Why I Decided To Go Natural

In December of 2011, I decided to stop using chemical straighteners on my hair and allow it to grow out in its natural state.  This means it has been three years since I put a relaxer in my hair.  Before deciding to go natural, I was relaxing my hair every four to five weeks.  I always had thick hair and when I would sweat, especially when working out, it usually began in my hair and my hair would revert back to it's curly state.  It seemed to get to the point where my hair was resisting the relaxers.  I wondered why I was even going through the trouble of relaxing my hair.

Picture right after my last relaxer
After years of relaxers, I started seriously thinking about going natural.  My hair had been relaxed since I was three years old, so I needed to first figure out how I was going to pull this out.  I knew very little about natural hair styling.  To educate myself, I started checking out YouTube vloggers.  One in particular, Mahoganycurls, was encouraging and helpful.  I instantly became a fan of hers because she made me feel like I could do this.  She started off making videos after her big chop when she had a TWA (Teeny Weeny Afro).  Although I decided to transition rather than cut all of my hair off to do this, Mahoganycurls is my hair hero.  I love watching how her hair has grown.  And, I appreciate her taking the time to show those of us who sometimes feel lost and clueless when it comes to our hair, how to care for it. If you ever have time and if you are interested, you should check out her YouTube channel here.

Mahoganycurls' TWA
Mahoganycurls in 2015
In this journey, I have learned to appreciate the way God created me, curly hair and all.  I have also learned that people have been more accepting of my new hairstyle than I anticipated.  It's not that I really care if others like what I am doing with my hair or not, but I did not want to have to constantly discuss my hair and why I chose to do this with people.  And, I did expected to have to do that by going natural.

Since I decided to transition, I had to let the relaxed ends of my hair grow out slowly and trim them off as needed.  Sometime last year, I finally got to a point where all of my relaxed ends were gone.  This is what my hair looked like when I started the transition. This was one of my wash and gos from the early days.

December 2011
While transitioning, my go to hairstyles were buns and curly puffs.  I don't often wear all of my hair down.  I've always been a ponytail girl.  And, I'm so thankful they have been in style these last few years, because I have certainly been wearing them out. Going natural was a little easier for me because my hair had seemingly become immune to relaxers.

Now, let me clarify, I am not a purist when it comes to my natural hair.  I know some out there do not apply heat to their natural hair at all, but that is not the case with me.  I am only natural because I am concerned with using less harsh chemicals in my hair and I wanted healthier hair.  I flat iron my hair about once a week, depending on my schedule.  I have not experienced heat damage at this point, although I do have some rules for flat ironing my hair.  I always apply a leave in conditioner use a heat protectant prior to flat ironing.  If I flat iron my hair, I only make one pass with the flat iron on each section using the comb chase method.  In the future, I hope to share a tutorial on how I flat iron my hair.

Years after beginning this transition, my hair is healthier than it's been in years.  I love the versatility that natural hair provides me, I can wear it curly or straight, dependent upon my mood.  I even feel like my natural hair has boosted my confidence a little.  When my hair is curly and blowing in the wind on a nice day, there is an overwhelming sense of freedom I feel in being exactly who God created me to be.  In the future, I will share my hair journey progress for those that may be interested in how it has grown over the years.

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