The rush of going natural can be absolutely intoxicating. Well, I may have exaggerated just a little, but I remember how excited I was about going natural when I took the leap. Of course the excitement came after recovering from what I like to call, the natural hair culture shock.
I vividly remember that Friday night, I came home from school determined to wash my flat-ironed hair, and debut my gorgeous curly locs to the world the following day. My determination was rapidly replaced by utter shock! My hair was a nightmare! I had absolutely no curl pattern or definition, my hair was dry and crispy from all the years of heat damage, and I had no idea what I was doing. To make matters worse, I had washed my hair with this corrosive sulfate-laden shampoo,(you know the one I’m talking about, the really cheap one that comes in a large plastic kibuyu. It’s a fishy green colour and looks like it was mixed in someone’s kitchen. Yes! That one) which stripped my hair to the bone leaving me with a tangled, frizzy hot mess.
A part of me wanted to crawl back to the salon with my tail tucked between my legs, waive the white flag and surrender. But something urged me to be strong and tackle the monster that was my hair (to be honest, I had to be in school at 8.am the next morning, the salon was not an option) I had no choice but to fix it. I felt like I had been thrown into the depths of the natural hair ocean chained to an anvil. (YES! It was that dramatic).
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Three years down the line, I’m here! I didn’t have the most glamorous debut into the natural hair world, but who does. The one thing that stood out from my experience is that NATURAL HAIR TAKES COMMITMENT. The general assumption when going natural is “It’ll be easy! I’ll spend less time in the salon and I can wash it whenever. It doesn’t need as much time and care as relaxed hair.”
Honey, believe me, natural hair needs commitment. You have to be prepared to care for your hair if you want it to thrive. Don’t assume that because it’s natural it’s going to be smooth sailing. I too have my ups and downs with my hair, but its all a part of this beautiful journey. The most wonderful thing about this whole experience is learning how to care for my hair, and watching it thrive before my eyes. So if you’re feeling overwhelmed, I hope this encourages you, you’re not alone!
Feel free to comment or get in touch with me if you’re in a natural hair knot! What was your first natural hair experience like?
Happy Nappy Hair!