I probably only had natural hair for the first 7 or 8 years of my life. My mom tells me that my hair was very thick and rough and hard to handle. I’d cry when it was time to do it and she was tired from the fight of getting the comb through my hair. My fist relaxer was “Just For Me!” I still remember the jingle: “Just for me…. a no lye conditioner, relaxer and cream…..” After my first relaxer, my mom would put my hair in plaits all over my head. As I got older the pony tail was my style of choice. I spent most of my teenage years wearing my hair in a wrap. I’d get a wash and set and then wrap my hair in a circle on top of my head. This style allowed my ends to bump under as opposed to hanging straight down.
As I got older and could afford to purchase things, I started buying human hair weaves. I just loved how long hair looked on me! You couldn’t tell me nothing!
I got so used to wearing a weave, that I disliked how I looked with out one. So I would immediately put one right back in.
I never learned how to take care of my hair and weaves made the task of taking care of my hair easy to avoid. On March 19, 2010, my cousin, Nenjae Vanessa started talking to me about “going natural”. Meaning, we would no longer put chemical relaxers in our hair and we would allow our hair to grow out naturally. (Chemical relaxers can damage your hair and it has done so to my hair.) I thought she was crazy! After watching hundreds of YouTube videos by brave women who decided to go natural and cut off all their relaxed hair, my cousin and I were inspired.
Friday night March 26, 2010 (just one week after our discussion) we got together and ate some food and drank some Nuvo and made the decision to do the BIG CHOP! She cut off my hair and I cut off hers!
Now why did I do this? Why was I so concerned about no longer using relaxers? Why didn’t I just wear a weave or braids? I want to learn my hair. I have no idea “who” my hair is! I really don’t.
I have no idea how often it prefers to be washed. I would go a month without washing my hair because it was always in sew in weaves and didn’t want to ruin the texture of the hair.
I have no idea how much moisturizing it needs. When you wear a sew in weave, your hair is concealed underneath, so I often just rubbed grease on my scalp every so often, but had no real understanding of whether or not to do it more or at all.
Cutting off all my hair was liberating. During my hair journey I will spend time learning what it needs and how to manage it.
My goals are to have my hair grow long, thick, and healthy with no relaxers! I can’t wait for the years to pass and I watch my hair transform!