Congratulations to me! I’m proud to say that I’ve been natural for 10 years. After getting my first relaxer at the age of 13, I never thought I’d be free from the creamy crack. You see, I believed my hair to be thick, coarse, and unruly. To sum it up… I had nappy hair! Black girls and women have been conditioned to believe this is a bad thing. No way did I want to walk around with a nappy head! Nor did I see anything beautiful about it!
I decided to go natural after reading an article in Essence magazine. I can’t remember the entire content of the article, however, what stood out to me most was how over time relaxers can thin the hair. Unfortunately, the women on my maternal side, as they age have a problem with thinning hair. Genetics is something we cannot manipulate. I had a choice to make. Either continue to have silky, smooth tresses or a visible scalp before my time. Later for that!
After reading the article I was challenged by my friend Kia – who just happened to be a natural with gorgeous locs – to go natural. Kia is my girl and everything, but Lord have mercy that child would taunt me. One minute she’d be encouraging me that I could do it. And then the next, “You’re not ready to go natural.” Now, me being me, I had to show Miss Kia that I meant business. Sooooo, I presented her with the ultimate challenge. 😉 “I tell you what. I’m going to go an entire year without relaxing. If I cave in, I’ll take you to dinner. And if I make it, you’ll take me to dinner.”
Umm…from the title of this post I guess you can tell who won the bet. 🙂 Although I’ve struggled at times with being natural, I have never once regretted my decision.
I was committed to going chemical free, but I hadn’t fully embraced my natural hair. I was still a slave to silky hair blowing in the wind. Weekly appointments at the salon getting my hair flat ironed was my best friend! Well, it was more like that chick you thought was your friend, only to find out she’d been talking about you behind your back. Mmm-hmm, y’all know what I’m saying. I’ll touch on that in another post. It wasn’t until five years after being natural that I began my journey to having healthy hair and fully embracing what God had blessed me with. Yes, my thick, kinky, nappy, hair is a blessing! My favorite Psalm tells me “I am fearfully and wonderfully made!” Psalm 139:14.
Here are some pics in my various stages.
If you’re thinking about going natural I would encourage you to do it! And if you stumble along the way, it’s okay. We’ve all been there. 🙂
Stay tuned for how I began my journey in the quest for healthier hair.
Until next time,