It’s been four years since I’ve had a relaxer applied to my hair and three years since I chopped all the relaxed ends off after a rocky transition period. My last relaxer was in October 2012 and then I transitioned mostly by accident and had the rest of my relaxed ends chopped off about a year later.
What a journey it has been so far! It’s really amazing how the world of health and fitness overlaps — the health of my hair is completely tied to the health and well being of my body. When I nourish my body with whole foods and drink a lot of water combined with exercise, my hair thrives.
Natural Anniversary Reflection: The Shift in My Perception of Beauty
Besides the physical appearance of my hair, I’ve undergone such a mental transformation of what I deem to be beautiful about myself. Back in the day, I really didn’t like to be seen with too much new growth and not enough length, so I ran to get weaves and other types of extensions. I didn’t feel pretty without it. Due to the world’s standard of beauty, being cast as “other” can chip away at you and make you second guess if you’re worthy.
Fast forward to today and I’m not sure if it’s attributed to the fact that I’m getting older or that the natural hair movement has had such an impact, but my perception has completely changed (thank God). I absolutely love my hair texture and I embrace my shrinkage even when it gets on my nerves when trying to achieve certain styles. I feel beautiful with my hair out worn naturally and I never thought I would arrive at this place but I’m so happy about it and so at peace with it. Now, I wear wigs, extensions and weaves out of boredom and for protective styling needs. They aren’t a necessity anymore.
Natural Anniversary Reflection: The Cost & The Practicality
Let’s talk about cost and practicality—I’ve saved so much money guys! I used to go to the salon habitually for relaxers and different stylists for weaves etc. and I would spend hundreds of dollars. Now, I go to the salon about once or twice a year and my biggest splurges are on high quality wigs. Natural hair products are definitely expensive, but they last for a while and they still don’t add up to the prices I used to pay for hair upkeep–it’s not even close.
Does natural hair take time? Yes, it does but when you get in your groove and learn techniques to save time, it’s really not that bad. I’m about the lazy natural life, I focus on deep conditioning once a week and doing SIMPLE styles that last because I don’t have time and because I’m not really good at styling. Das it.
Being Natural: My Current “Regimen”
These days, I wash and deep condition my hair often. My favorite deep conditioner is still TGIN’s Honey Miracle Mask. I also started rinsing my hair with water once during the week when I remember to and this is because water is my friend that combats dryness and because I sweat a lot during my workouts. I still struggle with figuring out how to style my hair so I usually rock a puff:
Or I pull it back into a bun. Since the temperature is dropping, I am itching for a great protective style so that I can shield my hair from the cold. I just want something cute and feasible for work and play/workouts. I would do crochet braids but we know that doesn’t last long so it’s likely that I’ll get twists/braids or wear a wig for a bit.
Being Natural: Hair Update Fall 2016
Recently, I went to the salon to get my hair trimmed because my ends were feeling really rough. I was shocked to see how healthy my hair looked after it was washed, conditioned and pressed. When the stylist snapped a picture of it and showed me, I was in disbelief. That’s all mine? No clip ins? And full? And with length? A week later or so, when I washed the press away since my hair was slightly reverting, I was relieved to see that my curls were back.
I was terrified of heat damage, but thankfully, I was spared. Shout out to stylists who know how to apply heat effectively.
I’m so appreciative of my journey so far because it’s taught me so much about myself and how to embrace my natural beauty. Here’s to many more years and hair styles! I absolutely love the versatility of our hair–you’re never stuck and can always find a way to switch it up. For now, I’m going to just keep doing what I’m doing and I’ll keep enjoying the journey.