I have been natural (relaxer free) for a while. Dating back to 2011 if I am remembering correctly. During this time I wore a lot of braids and weaves. I hated my hair so I didn’t bother with it. My actual hair journey (when I actually started taking care of my hair) started in 2015. I never did a big chop. I just could never bring myself to do it. Shoot, I didn’t even like cutting off dead ends so there was no way I was shaving it all off! Anyway, here is how my journey started:
In 2013 I decided that I wanted to embrace my kinks and take a break from weaves and braids. Starting off, my hair was always dry, brittle, and frizzy. Wash day seemed like a 9-5 work shift and detangling felt like 2 hours of overtime. It only took about 2 months for me to realize that I was not about the natural life! I think I kept my hair in braids for the rest of the year.
Fast forward to 2014, I told myself that it was time to get serious about letting these coils flourish (again! lol). I went on the hunt for a great natural hair stylist and was recommended to my current stylist a few weeks later. I went to my stylist for a silk press and a much needed trim. She slayed! The bomb.com! Listen, i loved my hair so much that I was getting my hair straightened every 4 weeks! Yes EVERY 4 weeks. When I tell you my hair became so thin; I was walking around looking like a troll doll. You could count the strands on my head. That’s a no-no! I had to those stringy ends off and start again.
I had a better game plan for 2015. I only straightened my hair 3 times that year. I focused heavily on finding the right products for my hair. I turned to YouTube for natural style suggestions and care tips. I gave up weaves completely and cut back on the braided styles. I put a couple hair regimens in rotation to see which worked best. This year was all about listening to my hair. Determining which products my hair loved and what products my hair could do without.
2016 was the year of the protective styles. I wore braids, buns, and puffs all year. I kept my hair moisturized and tucked away. I straightened my hair twice this year just for the purposes of trimming my ends. I also implemented deep conditioning on (just about) every wash day. This is the year where I actually started seeing some results. My hair wasn’t shedding like crazy anymore and there was a noticeable difference in thickness. No more of that thin, stringy silk press. My hair was full of body. I fell in love with my natural hair this year. I loved the versatility. It became my crown.
For 2017, I didn’t change much from the previous year. The main change I made was eliminating braids. I got my hair braided twice this year, mainly because I didn’t have the time to sit in the salon all day. I wore mostly buns, twist, puffs, or a combination of the three. I also only got my hair straightened twice, which is a practice I want to continue doing. I learned to wear styles for 5-7 days straight for low manipulation and re-moisturize throughout the week when needed.
In my hair journey thus far, I learned that my hair doesn’t need all those expensive, all natural products. I found that my hair responds best to products like Herbal Essence, Tresemme’, and Crème of Nature. I also learned my hair absorbs products like a sponge, so re-moisturizing is a must. My hair also responds best when it is washed every other week as opposed to every week. Because I re-moisturize my hair throughout the week, I would end the week with a wash to rid all of the product build-up. However, my hair preferred every other week instead. She’s the boss, right? This is still an ongoing journey for me. I am still learning and still trying new things to see how my hair will respond. Don’t be discouraged, I have been natural for 6 years and JUST starting to get the hang of things 2 years ago. Be patient and kind to your hair and it will thrive.