My Hair Story

When you make the decision to start going natural, finding the advice and stories from others who have been through the same process is a great support. It’s also great to get natural hair care tips from someone who has gone through it too. The goal of this site is to provide this support through advice, tips, product suggestions, hair care routines and much more.

The first thing I’d like to do is to encourage you to carefully document your natural hair care journey. Regardless of whether you are growing out a relaxer, or if you have always had natural hair, it will help you a lot to take pictures, make videos and keep a journal of the products and styles that have worked and have not worked for you. Key tips for natural hair care #1: The best way to learn about your hair is to study it!

My Background
I have very thick, very course, very kinky, 4c hair. I started getting relaxers when I was 4 years old. When I asked my mother why she decided to have my hair chemically straightened at such a young age, she simply said that she didn’t have time for all the work it took to do it. That was a different time (the early 70’s) and it seems like these days mothers have more products and experience at their hands to care for their daughter’s kinky hair.
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My mom is a cosmetologist and owned her own salon for just about 50 years (wow!). I literally grew up in the hair salon with all of the mirrors, equipment, supplies and products. I have always had a lot of fun with hair and I don’t take it too seriously. So the natural hair care tips that I provide here are with the intention that it is only hair! Any time you want to do something different, including go back to a relaxer… well, I think that is ok. Key Hair Care Tip #2: The second best way to learn about your hair is to experiment!

 

 

chopped-01The only time that I had experienced my natural hair before 2008 was in 1997 when I nearly cut my thumb off. I had a very short, straightened hair cut at the time, and with my injury, it was impossible for me to use my blow dryer or curling iron. I went in to my mom and asked her to chop it off. It was fun, but I went back to relaxers as soon as my thumb was healed.

 

So what caused me to want to finally go natural? 30 years of 6 – 8 week appointments later, I got a very very bad burn from the relaxer. I had been burned many times before, but I simply decided that this was it. And I started to let my natural hair grow out.

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This was that fated last relaxer. I look so happy and content. I was just covering up the pain! In reality, my scalp was burned and scabbed like you wouldn’t believe! Ugh. Too bad I didn’t take pictures of THAT, but I’m sure you can google “relaxer burns” to find many horrible disgusting pictures.

My Transition
Feb 2008 was my last relaxer. Since I did not want to chop off all of my hair I just decided to start looking into natural hair care products while I allowed my new growth to grow in. I held on to my length for as long as I could while keeping my straight hair. I mostly wore it “up” with a bun and/or a scarf. I also did twist out and other curly styles.

Once my new-growth got too long and started taking over I put it in twisted extensions that I could do myself. I wore my hair in the twisted extensions for about a year, washing and re-twisting it every week and redoing it in sections every few weeks. I never really took it all out at once, so the emerging natural remained a mystery for a long time.

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When I finally removed all of the extensions, my new growth was about 3 or 4 inches long, which was about a 1 inch afro. I cut all the straight ends off myself and put the twisted extensions back in. tips for natural hair care

I also had my “chunky braids” style that I would wear which didn’t take as long to put in as the twisted extensions. I’d take very large sections of hair and braid them down with extension hair. It only took about an hour or two to complete.

As far as a general hair care regimen, I always deep condition, and I don’t use shampoo. If you start reading different blogs and forums about curly hair care tips you’ll often come across the word “co-poo”. This method of washing using conditioner rather than shampoo is fantastic for the hair and it gets the hair very clean while also keeping it soft and manageable. Shampoo tends to strip your hair of its natural essence and dries it out.

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Progression
I usually wore my “out” natural hair in a twisted out puff at the top of my head. I wore it out when I had time to style it, and I twistedit and let it dry after I washed it to “stretch it out.”

I liked having straightened hair. It was fun, shiny, and it moved. I enjoyed the process of blow drying, curling, and flat ironing my hair. So learning to work with natural hair was a huge adjustment and required that I learn a new styling skill set. You’ll probably find this is true for you as well, but keep at it and work with it. You’ll get there faster than you think!

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Today
On December 31, 2009 I put a twisted style into my hair and then decided to let it loc from there. This is NOT the best way to start locs… if I had to do it over again, I would plan it carefully and make sure I had all the parts where I’d want them to be forever. But.. it happened the way it happened, and I’ve managed to make it work out for me. I’ve gone back and forth between combining them to make them thicker, then separating them again to make them skinnier. Also NOT a good idea.. but hey, I’m from a hair family and I can’t just leave well enough alone. As I write this on January 2, 2017, my locs are LONG, heavy, and just what I always wanted. Almost. If I weren’t in it so deep, I would start over and make them more organized and more the ideal size that I want them. It’s just hair, it’s a process. So I’m open to trying everything. I will just see how I feel and where it evolves next.

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Please read on and check out the rest of the natural hair care tips site!

Download our free hair care quick guide for more detailed tips and advice.

Learn specific tips for how to:
~Avoid breakage and hair loss.
~Protect and strengthen your ends
~and much more!

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