post a photo of yourself so we can see how gorg you are?.

  • MelMelBee says:

    Hi Ladies,

    At this point, I just laugh and move on! I just had a frustrating/laughable moment a few hours ago. So I decided to try Ms. Vaugh's 2 twists and pompadour style. I know that my hair is thin and 3a/4b and I'm still working on my braiding/parting/twisting skills, but she just made it look so easy…

    When I got done I seriously looked like Mrs. Douggar (18 kids and counting)….LOL! It was so NOT cute. All I could do was laugh…I called my mom into the bathroom and we laughed together!

    The point is this…In life, we all have our moments when we are fragile. My question becomes this…What else is happening in your life at any given moment when you feel this way. In the past, I've had melt downs if I've burned something in the oven, or if I can't find my keys, but that is usually when something else is overwhelming me and it comes to a head at that particular moment.

    At any rate, we are all human and have our moments. The important thing is to never give up and keep moving forward!

  • Anonymous says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. Although it's not my expereince, I am sure it resonates with many.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've never gotten emotional but I have gotten annoyed. Usually when I'm annoyed with my 4a/4b fine hair I just twist it up and call it a day. My hair is good if I shampoo my scalp, deep condition with Giovanni Smooth as Silk and use shea butter and olive oil mix as my styler/leave-in.

    My only words of advice is to keep it simple. This includes how many blogs you read, youtube vids you watch, forums, etc.

  • Anonymous says:

    For me, I never had a "cry in the shower" moment, but I did have several times when I was minorly frustrated with how long it was taking me ot do my hair. The turning poin for me was when I stopped thinking of my 4b hair as "the most difficult to manage hair in the world," and started thinking of it as…simple, beautiful hair. I tried different products, and once I found some inexpensive products that worked for me, I stopped buying new ones. I realized that even though my hair is very nappy, as long as I don't mess with it all the much, it doesn't tangle very easily, so that now I can finger detangle with conditioner. I learned how to keep my hair moisturized with EVOO and conditioner, so I have no more breakage. I literally spend a grand total of maybe an hour a week on my twistouts, and my hair has never looked better. Less is more… it really is.

  • AishaSaidIt says:

    Aw..Man I don't know what my hair type is. I'm sure it's around 4A/4B. But what I do know is that at one point I was convinced I was going bald from all the "shedding". Somehow God gave me a whole lot of time to read a whole lot of blogs and what I learned was I was detangling and moisturizing….wrong…wrong…wrong. The problem is it's takes awhile for me to change when something is not working when everyone else is praising it. I tend to blame my hair instead of just changing my plan. But I did it, I changed almost everything. And my hair is like day and night. Results came and are coming quickly. If I had to point out one thing I stopped doing it was, washing and detangling in the shower. I can't do it with as much patience and care that I would sitting warm and dry in front of the T.V. or with company. Detangling is now done right before I style in sections with my leave-in and Vitaka oil. And my hair has thanks me for it. I wish I could post pictures, it is that obvious.

    @Anonymous 2/10/2011 – Don't kill the writer, if the artcle is not your cup of tea then just move on. Also I feel when people make statements like "the world thinks…" actually they mean "I think…". I don't know about you but the world Loves Me. (I know I travel all the time.)

  • april says:

    My hair is 4a and the only time that I've had a really frustrating time with it, is when I cut it and failed the upkeep of it. I thought about straightening it, but I got braids instead. I would encourage any natural who is at her wits end to experiment with product and maybe even consult a professional natural stylist. Sometimes we can't do it by ourselves. But we also need to become more educated ourselves and try all options before giving up.

  • april says:

    This is a place for us not to judge each other and criticize Anon @ 4:38. I guess you feel that you can do that because it's your right, right? Smh. Why can't we keep the positivity going on this site? More and more I read comments written here that are so judgmental. And for what? And for the most part it is the anonymous who have something bad to say but have a problem attaching their names to their posts. If you can write it, why not stand behind it with your name? Ridiculous

  • Anonymous says:

    Unfortuantely I don't have any advice. As I am at the point where I am at my wits end. (I am not crying in the shower, but I am flustered with styling options that I THINK are work appropriate) and this in between stage of my hair growth, winter vs summer regimes, etc. and although I have no intentions of putting a relaxer or texturizer in my hair. (Because I HATE the smell of them.) I simply can not offer encouragement today. I have been natural since 2000 and kept it in a low curly fro for a reason. BF convinced me to 'let it grow' and now I am considering getting off this train, at the next stop. 🙁

  • Chimmy says:

    I'm proud of you.I love being natural, I really do,and for the past few weeks since my bc i've loved my hair. I kept saying to myself that when it grows it will be this lush and thick and full thing. I realized that I do have quite a bit of length, it's inching towards shoulder length, but still my hair doesn't appear at all thick and full. I'm kind of just annoyed and experiencing envy for the girls with such lovely thick hair. I feel that I'm cursed to have both fine strands and thin hair. I never thought I had thin hair until I saw my friend who has denser hair than I and all the beautiful pictures of other naturals. I always attributed having thin hair to the relaxer, but now I know it's just my hair. I'm feeling a bit low about that and hopefully I will find my turning point like you did. I don't know about that right now though. I pamper the heck out of my hair so that's not the issue. I ordered Jamila henna, and I can't wait to add that to my regimen because honestly need to get stronger, thicker hair.

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