I’m no expert, but I’ve been natural going on four years now and I thought I’d share my journey thus far. Like most stories let’s start at the beginning. It was—dreadful.
Dark. Gloomy. Discouraging. I couldn’t see the light at the end. But the mustard seed of faith I had kept me going. Not to mention I had no choice. Too many perms in too little time. I’d damaged my hair and I had to do something different. Something I hadn’t done before. I had to step into the unknown and I was so uncomfortable.
The time had come for me to transition.
Never been a girly girl. I was accustomed to throwing my hair into a ponytail and going about my wonderful day. When I did get my hair styled, I could still be athletic and it didn’t affect my hair much. So stepping out of my normal and finding a style for transitioning wasn’t easy for me.
I was about to step into a whole new world and honestly I didn’t know what to expect. So I went looking for childhood photos before the perm. And I said, “Hmm looks promising.” Until that first two inches of new growth and no perm. Who was I becoming? I got permed hair attached to two inches of new growth. Ponytail not the same. I didn’t tell anyone but I permed my edges, ha-ha! Bad idea. Had to start over again. I had to tell myself, “Suck it up! You have to do this!”
I don’t think I’ve ever encouraged myself so much in my life. But if your only choices are to either fail miserably or succeed. You’ll make it work.
Smh. I got some corn rolls with no hair added. I did that for a few months thinking it would be good enough. I mean what else could I do and not feel completely uncomfortable?
Didn’t feel like having to twist it or do the big chop! I just couldn’t. So eventually I got some kinky twist. That worked for me. I still felt like myself and I didn’t have to deal with my hair. I could go on with my life and just live freely. I didn’t have to sit around and watch my hair break and as a result, endure my heart breaking. That’s when things begin to turn around.
About every two months, I would take my hair down and actually see progress. I could actually see my hair for what it was. Those first two inches in the beginning can be so misleading.
I did the twist for about a year.
(Before new twist: I cracked an egg and added olive oil and conditioner. Let it stay for 15 minutes and rinsed with cold water.)
(While in twist: I oiled my edges with olive oil daily and every other day castor oil)
After a year of this routine, I got my hair straightened. Yes! Back to the old me but this time a healthier me.
My best friends: Olive oil, coconut oil, castor oil, eggs
Fast forward three years and I just took my kinky twist down I’ve worn for a few months. The first time I’ve worn a protective style since the beginning. That’s the one thing I will be doing more often.
Yes, I’m a straight-hair natural. We’re out here hiding behind the beauty of the kinky and curly naturals. Feeling not allowed to say were natural and proud. I like the sleek look for me. I’ve tried to wear my hair curly for a while. Let me tell you…lol
One day I went to work with a twist out. Something went wrong, either I twisted it too late or it was too wet. But when I took my hair down it didn’t work. It was a fail attempt, but still I had to go to work. I had perfect attendance at my 9 to 5. As soon as I stepped in the building, I went to the first floor restroom and I wasn’t for it today! I went home and broke my perfect attendance record because the twist out didn’t come out the way I expected.
I’m a straight-hair natural and sticking to it. I wrap and go. And I am more than thankful for having a beautician who is all about healthy hair.
She keeps me informed on the state of my hair and she knows just by looking at my hair what I’ve been up to.
She can tell when I’ve been wearing a tight ponytail for too long.
Her tip: Wear a looser one sometimes and wear it in different places.
She can tell when I’ve been working out a lot and not taking the time to gently comb out my hair.
Her tip: Smooth out your hair into a high ponytail before working out and wear a head band
Her tip: After exercising/sweating watch the way you comb your hair and keep it moisturized
Her tip: See her every two weeks for good care, deep conditioning, and necessary end clipping
To keep it sleek, she definitely takes her time with my hair. She always deep conditions, blows it out well, and straightens with care.
Overall, I’m much more considerate of my hair than my perm days. I have to consider the way I comb it. How I wear it when I work out. Humidity. Winter. I have to CARE and I do. I’m still on this journey which will last a lifetime. I have learned much but I still have so much to learn.
Patience. Persistence. Embracing you.