Monday, June 23, 2014

Embracing My Hair Part 2

The Growing Out Process

About eight years ago I decided to stop getting my hair relaxed. I was tired of the long salon visits and the cost of keeping my hair ‘done.’ I didn’t know that what I was doing was officially called ‘going natural’ and I had no friends who were natural. I thought the process of going chemical-free would be somewhat intuitive and well, easy. Boy was it NOT easy.

For one thing, I HATED having two different textures of hair and although I’d styled my own hair for years, I had no idea what to do with it. It sounds strange but suddenly, I didn’t even know how to comb my own hair. I can’t even count the number of combs I broke just trying to detangle my hair. I later found out that I was doing it all wrong.

Also, I didn’t feel polished or pretty and like many who’ve taken this journey, I resorted to the old faithful ponytail….everyday! Now what?

Well, if all else fails, flatiron! And that’s exactly what I did while growing my hair out. Fortunately I didn’t have a lot of heat damage (although at the time I didn’t even know what heat damage was) and was able to keep this up for almost six months. Then guess what??

I went back and got my hair relaxed! WHYYYYYY? 

Well because I just felt unattractive and not as feminine. I was hair obsessed and thought everyone’s hair looked better than mine. Why wasn’t I born with ‘good hair?” I went through this routine of growing my hair out for a few months then getting another relaxer about three times more before I finally said “no more!”

I kept my hair flat ironed for three years, keeping it conditioned and protected and yes, I discovered YouTube videos that helped me to gain more confidence about the process. After three years, I cut off the perm that was left, almost 10 inches but I did not care because I was finally FREE! Free from what? My own self-imposed limitations on my hair and life and yes even on
my self-esteem!

Years later I am still free and learning that just because I am natural does not mean my hair is necessarily no maintenance. I still have to take care of it and pay very close attention to how I handle it. (BTW – Yes. I became a product junkie along the way but I finally calmed myself down and found out the few products that really work).

Today, my business partner Lisa and I have a greater mission in mind – not only continuing on our own individual hair journeys, but also focusing on helping girls and women everywhere to redefine their standard of beauty.

It’s not all about going natural, but feeling naturally beautiful when you look in the mirror and changing things if you don’t.

Keep embracing the process.


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