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Curly Nikki

How Long Have You Been a Healthy Haired Natural?

By January 27th, 202138 Comments

How Long Have You Been a Healthy Haired Natural?source

by Kurlybella of K is for Kinky

How long have you been natural and how long have you been a HEALTHY natural are two different questions. After the length goals post I noticed many naturals commented that they didn’t see growth or good growth (hair with less splits and damage) until they started really learning how to manage their hair and keep it healthy.

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’ve been natural since 2003 but a healthy natural since 2008 when I finally stepped away from the heat torture tools that I used to fry my hair and all the products that did nothing for my kinky curls.

Though my natural journey started eight years ago, I really consider my TRUE starting point in 2008 when I started growing and really caring for my natural hair from right at grazing my shoulders.

I’ve been a healthy haired natural for three years but i’ve been natural for eight years.

What about you? How long have you been natural? How long have you been a HEALTHY haired natural? Is there a difference for you and your hair?


  • KHurly Girl says:

    I've been relaxer free for over 2 years now but only completely natural for a little over a year. I believe that I've been doing a good job at keeping my hair healthy and promoting good hair health for the past year BUT I do feel like at times my laziness interferes. LOL. I've noticed that as my hair has gotten longer, I'm not as apt to try new things and I haven't been putting in as much work as I did before to maintain the health of my hair. I'm on it though, changes are being made! 🙂

    Let's Parlez: Love, Life and the Pursuit of Healthy Hair

  • Unknown says:

    I've been natural all my life (i'M 23!) but I have been a 'healthy' natural for around 7months…and I wish I knew all of this info when I was around 16, because my hair would have been waist length by now…as with playing attention to the health of my hair has increased the thickness, length and strength of my hair.

  • Lexi says:

    luckily for me my father refused to put a perm in my hair when i was young after my mother passed on and he was left a single father. thanks to him, I've been natural my whole life and learned about my hair and decided when i was old enough to make my own "hair" decisions, there was no need for a perm, when i want it straight i'll flatiron it, so my journey was really finding a great ceramic iron for my hair. I have a CHI iron and a remington small iron. I'm proud to say I've been natural for 24 years:-)

  • Alicia says:

    I never had a relaxer, so I've been "natural" for 29 years. I didn't really start focusing on healthy hair care practices until about 2 years ago.

  • BreukelensFinest says:

    Natural 3 years this summer. I initially went natural by accident, just wanting to recover from a bad perm/coloring combination. but eventually i liked the ease of not having to worry about perms and i loved my natural hair texture. no looking back, 3 years since my big chop means im a little more seasoned but no less in love with my natural hair!

    my hair is now bra strap length and in a protective style of kinky twists

  • Carla says:

    Technically, I've been natural my entire life. I stopped using direct heat on my hair in 2002 and grew out years of heat damaged hair. I didn't actually start really caring for my hair until about a year ago. Careful detangling, sealing, deep conditioning, and protective styling is not something I've done before and it showed.

    Since I started on my healthy hair journey, I went from shoulder length to almost bra strap length in 14 months. I must be doing something right.

  • BeautifulBlkWoman says:

    August 30, 2011 6:31 PM – No guilt baby. If it works for your hair, then use it. Suave is my go to conditioner for co-washing. I luff it and will continue to use it until my hair doesn't like it anymore.

    Let's see: my BC was May 17, 2007, and I've been healthy since then. No heat. I'm scared to try it because I've heard so many horror stories. I'm scissor happy, so my hair is just at BSL, coming from a 2 in Fro. I am also the Queen of the protective style, so my hair stays in twists or braids. Low manipulation, moisturizing and no heat have given me a head full of happy, healthy hair that I fully intend to keep.

  • Ms. Sassy says:

    Thanks to all the veteran naturals, I was able to start off healthy. I BC'd in May 2010.

  • Anonymous says:

    Natural since 9-2010. Healthy natural since April 2011 thanks to and These sources saved me from relaxing again because I didn't know what i was doing! Now I'm informed and happy with my natural hair.

  • Anonymous says:

    My last relaxer was in May 2009 after doing some research and lurking on I transitioned with braids and in addition to clipping off the ends I thought I would press or flat iron every time I removed my braids. Of course, this was not a good idea.

    Last year, 2010, I discovered YT (as a source for natural support), newlynatural and CurliNikki and thess have been instrumental in my healthy hair journey as well. I now feel as if I know my hair. I do my oil mixes and mostly use organic products. I buy what works and don't give in to the PJ side. I no longer rely on heat and have found protective styles to be a continued life saver.

