It's been exactly one year since I've started wearing my hair naturally curly and it has been a long, frustrating, challenging, life changing, beautiful journey.
Now, be aware that I never did a big chop because I had already been perm free since June '09 so I didn't feel it was necessary. Sometimes I feel like I should have only because my hair had suffered SO much heat damage that it would have been better to just start over but I'm a scaredy cat and the thought of cutting my hair clean off scared the fear of Jesus into me. I ended up having to cut a lot of my hair off in May '11 since there was SO much hair that just wouldn't grow but still not enough to call it a "big chop". There was a lot of research that I did not do before going natural, which is also something I regret doing because I would have saved my hair a long time ago, had I done the grunt work.
I went natural for 2 reasons:
- Health. My poor hair couldn't take anymore heat damage. It's a miracle it hadn't completely fallen out because I was abusing it. I flat ironed my hair every single day, I never conditioned it, and sometimes I wouldn't even sleep with a scarf on. I knew the best way to save my hair was to take the straightening method out completely.
- Self love. When I was younger I battled the fact that I was black for a long time. Going to school and only being friends with white kids because they were the only ones that were nice to me. The black kids wanted no part of me so I wanted no part of them, least of all, the racial similarity. Adding to the fact that all I saw on TV were white baby dolls, white barbies, primarily white TV shows, etc. I was so envious of the white race. They looked so beautiful and I look so....black. I look back on those times and I cringe! How could I have hated the biggest and best part of me?? The fact that I wear my hair in it's natural state further helps my journey to self love because at the end of the day I am a black woman and I love it.
Different methods of styling:
Wash N Go
Bantu Knot Out
And my go-to style: Twist Out
Some of the products I used:
I don't really use some of these products anymore but the ones I swear by are:
Hollywood Beauty Castor Oil
Coconut Milk Anti-Breakage Serum
Olive Oil Eco Styler Gel
Bio Infusion Deep Conditioner
Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie
Bio Infusion Leave-in Conditioner
Mane N Tail Shampoo & Conditioner
The product that did NOT work for me at all was Cantu Shea Butter products. I felt like they just sat on my hair rather than penetrate it. Will not be using ANY of their products again.
Shea Moisture is the business but it tends to leave my hair a bit greasy after a day or two.
I love Eco Styler Gel but the packaging lies! I definitely get flakes in my hair just by the end of the day!
The Bio Infusion Hair Hydrating Creme was "enh". It didn't make or break my curls so I wasn't running to the store to buy it again.
The Shea Butter Oil just smelled funny. No thanks.
A HUGE thanks to these ladies for helping me through my journey:
The journey definitely isn't over! I have so much more to learn and I can't wait to share it with you!