Why I’m ‘Going Natural’

Why I’m ‘Going Natural’

November 22, 2016 0 By oliviazao

After 6 years of having relaxed hair, I’ve decided to begin my  journey back to being ‘natural’ and here’s why…

Admittedly, I am a little late to the Natural Hair Movement party. Having had a very short pixie cut up until January of this year, relaxer and I were bosom buddies. I quietly watched people’s natural hair journeys and admired their afros from afar, settling on the fact that that would probably never be me.

I was all set to book an appointment to re-relax my roots and get a trim when something stopped me. I realised how much I truly missed my own natural hair. I had my first taste of the creamy crack at the (relatively late) age of 15 after begging my mum to let me do it. I longed for my hair to be silky smooth like the pretty girls on the relaxer boxes. As many with relaxer experience will know, the results were not exactly what I had imagined…My hair had gone from being thick, full and bouncy to thin, dry and rather unhealthy-looking. But I kept it up throughout the rest of school, sixth form and university.

Whilst I loved having a pixie cut (which I did a blog post on, in case you missed it!), I longed to see my hair in its natural state again. I had also, unsurprisingly since I am very indecisive, become bored of having short hair and wanted a change again. So I didn’t book that appointment and decided instead to embark on my transitioning journey.

I am now officially 6 months post-relaxer! I’ve been going between braids and weaves as protective styles, leaving a week or so in between to treat and give my hair a break. One of the benefits of transitioning is having the flexibility to experiment with different styles which I have loved. It’s also exciting monitoring how much my hair has grown in between styles, as well as finally being able to fully engage in natural hair discourse.

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Some of the products I’ve been using whilst transitioning

It hasn’t been all sunshine and rainbows, however. Transitioning is expensive! As my hair is at an awkward length and is mixed in texture, I can’t really just leave it as it is – meaning I have to regularly pay for braids or weave installation. I have considered wigs but I wore one for two weeks in December 2015 and hated it. I’m also quite an impatient person and have been willing my hair to grow faster.

Nevertheless, I am so happy I finally made the decision to go back to natural hair. With my hair’s current rate of growth, I’m hoping I’ll be able to finally cut off the relaxed ends by September and have a substantial lil’ afro. Keep an eye out for the progress pics!