It’s been one COMPLETE year since I have used ANY heat on my hair and I am quite shocked I’ve even made it this far. The girl before the chop didn’t want to have anything to do with “puffy hair” as I called it back then. However, I wouldn’t regret my decision to go all natural and am very proud of the internal and external results!
Right before I decided to begin the all natural journey, my hair was in a pretty bad state. It had no consistent curl pattern. Instead, my roots were curly while the rest of my hair was dry and straight (as you can see in the photo below).
Reaching the point where I was comfortable cutting off most of the length and basically starting over was truly a defining moment for me. I had finally come to this place where I didn’t care about the thoughts of others or even the negative ones i’d have towards myself, but I had a vision and that was to have healthy, long, naturally curly hair and I was determined to make it happen.
In the year since, I’ve actually been confronted with a few different situations in which I’ve been able to witness how others perceive those with natural hair and natural hair in itself. One of the most memorable being an exchange I heard between two young teenage girls at the mall. One of the girls was African-American with relaxed hair and the other girl was blonde. I saw them glance at me as they walked toward my direction and as they walked past me I heard a cute little exchange;
Girl with relaxed hair: “What do you think of her hair?”
The blonde girl: “I think that’s too big!”
Girl with relaxed hair: ” I don’t know, I kind of like it!”
It was one of those moments I was grateful I was able to witness because it flattered me and encouraged me to continue doing/being me. In my mind I was thinking, “I kind of like it too!”.
As far as the weekly maintenance goes, I have finally found a shampoo and conditioner that I can use without it drying my hair (p.s. it had a lot to do with sulfate, but that’s a whole other topic…) and I wash once every week. Occasionally, especially after I use too much leave-in conditioner, my hair will feel really dry so I do go through dry spells every now and then. When I do, that’s when I resort to using a deep conditioning treatment. The one that I find myself using often is Cantu’s Leave-In Conditioner (it’s great at providing moisture and shine).
For regular day to day maintenance, if I’m not going anywhere my hair is in a pineapple bun wrapped in a bandana. When I am going somewhere, I typically stick to the L.O.C method (Leave in conditioner, oil, and then cream) for styling.
Currently, my hair is up to my shoulders curly, but just a few inches shy of mid-back if I were to straighten it. I continue to nourish it and encourage it to grow daily!