My first year as a natural came and went on September 8th. Here are my posts right after I took the plunge and just a year later I have a beautiful head of hair, it was scary at first but it was so rewarding. Look out for a post about my regimen, I was hoping to vlog my regimen but as of right now I’ll be blogging.
I celebrated my BC but my hair is in twists so I can’t show how much my hair has grown over the year. I asked Lauren of UntouchMyHair to tell me about her experience.
How did you feel about your hair and yourself before your big chop? After?
I was really attached to it. I’d always been natural before, and tried lots of different styles and a few colors. Then I relaxed it and I liked it, but I missed my real hair. Even though I could still do afros even with a relaxer, it just didn’t feel right. It wasn’t as fun. Out of all the styles I’ve tried, bald was never one of them. I didn’t want to transition; I like to do things all the way instantly. I went into my bathroom with scissors and my clippers and cut it off myself. Once i started I knew I couldn’t change my mind. After I finished, I felt excited, amazed, and nervous. I thought everyone was gonna say that i looked bad or ugly, but it was the complete opposite. My confidence boosted a lot from that experience. I ended up maintaining it short for over a year, and I’d have no problem doing it again. It was a really great experience and a good lesson.
How did you care for your hair hair when you were relaxed? As a natural?
My hair care wasn’t really different actually. I still used olive oil, still deep conditioned, etc. but I wasn’t doing protein treatments, because I believed the ‘protein sensitive’ myth. I was having to ‘texlax’ every few weeks because my hair was growing fast, and my hair dries fast so I was having to be almost obsessed with my hair to make sure it stayed moisturized and retained growth. Especially since I kept it straight. Now that I’m natural, I don’t have to worry as much because I know I can put a creamy moisturizer in and not worry about my hair curling up. I use more oils, more thicker creams, and have fun making my own products. My hair care days are still every week, but it’s not as much work because I know i can braid my hair in the end and be okay.
How long has it been since you big chop? Were the people closest to you supportive of your decision? What about now?
I big chopped Dec 26, 2011, so in a few months it’ll be 3 years since I big chopped. I think they were supportive. Nobody discouraged me from doing it, but nobody was standing outside the door waiting to see either. After it was done, they were amazed and liked it a lot. They thought it suited me well. As time goes by, they’ve (my mom and sisters) have had a growing interest in hair care. We’ve all had our time with relaxers, but for most of our lives, we’ve been natural. From me sharing my recipes and experiments, they’ve all become more curious of what natural ingredients and products will work for their hair. So besides our friends, we all have an immediate support system.
If you are thinking about, just went, or are about to go natural, there is always a support system near you. It may not be family, unfortunately, but you don’t have to feel ashamed, or frustrated about anything. People are always willing to help you, and share their mistakes and discoveries.