Hello, Beautiful people! I feel my first post on this blog should be about my natural hair journey. Let’s go on a memory trip together. Promise to make it interesting.
My natural hair journey story
Truthfully speaking, I have been natural in most parts of my life. But it’s been bumpy. I had points in my life when I was on low-cut, good ole secondary school days, lol. And the brief period I was on relaxed hair. Then again, I feel I am too fast here, and I should go slowly and chronologically.
If there is one thing I remember clearly, it was the ban placed by my mum for me not to relax my hair till I was done with secondary school. And If I decide to grow my hair and relax it after school, I could.
I always had natural hair growing up. When little girls in my area did the parking gel hairstyle during Christmas, I did the braid up hairstyle.
Fast forward to senior secondary school class 3; we had the option of growing our hair, I gladly took it. But then I didn’t know much about hair. And my hair most times was in African threaded hairstyle. I didn’t get to play around with my hair texture and have a hair care regimen. The cycle then was African threaded hair, loose, wash, then threads again.
After high school graduation, the curiosity of knowing what my hair would like in a relaxed state drove me to relax my hair. What is that they say about desiring what you can’t have? And it dawns on you that are now above the ban restriction, and you could do as you please.
So I dived into the relaxed hair gang, and I hated my hair relaxed. Why? My hair lost its volume, wasn’t expecting that. I told my mum that I didn’t like my hair relaxed, and she found it funny because I was the one who said I wanted it in the first place.
The only time I loved my relaxed hair was when it was getting due for another relaxer, by then, it would have a bit of its bounce back. I learned to stretch my relaxers. Everyone loved my hair, and most wouldn’t believe it was all mine until they touched it. The endpoint was I wasn’t happy with relaxed hair.
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My transition period into natural hair
I sought for ways to get back to natural hair. I didn’t take the search seriously, until when I lost some of my hair, from installed twists that weren’t taken out properly. I was upset with myself because I knew I could have done better. It took me three years of being relaxed to know I was fed-up with it, and with my hair in that state. Please note, I am not against relaxed hair. I help my mum care for hers.
I discovered I could transition into natural hair, so I took that route, transitioned for ten months, and had my big chop, around the end of August 2016. One word could describe what I felt that day. It was LIBERATION! I was free at last. Yay, my natural hair journey will be four years then.
After my big chop, I had a teeny weeny fro, and that was the beginning of my natural hair journey. I have 4b/4c hair texture, with normal porosity. I really love the hair texture at the back of my scalp, it is very soft and curly, and sometimes I wished I had that texture all over my scalp. But what do people say about wishes again? Yea, so I have come to love my natural mane in its entirety, I nicknamed her ROSITA.
My main natural hair products through the course of my natural hair journey
Shea butter – I can’t shout this enough, African hair loves shea butter. I mix my shea butter with a bunch of other natural hair products, like coconut oil, and aloe vera juice.
Olive oil – This is a carrier oil. It is light; I use it for moisturizing my hair, it helps me maintain my hair moisture, and gives a healthy shine to my hair.
Water– African natural hair needs moisture: otherwise, it will get dry and break off. Recently I started adding aloe vera juice to my water spray bottle. It is more moisturizing, and aloe vera aids in promoting hair growth too.
Castor oil – This oil not only promotes hair growth, but it also encourages hair thickness, it contains anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
Coconut oil – Coconut oil also moisturizes the hair, promotes hair lustre, shine, and softness prevents split ends and hair breakage. In summary, it helps you retain length. Truth is hair in general grows, but if the hair is not adequately taken care of, the ends break off. So, you have new growth, and if you cant retain the old-growth you have, they break off, and your hair appears like it’s not growing.
My natural hair care tips for you
Over the years, I have evolved into using essential oils as part of my hair care regimen. My favourite is rosemary oil, which promotes hair growth, prevents dandruff, has anti-bacterial properties, and is a natural preservative. I use it to extend the shelf life of some of my DIY’s (do it yourself) natural products. And best of all it has this soothing aroma.
I started my natural hair journey when I was in university, so I had to adopt what I call a student-friendly natural hair care budget. Which means I only use the essential products for my hair, if I could do without a product, then I didn’t need it. And I have come to realize that hair thrives on minimal products, you know what works for you, and you stick to it. One of the natural hair care tips most natural Queens don’t know is, sometimes less is more. Just be consistent with your hair regimen, and you would be surprised. Consistency is key.
Some lessons learnt over the years on natural hair care
I have made several mistakes on my natural hair journey over the years. Some of my mistakes were:
Putting my hair in tight braids, and not taking care of it in the braids
One is supposed to moisturize their hair in braids, simple spraying of water and applying oils would do the trick. Didn’t know this, tight braids leads to hair loss, especially around your front hairline, that region is fragile and prone to hair loss. Lack of moisture leads to dryness, which leads to hair breakage.
Not sleeping with a satin or silk scarf/bonnet
If you sleep with your hair placed directly on a cotton pillowcase, you at the risk of hair breakage. The constant tossing and turning on cotton leads to dryness. Cotton sucks the moisture out of your hair, and if your hair is dry, it is prone to split ends and breakage. Most people don’t like sleeping with a satin scarf or bonnet on their heads. If you are among those people, you should get a satin pillowcase then.
After making the conscious effort to start using a satin bonnet consistently, I am happy to say that I see changes. I used to use a satin scarf, wasn’t consistent with it, and most times, I would go to bed with a satin scarf tied around my head and wake up to find the scarf on its own.
Not deep conditioning my hair regularly
If you don’t invest in deep conditioning your hair, I am sorry to say that you are on the wrong lane. Your hair needs those nutrients gotten from deep conditioning to thrive. You can’t just be washing your hair only and using conditioner for it. It is not a complete hair regimen. Deep conditioning contributes a lot to hair growth.
Some natural hair care tips on deep conditioners
I am into natural remedies for hair, so I make my deep conditioner at home, and there is a big difference since I have been consistent with it. Some of the natural remedies for deep conditioning, includes onion juice, rice water, or a mixture of hair oils. I wear a polythene cap and let the deep conditioner stay in my hair for 15 – 30 minutes, before I wash off, condition my hair, and style it as desired.
All hair grows, find the right natural hair regimen for your hair, and stick to it. Make sure your regimen helps you maintain your hair length, and as new growth comes from your scalp, you will see that your hair is growing.
Please share what stage you are on, in your natural hair journey, in the comment section. So we can encourage each other along in our various hair journeys.
Till next time,
Stay Be’ you’tiful. Stay blessed!