  • Anonymous says:

    Help me understand what the difference I was thinking that it was only using natural products regardless heat is applied

  • IcyLillies says:

    hmm, I don't know. My last perm was back in June 2009 and I guess I started sticking with a regimen that really worked from me sometime in 2010.

  • Rhonda says:

    I've been natural for 2 1/2 years but I still can't figure out how to get my hair healthy 🙁

  • Anonymous says:

    Absolutely, I've been natural for 22 years and a HEALTHY natural for a little shy of 2 years. I had a standing "every-other-week" hair appt. and thought I was taking care of my hair. I never had many split ends and I always got compliments on having nice hair but I just thought my hair couldn't grow past my shoulders.
    It wasn't until I cancelled my appts. and started caring for my hair myself that I realized my hair would grow and it was thicker than I thought. My hair has gone from just under collar bone to BSL in 12months! I still go to my stylist to get highlights and my trims but caring for my hair with the right products and leaving the heat alone has done a world of difference for me.

  • Anonymous says:

    I BC in 2005, followed by a texturizer…and another texturizer…and then of course, hair color. And when I managed the slightest bit of length, it was a brush and gel all the way! Five years later, after discovering CN, the HUGE natural hair cyberspace community, learning patience and accepting my hair for what it was (instead of what I thought I wanted it to be)…I finally became a HEALTHY natural in 2010. It's still an ongoing process but we are on the road to recovery.

  • Anonymous says:

    Been healthy natural since may 2010 my bc date. No heat at all I use the same products and purchased a hair steamer my hair grew so fast 8 inches and still counting. I was thinking about using only organic/natural products but so far my hair love these cheap products for now. Anyone out there feeling guilty about using cheap products for example v05, eco gels etc…..

  • The Esthetician says:

    I've been natural since 1996 but I straightened my hair a lot. It was healthy until last year. I think I took too many passes with the flat iron and lost ALL of my kinks and curls. Now, I can honestly say, I've been a healthy-headed natural for year because I have applied NO HEAT for a year. NONE. ZERO. Now, my hair is thick, long and never sheds. FINALLY!

  • Anonymous says:

    I had my last full-blown relaxer 1997, but I texturized from 2005 until April 2010. I have been a healthy natural for 16 months! NO chemicals and NO heat (not even diffusing). I love having my healthy natural hair back again! I realize that with commitment, patience, and the right products, I can have length and many cute styling options without any chemicals.

  • Thrifty curly says:

    I've only had one relaxer as a pre teen ,so you can say i've been natural almost my whole life. Now Ive been a healthy hair natural for about 2 1/2 years. And Im realy loving every bit of it.

  • MoiVal88 says:

    I've been Natural since 5th grade or earlier but a Healthy natural for 1 year now And my hair is flourishing!!!

  • Erika says:

    OMG this is such a good point! I've been trying to be conscious of the products i use and have really improved from when i too stopped using heat styling tools to get my hair straight.

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural since 2004. Didn't learn how to really maintain length until this summer (2011), and I started talking to other naturals about sealing. I had no idea what it was.

    When I went natural, all I could find online was and! Who remembers those sites back then?

    Since sealing, I shed less and will hopefully see growth.

  • Anonymous says:

    I did the BC January 2008 and thought I had done enough research and was prepared to care for my tresses. Wow was I mistaken! My hair was dry and frizzy ALL of the time; add the fact I was experimenting with soooo many products I wouldn't have recognized a HG product if I tried. My natural hair did not become "healthy natural hair" until about a year ago after a long trial and error phase and by visiting helpful, informative webites like CurlyNikki and Naturallycurly!


  • thegirlwitthecrown says:

    Natural since 06. I kept a buzz cut (on and off) up until 10/10. I am honestly still learning, so I guess you can say I began a healthy regimen this year.

  • Anonymous says:

    since august 2009 and i love it- best thing i did for myself. tamara

  • Jade A says:

    Since August 2011, even though I went natural in August 2010, and had my last relaxer in Sept. 2009. :/. I can definitely see the difference in my hair just by doing small things (deep conditioning, properly moisturizing) that I didn't do before. I hope that this will allow me proper length retention AND just an even better natural experience 🙂

  • Anonymous says:

    Been completely natural since 2000 and have also been a healthy one since then.
    In 2000, the only resources for naturals were a collection of very wonderful books. No Lye by Tulani Kinard was an awesome resource for hair care, styling and inspiration. I used to comb through these books repeatedly- sometimes just to look at pictures. Cornrows and Co. (a Washington D.C. based company) also had a book and a salon which served as a resource. These people were pioneers at a time when being natural was not popular.

