My Journey From Relaxed To Natural Hair

I’ve been through some major ups and downs with my hair!  I’ve had my high points where I’d be swinging my hair like I was in a Pantene Pro-V commercial, and a few low points that brought me to tears. Yes – I was in tears after removing braids and ending up with a knotted mess.  Two of my Besties attempted to detangle my hair but it was a wrap.  I combed out 1/3 of my hair then reached for the scissors and chopped off the rest of the dreaded hair.  I cried for days after that fiasco!  (Ohhh the college memories…sigh) Whew!  Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to the knitty gritty…

My hair’s been relaxed most of my life.  I got my first relaxer when I was about 10 and from that point on I dealt with a lot of chemical burn, some breakage and stunted growth.  I was a hands-on type of girl; I started relaxing and styling my own hair when I was a pre-teen.  I rocked it all – the bob, the short cut, the bangs, the asymmetrical cut and my all time favorite…the infamous duby wrap. (I still LOVE this style and it will always be one of my favs.)

So, let me make this clear for the “Hair Police” (they deep in these streets…LOL), I have no hang ups or issues with the creamy crack and those who choose to indulge in it! I see healthy beautiful relaxed hair daily.  Heck, when I was relaxed my hair was LAID, but it was not at its healthiest state and the continuous manipulation, heat and relaxing caused my hair to become extremely thin, weak and break a lot.  Because my hair was constantly breaking it would not grow past my shoulders – once it hit that point it would break and I’d have to cut it.

My relaxed hair…

I was fed up with my relaxed hair.  I began researching the basics of how to achieve and maintain healthy hair.  I decided to start stretching my relaxers (relaxing my hair every 2-3 months rather than every 6 weeks), incorporating oils and moisturizers in my daily hair routine, deep conditioning my hair weekly and cutting back on the use of daily heat.  My hair began to thicken up considerably and its overall health definitely improved.  After a while I decided to cut out the relaxers all together and my hair was reaping major benefits.  At this point I was transitioning from relaxed to natural hair.  I transitioned for 16 months and wore my hair in buns, roller sets, flexi-rod sets and occasionally rocked a Dominican Blowout.

My transitioning hair…

 

In February of 2012 I had reached my limit with my transitioning hair.  Maintaining two different hair textures (several inches of new growth and several inches of relaxed hair) was becoming a bit much and I was falling in love with the thickness and texture of my new growth.  I honestly could not recall my experiences with my natural hair texture as a child because it had been so long since I’d seen it!  I absolutely loved how thick, strong and coily my hair was.  The super thin, stringy, relaxed ends were not the bidness!  I pulled out my hair scissors and began chopping.

The end result…

The experience was beyond liberating, but I immediately felt a sense of discomfort.  I was not used to rocking short, natural hair. Point.Blank.Period! I immediately went to work and began styling my hair and rocking my go to hairstyle…flexirods.  After much trial and error with hair products, styling techniques and hair care tricks I found a hair care regimen that works great for my natural hair.  I’ve seen major growth and the overall health of my hair has improved tremendously.  I also became a lot more comfortable with rocking my hair in its natural state – the kinks, curls and coils.  After all, it is what I was born with and meant to rock.  Why not learn it, love it and embrace it!

My natural hair…

Now my motto is The Bigger The Better!  I am obsessed with big, healthy, natural hair.  I’m in the process of achieving that huge, curly, crazy, disrespectful fro! Lol

Ladies, ladies, ladies…Google and Youtube are your best friends when it comes to learning about YOUR hair.  What works for me and some other naturals may not work for you.  Be patient, consistent and prepared to have your good days and your bad days.  Your natural hair journey is what you make it!

Stay tuned for more natural hair posts about my hair care regimen, products,  and style tutorials!

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18 thoughts on “My Journey From Relaxed To Natural Hair

  1. This is fantastic. I will make sure my 2 daughters never get a relaxer and no more for myself. Love this. Keep up the great work.

  2. Great story on your hair journey thus far! I’ve witnessed your transition and it was quite inspiring! Keep up the good work love!

  3. This is awesome!!! Thanks for sharing because we all need help! When we made our move from Va, I was very surprised that stylist in Detroit didn’t believe in relaxers! I cut my relaxed hair on a whim and been at this natural thing almost 2 years! Your hair looks gorgeous and is an inspiration!

  4. Tamia,

    This was an insightful read. I have been trying to figure out what the deal was with what appeared to be a “natural-hair fad”! I have always relaxed my hair every four months (faithfully), with frequent conditioning in between. My hair remains thick and healthy so I was having a hard time understanding why the sudden aversion to relaxers so many black women were developing. I am now recognizing that hair type like so many other features vary from one person to the next. Congrats on making the transition (I understand this is a challenging phase) and your “new” hair looks great!

    • Thanks for the feedback, Octavia. The popularity of natural hair has skyrocketed. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I did not go natural because it was the “IT” thing to do. I simply stopped relaxing my hair because it was not healthy and it would not grow. I initially thought that my hair just wasn’t meant to grow past a certain length, but I was wrong. If you take good care of your hair, it will grow. As you can see in my pics, when I started stretching my relaxers and incorporating different hair care products and techniques into my regimen, it became much healthier, thicker and longer. I commend you for stretching your relaxers to every 4 months…that is tough! Lol. But, I’m sure that is why your relaxed hair is so beautiful, thick and healthy. We tend to relax our hair way more often than we need to, and this causes damage, thinning and breakage. You are so right, hair type does matter because what works for one person and their hair type may not necessarily work for someone else. Once I learned about MY hair and determined what worked best for it, I ran with it and saw great results. It just so happens that relaxers are no longer part of the equation when it comes to achieving healthy hair (for me). I encourage all women to get to know their hair and determine what works best for it.

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