My hair journey back to “natural” began exactly 1 year, 2 months and 16 days ago! However, I vividly remember the day I got my first relaxer! At the time, a cousin did me and my mom’s hair. I had endured years of Sunday morning press and curls and burned ears! Or, I spent many a Sunday at various neighbor’s homes getting my hair braided. *My mom could only do block braids* I longed for a relaxer but she was not on board. (In the pic below, she has an afro, but she eventually got a relaxer.) It was only after my dad spoke up, that I finally got my wish! Apparently, he had been enduring those Sunday hair rituals as well, and the subsequent tears, burning hair an arguments that accompanied them!
Anyway, the day I received my first relaxer, I was overjoyed! I was about 12 and had arrived expecting my usual press and curl, and was surprised with a box of “creamy crack“! The smile never left my face:) In hindsight, an a word of advice, surprising a someone with a relaxer is not such a great idea! There are things you should avoid before relaxing your hair. Scratching your scalp is a HUGE no no!! Needless to say, I suffered some scalp burns, but I could care less!
For the years that followed, I faithfully got my “touch ups” every 6 to 8 weeks. I was one of those girls who would sometimes endure chemical burn to get my hair as straight as possible. Brilliant, I know!
In my late 20’s, I started focusing on getting my hair healthy. So, I went longer between relaxers and paid closer attention to the products I used on my hair. Then, about two years ago, a friend told me she decided to go natural, and was still wearing her hair straight. I was intrigued! I didn’t know that was possible. When I thought natural, my thoughts went to dreads, Afros and braids. However, I couldn’t tell she hadn’t had a relaxer in months and her hair looked very healthy. Around this time, I was also looking for a new stylist. I was tiring of the two hours I was spending driving to and from my stylist. I wanted a change.
I found a local stylist, who did, mostly, natural hair. At first, I was just prolonging the time between my relaxer. I was going 10 to 12 weeks between touch ups. I loved how with a good blow out and flat iron no one new the difference. So, I decided to let go of the relaxers for good, in hopes that my hair would be become thicker and healthier.
Though some, seasoned “naturals”, told me I would HAVE to do the Big Chop, I was determined to maintain my length through the process. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not one of those girls with an aversion to chopping off my hair. I channeled my inner Halle in high school! Though, I haven’t cut it that short since, I have had significant length cuts since then.
However, I knew that the Big Chop wasn’t necessary. It pissed me off when someone said I HAD to do that! *Remember this post?!* However, the thought of seeing my hair in it’s natural state + being ultra short = very scary!
Though, I mainly wear my hair straight, I wanted to utilize the versatility of natural hair,from time to time. I saw my, then, impending maternity leave as a chance to experiment with my hair. Mainly, because I would be home an if I screwed it up, no one had to know! So, I researched some products, purchased Miss Jessie’s Buttercreme and did a twist out for the very first time. It wasn’t perfect but I loved the look and the fullness. However, though I’d been transitioning for a year, I still had a lot of straight, relaxed ends. So, my twist out looked great at the roots of the hair, but the ends would not stay twisted and rollers didn’t help. After falling in love with the possibilities of what my twist out could look like and spending a lot of time on this blog, I started to get the itch for the BC!
My stylist an I agreed on a mini cut. This did eliminate some of the relaxed ends, but many still remained. I am one of the few transitioning clients of my stylist, who wants to utilize the versatility of my hair and not just wear it flat ironed. So, we discussed how I wanted to wear my hair and decided the Big Chop was they way to go!! I’m excited about the change! This should be fun:)