    Thankfully, society is always evolving with technology, so it is nice to have so many internet resources for everything right at your fingertips.

  • Neesh says:

    I've been natural since 2003 after a HORRIBLE experience w/ creamy crack and a rinse…smh. However, I was constantly getting my hair pressed out. I have been a healthy natural since June 25, 2010. I don't get my hair pressed out much (especially in the summer). I have realized my hair is retain length a bit more because I haven't been putting heat in it. However, I'm still actually learning my hair and what it likes and doesn't like.

    I'm now teaching my family how it is beneficial to cut out the constant pressing and all that jazz. They're still skeptical because they are lazy (their words, not mine) but I know they're all coming around. I like being that example for them.

  • Anonymous says:

    Hi I've been natural since 1999 (last chemical relaxer) but a healthy natural since 2005 (no longer applying heat to my hair). There is a great difference in my hair retaining moisture and easier to style. I'm so grateful for the natural websites. The information and videos are so valuable. Thanks again!!

  • Ashley Jane says:

    There's definitely a difference. I've been natural since January 2009 but a healthy natural since October 2010. I've seen so much growth in these last 9 months it's unbelievable. It really does make all the difference. I'm so happy I came into being a healthy natural much sooner because I think not seeing much growth would have convinced me to go back to relaxing. I knew how to manage my hair relaxed and without seeing the benefits of being natural, I'm sure I would have gone back to the chemicals.

  • AnJu says:

    I have been natural since May 2001 (10 years, 3 months) and I have been a healthy natural since May 2001…no typo! When I first decided that I wanted to stop relaxing my hair, I let the relaxer grow out of my hair (the process that is now known as transitioning) for about 7 months. Then I did the ultimate no-no: I relaxed my hair! UGH!!! I was so disgusted with how limp my hair was, because I could actually tell the difference between my ‘natural’ hair and relaxed hair. Two weeks later, I did the REAL big chop. I cut all my hair off to what I call a boy-cut. My hair was officially chemical-free!!! YEAH!!!

    I never flat-ironed or put a hot comb to my hair. I blow-dried it once (so it could be bigger) for my birthday in March 2002. That was the only time during the past 10+ years that I ever put heat to my mane. I achieved great lengths with my hair, but because I am scissor-happy, I never let it grow long enough to see how long it could really get. I am on my 4th REAL big chop, but this time I am going to let it grow. I am four months in and Nikki, I want to be a featured ‘Curly Nikki’ girl! I have stories and pictures. 🙂

  • naturallyneosoul says:

    I have been natural for 3 years now but a healthy haired natural since December of 2010…this was so frustrating at first because i didn't understand why my hair was still breaking and dry even though i was natural..i was under the misconception that all you had to do was go natural and all your hair woes were over (silly i know) but when i found curly nikki it changed my natural life and ive never turned back..ive gained almost 6 inches of hair since then and i'm proud to be coming up on my 1 year anniversary of being healthy haired lol

  • Ayanna Blueford says:

    I have been a healthy natural for a year now…August 28, 2010 is the last day I used any heat in my hair…It's my 1 year anniversary! Woop Woop!

  • Anonymous says:

    I've been natural since 2008, but I've only been a HEALTHY natural for about a month. I decided in Feb 08 to not get a relaxer anymore, but I knew NOTHING about caring for my hair in its natural state. I was still applying heat consistently to keep in straight, severely damaging my hair in the process. After years of fighting my curlies, I BC'ed on July 29, 2011 🙂 🙂 🙂 What a difference proper hair care makes!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I would say Ive been a healthy natural for three years once I stopped coloring. This year Ive had a set back with major breakage in the crown of my head…I blame the Tangle Teezer *sigh*

  • Dominique-Alexis says:

    Yep, healthy and natural don't always go hand in hand. It wasn't until the beginning of this year when I really and truly started seeing an inch of growth every month and pushed myself to learn more styles, although I've been chemical gree for years!

  • aubin says:

    I've been natural since 1990 (21 years!) but a part-time healthy natural since about 2005 and a full-time healthy natural since 2008. In 2005 I stopped coloring my hair using bleaching products and in 2009 I discovered the natural hair world online (including you Nikki!) and learned more about taking care of my hair. Before that my hair was a hot. a$$. mess. I consider myself a prime example of how natural is not necessarily better than relaxed if you don't know how to take care of your hair. Glad I finally figured it out!

  • Raquell says:

    Since July 2005. I went natural in hopes of healing my scalp – I love my natural hair but my scalp still has issues 🙁

    I will never perm again 🙂

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