I’m still trying to nail down my hair type, but I guess knowing the EXACT type doesn’t matter so much. My whole head is covered in tight, coily curls. I can hold the end of the curl, straighten it out and it coils right back up! This is how it looks when it’s wet, right out of the shower. It’s so CURLY!
My experience growing up black taught me to fear my own natural hair. I’m sure other black girls are in the same boat. I only heard messages and received signals that my natural hair was unruly, embarrassing, undesirable, unkempt, unprofessional and uncivilized. I honestly can’t remember ONE person telling me that my natural hair wasn’t so bad. I can’t remember one person telling to embrace my natural hair. It was all jokes and insults about how bad it looked and how it was to manage. So, like many other little black girls, my hair was relaxed when I was 8 or 9 and that was that. From then on, natural hair was just nappy. It was bad. The enemy. Seeing your own natural hair meant that it was time to go back to the beauty salon and spend $80 and three hours having chemicals raked through your hair and burning your scalp.
So, I’ve spent the last 19 or 20 years of my life getting relaxers every 6-12 weeks. Once it was up to me to schedule and pay for my own relaxers, I’d only go every 4 or so months. I tried going natural in 2014 by transitioning slowly. I stopped getting relaxers and made it about 7 months before I broke down and got one. It was awful. The chemicals had burned my scalp so badly that it was visibly red and I had to take ibuprofen and put bags of ice on my head for the rest of the day to help the pain. All of that … to hide THIS HAIR.
This beautiful, curly, healthy hair that grows out of my head this way and takes just a few minutes of maintenance per day.
That was before work the morning of my big chop. Look at my face. #OVERIT. I’ll be real with you though. My only memories of my natural hair were TERRIBLE. Lots of combing and grease and tears and pain and yelling. So I was horrified of my natural hair. I didn’t know what hair type I’d be. I didn’t know if I’d have a weird head shape. I didn’t know what to expect. I was so nervous before my haircut that I almost lost my lunch. I stuffed my purse full of tissues before I left for the appointment because I didn’t know what was going to happen. But, as SOON as she took the clippers to my hair and I saw chunks of relaxed hair starting to fall, I was SO HAPPY. All of the dread and anxiety and fear vanished the moment I saw a chunk of relaxed hair come off and fall to the floor. Once all the relaxed hair had been shaved off, I immediately loved it. Before she’d even washed it, shaped it, put moisturizer in it… I already loved it.
The entire appointment only took like 30 minutes! She shaved it, washed it, shaped it up a bit and rubbed a few moisturizers in it. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that my hair was CURLY. I mean, I guess I knew it was maybe curly, but I totally wasn’t expecting to have little tiny coils all over! I went straight to target to pick up a few products after. I bought way too much… I haven’t used the satin scarf (I just use a satin pillowcase instead) and I haven’t used the shower cap, the edge cream or the tea tree oil. Also, uh, don’t mind the Kylo Ren plush toy. I’m obsessed with Star Wars Episode VII right now. Sorry. It slipped in. Basically, I just get my hair wet in the shower, rub in a leave in conditioner (not pictured here, but I use Kinky Curly Knot Today at the recommendation of my sister), rub in coconut oil, a little bit of the anti-frizz moisturizer and then the cantu moisture and curling cream. DONE.
Yes. I did take about 20 selfies in my car with a selfie stick in the Target parking lot and I’m definitely not even sorry.
As soon as I got home I took even more pictures. I couldn’t get over it.
I’ve never really LOVED how I look. I’ve had days where I thought I looked pretty good, but I’ve never felt so good about myself that I went out and bought a selfie stick and that I look forward to waking up in the morning and doing my hair (which takes all of 5 minutes) and getting dressed and putting on make up just so I can marvel at the finished product and take selfies every morning before work. In all the 20 years of getting relaxers, I was never once excited to look at myself in the mirror. In the 20 years of getting relaxers, I never felt this good about myself. I can’t stop touching my own hair. I’m in love.
For now, I’m going to rock the TWA. I’ll probably let it grow out once I get used to my care routine, wash routine and nail down my favorite products. Basically, once I have a good handle on the TWA, I’ll think about natural hairstyle to do next. One things for sure: I am never ever getting a relaxer again as long as I live.