Once upon a time, there was a young woman who was awe-stricken by the dopeness of natural hair! She had a friend who had the most beautiful, kinky, curly tresses she had ever seen and wondered how she was able to achieve that look. It was edgy, fashion forward, bold and it was au naturelle! I started doing research on natural hair in 2007. I'd never seen relaxer-free hair from this perspective before, and I loved it! It wasn't "nappy" or dirty or unkempt. It was beautiful! As many of us, I was brought up to think that our natural hair was unacceptable, unprofessional, and unmanageable. Relaxers were the end all be all to all things pretty. Boy, was I wrong and thank God my mindset changed from that warped thinking!
It started with reading fotki pages, reading blogs, and watching youtube videos. After awhile, I become obsessed with going natural. However, I just couldn't see myself cutting my hair down to a short fro. I decided that cutting my hair was not an option, so I started transitioning in the summer of 2007.
My relaxed hair in 2008
Transitioning was so hard for me. I was trying to wrestle with two textures by doing roller sets, buns, flat-ironing, and kinky twists. It got redundant and frustrating after a while. My first attempt, I transitioned for 6 months. In September 2007, I gave up and I'll tell you why. My good friend was getting married and I was freaking out on what to do with my hair. With no patience and no options, I folded and got another relaxer. I was so disappointed in myself. I regretted my decision. I wanted to turn things around so in May 2008, I decided to transition again. I got some cute micro braids to hold me down through the summer months and by August, I started wearing twistouts with my relaxed hair.
Transitioning in August 2008
I was really starting to love my twistouts. I could only imagine how it would look with my natural hair. I had been transitioning for about four months at this point. I continued to do more research and the more I read the more I became anxious to do the big chop. I just wasn't ready to let go of all my length. It was a losing battle. I was too worried about how I would look, what people would say, and how I would care for my hair once it was all gone. I just wasn't ready. It was an emotional struggle rather than a physical one. My family really didn't understand why I wanted to go natural, some of my friends thought I was crazy to cut all my hair off. I was getting feedback on both ends of the spectrum, which made it even harder to go through with it.
In November 2008, I hit another snag. This time it was for superficial reasons. I saw a super cute Gabrielle Union hair cut on the cover of an Essence magazine. It was so fly, I just had to try it before I went natural. For my birthday, my stylist and I decided to highlight my hair rather than cut it all off. She wanted me to think it over, but she was very willing to do it. I decided to get highlights and a layered bob (see above in black and white dress). I rocked that style for another 2 months.
In January 2009, I went for the Gabi do and got yet another relaxer! *sigh* I know. I really wanted to try that do as my final hoorah to relaxed hair. I loved the haircut, but a part of me felt guilty for compromising my hair again. I wore my hair in that cut for another five months. My last and final retouch/relaxer was in March 2009. I never looked back at the creamy crack ever again. My two BFFs held me accountable until the day of my big chop. One of them even scheduled my appointment for me to make it official! On June 13, 2009 at 8:00 AM, my friends and I met at the hair salon and it was that day I took the plunge! I was anxious, nervous, excited, scared, a big ole bag of emotions. Emotional, yes, but it was the best decision I ever made!
BC Day: June 2009
Fast forward to today, I'm almost 3 years post-BC and I'm more and more in love with my hair than ever. The journey has been awesome with a few little snags, but the best part is getting to know my hair and accepting everything it comes with. My texture, curl pattern, length, density, it's unique in its own special way. Below are some favorites and some milestones that I achieved.
Twist and Curl: 1 Year Post BC (June 2010)
Flat Twist Out: 2 Years Post BC (July 2011)
Tension Blowout: 29 Months Post BC (Nov 2011)
My 31 month anniversary was January 13th. I really don't keep up with months in between, but for the sake of this post I remembered. I'm working towards growing my hair to bra-strap length or BSL. I don't have much longer to go. I'm about 2-3" from that goal. I'm excited to see the progress of my hair. I don't intend to grow my hair to my waist, but I'll be happy to see it get to mid back length as my ultimate goal. I'll discuss my current regimen in another post and let you see what I'm doing to maintain and retain length.
That's my story guys! Two failed transitions, 3 relaxers, and almost 3 years natural and I'm loving it! I'm proud of how far I've come! I'm happy to share my journey with you, too!