My Hair Story

I believe this was 10th grade. Lol

I had never been told I had "bad hair" as a child but the implication was always there, even though it was probably unintended.  I'm the oldest of three girls and both of my sisters were always told they had such "good hair," while I never heard the term applied to myself.  The middle sister was given her first perm by my aunt, one day while my mother was out of town, without permission.  My mother was really upset when this happened and I can remember her saying, "She had such good hair.  I wasn't going to give her a perm (yet)."  And my youngest sister had the most conventionally pretty hair texture of all of us, with perfect 3c ringlets forming all over her head from the time she was a toddler, and actually had to beg my mother for a perm when she got old enough to envy the other little girls with straight hair.  Only then was her hair chemically altered.  Whereas my hair had never been referred to as good hair (that I can remember), it was my mother's conscious decision to chemically alter my hair (unlike my middle sister), and my baby sister had to actually ask for a perm to get one. Naturally, I assumed my hair was the worst of the three and perming it was the only option for me, though I had no memory of what my natural hair was actually like.

11th grade. My hair was thin and short.

My first real exposure to what natural hair could be like was in high school.  My best friend went natural and I was completely enthralled by her hair.  It was always so big and fluffy and soft and beautiful.  I was always touching it and playing in it, something most others weren't allowed to do.  Looking back I can remember her dropping a few tidbits of knowledge on me about what kinds of tools and products were good for natural hair and saying that she found a lot of her tips through YouTube.  But I never really engaged the topic to the point that I did my own research.  My assumption was that my best friend had "good hair" and I didn't so the things she was telling me would never work for me anyway.  My mindset was still "relaxed."

17th birthday party! I loved that red color. :)

But during my freshman year of college I discovered the online natural hair community through YouTube.  All of a sudden image after image, video after video was in front of me, showing me how women with natural hair of all textures took care of and manipulated their hair to make it look as beautiful as it did.  I started to see that it didn't really matter what texture your hair took on its own, there were a million different ways to set it to achieve the look you wanted, without using harmful chemicals or damaging heat.  It was amazing.  But my mindset wasn't fully changed yet.

Prom night. :)

Sometime during the second half of my freshman year I stopped perming my hair, for various reasons.  I didn't have the money to have my hair relaxed professionally, so I had been giving myself box perms whenever I thought my new growth was getting to be too much.  I didn't have a set hair regimen and just did things to my hair as I thought they were needed, without any real knowledge of proper hair care maintenance.  I wanted to save the time and money spent on box perm kits so I left them alone altogether.  In my mind, it was better for the health of my hair if I just straightened it with a flat iron instead of a relaxer.  At the time, I didn't think I had the option of wearing my hair any way other than straight, and using 400+ degrees Fahrenheit on my hair didn't send off the alarm bells in my brain that it does now.

Summer 09. Candid shot. ^__^

However, after a while, the influence of the natural hair community started to change my way of thinking and my perception of beauty when it comes to hair and I let go of the heat and opted for "out styles" to blend the two textures of my hair.  Bantu knot outs became a favorite hairstyle.  And on February 28, 2011, about nine months after my last relaxer, I decided I was tired of having to blend two textures and wanted to be fully natural.  I hacked all of my relaxed ends off in my room at home, with no help from any family members, though I did ask.  They were all just too scared to actually take part in me cutting all my hair off, not really understanding why I was doing it.  But that didn't matter to me.  I was tired of having short (never longer than neck length), brittle, dry, damaged hair, and I wanted to really start my journey to long, healthy, natural hair.

Pin curls on relaxed hair. Fall 09.

Now I make YouTube videos and maintain this blog to keep track of my hair's progress and to help as many other people as I can.  I'm going to grow my hair down to my waist and there's nothing anyone can say to convince me otherwise.  If you want long, healthy, natural hair too, I say join me on my journey!  Follow the blog and subscribe to my YouTube channel so we can reach our goals together.  It won't happen overnight but with patience, perseverance, and dedication, we can all have the hair we want. :)

Bantu knot out on natural hair. About 3 months natural.


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