Many do not know the story of my hair journey, so I figured this would be a great time.
My mom relaxed my hair when I was 6 years old. I will never forget the day when she brought home the PCJ relaxer kit. I was already â€œtender-headedâ€ as it was, but the fear that came from the burn of the chemical. But as all addictions start, you begin to get use to the feeling and soon after you canâ€™t go on without it. During my kindergarten year, I had at the most 7 relaxers within a yearsâ€™ time! As a result, my edges became damaged and fell out. Hats were my best friend toward the end of my kindergarten school year.
(@ 3…au naturale)
(Kindergarten and relaxed)
As years went by and my hair recovered from the breakage, I maintained the relaxed look and began to experiment with rinses. This was my sophomore year in high school and my hair reacted poorly to a professional grade relaxer. I was forced to cut my tresses. I was very disappointed in the condition of my hair and I was ashamed at my decision to cut my hair. I then began to wear braids and weaves. Glue-ins, sew-ins, and braids were a quick fix but underneath my hair was suffering. Plus I hated the fact of wearing a weave. You would think my hair journey would begin here, but in fact this started my journey of taking care of my relaxed hair.
(After 8th grade (my tresses), 2000)
At this point in time, I had a stable hair stylist that was interested in growing my hair and my hair did grow then experiments started. Extreme heat left me with a missing curlâ€¦. Yep, an entire piece of crimped hair was on my pillow on morning at least 5 inches long! I cried for days but that couldnâ€™t bring it back. After months two months of strict hair maintenance, my hair grew long enough to wear it out, and then I tried a dye for my 21st birthday. Dumb, dumb, dumb decision! My hair quickly shedded and was noticeably thin. My husband was so upset with me because I consulting him first before I decided. Iâ€™ve learned if you are contemplating something, itâ€™s probably best not to do it.
(Fried and Dyed)
Over the years, my hair has cried for help and I finally paid attention and April 2007 was my last relaxer. I went back to sew-ins but this time, I was careful with my hair underneath and washed ever two weeks. My transitioning had begun. When I didnâ€™t do the sew-ins, I wore kinky twists. I didnâ€™t wear my hair out until the dye had grown out. In between weaves and braids, I trimmed my ends. I never did the big chop because I made a vow to myself that I would never cut my hair again. It took my hair a 1 Â½ years to grow my hair made to its original length. Once I was comfortable to wear it out, I never went back to weaves because my hair really didnâ€™t react well with the chemicals used to make the synthetic hair plus my husband hated it! LOL
I began my natural hair journey officially April 2009. No relaxers! I finally had control over my hair. I began making my own leave-ins and conditioners and began to wash once a week. My hair has responded wonderfully to constant care. Now many naturals wouldnâ€™t like this part, but I blow-dry and straighten my hair on a regularly meaning at least once a month. My hair never worked out with awash-and-go or twist out. My natural hair doesnâ€™t do great with braids, itâ€™ll just unravel. Iâ€™ve learned my hair down to a science and didnâ€™t trust my hair with anyone ever again. Butâ€¦
(Kinky twists during transition)
Once my hair showed signs of health and constant growth, I went to a salon. October 2009. The stylist didnâ€™t really care too much for my natural hair and hated the fact that I didnâ€™t give in. She barely straightened my hair and trimmed too much of my hair. I never went back after that. I was able to recover from the trim and within a few months my hair grew an extra 3 inches. I figured I give someone I know it capable of trimming my hair. So January 2010, I found a wonderful beautician. She not only treated my ends, but she straightened my hair beautifully! I was confident in my hair and the person doing it, that I highlighted my hair May 2010. My hair responded greatâ€¦no breakage no abnormal shedding! Wow!! Now, a little over a year since I highlighted my hair, my hair has grown and the color is leaving.
(Hair after awesome styling, 2010)
(My hair as of Sept, 2011)
I have been through so much with my hair and I am learning to treat my ends without fear. I am so proud of the journey and I have some growing to do to meet my goal length which is BSL (bra strap length) I will definitely get there!