I have yet to dub myself as a naturalista, there is no altruistic or holistic reason for my decision to transition to natural. My journey wasn’t because I was bored with my hair, but more so for personal enrichment. Back in 2008 I came across a scripture that was brought back to my remembrance this time last year, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalms 139:14). It was then that I knew I needed to embark upon this journey. This post is not meant to redefine or change anyone’s concept of beauty, but to expand my own definition of what is beautiful. I want to truly appreciate and rely on what God has already given me.
Another motivating factor was that I had gotten into the mindset of thinking marriage and kids, and wanted to be a hypocrite when I tell my futures daughter’s that they are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” that they don’t need chemicals, makeup, nor extravagant processes to feel and be beautiful. I kept picturing curly/coily-haired cuties that could admire their hair as an extension of their mother’s hair and know that when I said they are beautiful that it is meant, without hypocrisy or exception to my beauty standards.
I have never struggled to grow out or to have thick hair, so embarking on this path wasn’t for the sake of redeeming my hair quality. However, I cannot tell you what my natural hair is like, there aren’t even pictures of it anywhere (aside from pictures of me looking like the Gerber baby or Tweety Bird), so I decided to take this time to capture it all. I do this all for myself to see how far I’ve come and to have a reference, but if you were looking for a transition in progress with details from start to finish this is it. Here you can explore my journey to find an affordable and effective hair care system to complement my curls; I have reviewed L’Oreal EverCurl System/ Mielle Organics line, and others. Some more of my photos and thoughts follow, mostly as a reminder to myself of how much I’ve grown along with my hair…
My advice for anyone amidst their transition or wanting to begin theirs:
First, be patient with yourself and with your hair. Your hair is having as rough a time as you are, can you just imagine the shock you are putting it through? From over-washing/under-washing in the beginning to overworking or over-processing it with new products and masks and DIY treatments; to excessive manipulation with heat, steam, rods, clips, twists, and other stressful hairstyles. Your hair will act the way you treat it, respect it and be patient. Your hair too, like a child can tell when it is loved. Secondly, low buns, ponytails, pigtails, and braids (without heavy or damaging extensions) ARE your friend. I was always okay with my hair being plain as long as it is healthy, therefore I was okay with alternating between low buns and Princess Leia buns. I get that those styles aren’t for everyone, but be consistent and be gentle with your hair.
NEVER act out of anger, frustration, or be hurried! I learned that this takes a toll on you hair and leaves you ultimately upset or disappointed. Thirdly, it’s okay for others not to see your vision and not to appreciate it, but never mistake for one second that they should respect it! Fourthly, hair grows at different rates and genetics play a major role in not only texture, but achievable length (I know this isn’t what most people want to hear), so there is no magic shampoo or other hair product that will defy science and make your hair do something it’s not intended to do. The best hope is to strive for healthy hair and your own contentment with its progress and success. Finally, just enjoy the process and document it. Document even the failures and the bad hair days, because those are going to be the best to look back on. The day will come when your hair is done transitioning and you are going to want to have trophies of your battles and victories.
I am by no means an expert, as made clear by this post. I still do my due diligence by watching YouTube tutorials and visiting natural hair blogs. This is just one girl’s discovery of her own truth, which is what I think we all search for in life. Here’s to a time capsule of hair memories that will hopefully grow and expand in the years to come!
11th month shots: