Thirty B4 Thirty: Day 21- Open Letter To The Girl Who Wants To Go Natural


utternappyness-meme1

 

Hey girl hey!

So…..you want to go natural but are too scared.

You’re scared of what people will think. You’re scared the transitioning process is too hard and time-consuming. You’re scared you won’t know how to do your hair. You’re scared that you and everyone else won’t like the way you look. And most of all, you are scared that you will absolutely HATE your hair.

But I’m here to tell you don’t be scurred! Lol. Tons of girls have gone natural before you and tons will continue. Not to mention I was right in your shoes 8 years ago.

My senior year in college, my roommate inspired me to make the leap into the transitioning world. And I will keep it completely 100 with you, during what felt like a long, arduous 8 month period of time, I struggled.

Gi-rrrr-llll.Did.I.STRUGGLE.

And to be honest, I don’t even think struggle is word. I spent that eight months doing my hair myself (due to being a broke college student), and trying my damnedest to maintain my hair in a pressed style by flat ironing it on my own. Prior to transitioning, the longest I had gone without a touch up was 4.5 months, so at month five, when I realized I couldn’t lay down my edges like before, I got discouraged. But I kept pressing on (no pun intended).

By month 8, I had 4 inches of new growth, in addition to about 9 inches of relaxed hair. And it felt like a friggin BATTLE going on the top of my head between my relaxed hair and the new growth. And it was during month 8 where the battle was won…

By my relaxer.

I was a few months away from graduating, and with homework, tests, projects, and finals, I had no time to be dealing with my kinky roots. So I called my friend and asked her to relax all 4 inches of my new growth. Two Dark and Lovely No-Lye boxed kits later, my hair was swanging bouncy and back to “normal”.

But then I dealt with the RESIDUAL EFFECTS.

Oftentimes after that period, I would wonder how my hair would’ve been if I had kept going…but just assumed it would be too kinky to handle based off the hard time I had with it college. One of my fine haired, silky curled friends tried to convince me to just try it again and you know what I said to her?

“It’s so easy for you to tell me to go natural, because your hair is easy to manage. Until your hair is coarse and kinky like mine, then you know nothing about what I will have to go through to deal with my hair.” And that was that.

But for two years I constantly wondered what my hair actually was like. By this time, I had moved to New York where I would easily see 10-20 girls (if not more) daily, with natural hair that I envied. That made it even worse for me. I confessed to my stylist at the time that I was considering going natural, just to see what she would say. And here she went:

“There’s really NOTHING, you can do with natural hair.”

“I’m not sure you should do that….I can tex-lax your roots though, that would be better.”

My heart sank. How was I going to go natural without the support of my own hairdresser?? I knew right then and there, if I was going to transition, she wouldn’t be willing to deal with my hair in that state. I had a real strong feeling that would be my last visit to her.

And it was. With the support of my amazing friends and boyfriend at the time, I began transitioning January 2010. And for 18 months I did my own hair. I was too scared to go to another salon and trust someone new with my two different textures. With the help of Youtube, natural hair forums, and blogs, I figured it out for myself. I LURKED ON THESE SITES EVERYDAY. Like really, it became an addiction. I was so interested in learning about anything dealing with natural hair and soaked up all the info like a sponge.  It was like a whole new world (cue in Aladdin) had been discovered… a world I never knew existed…a world of fierce girls who accepted, loved and appreciated their hair the way it grew out their scalp… a world of girls who knew how to do their own hair better than any salon did mine in the past.

Soon enough I was sucked in. I decided to create my own YouTube channel during my transition. I learned how to work with my hair instead of against it. I had retained so much information that by months 5, 6, 8, 12, and all the way up to 18, my confidence and hopes for how my hair was going to turn out did nothing but grow. The girls on YouTube that were going through or successfully went through the transitioning process were my hair idols, and watching them made me feel like I wasn’t going through it alone.

And after a year and a half, I big chopped. I cut 7 inches of relaxed hair off and had a fro for the first time in my life, and felt different.

You know how naturals say they automatically felt free and happy and rainbows and flowers and all that jazz after big chopping? It took me a minute to get used to it. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it …yet. I did think my hair was cool though. Who would’ve thought that underneath all those bone straight strands was the thick, luscious fro I had?

It was an adjustment. It was the first time in life I wasn’t able to put my hair in a ponytail because it was so short. And though I couldn’t wait for it to get longer, I embraced all the various lengths- from fro, to achieving a low pony, to mid pony to finally being able to put it in a top knot bun.

Now I get it straightened every 4+ months and it’s ten times better looking now straightened, than when I had a relaxer. I do fro-hawks, buns, sleek styles, twist outs, twisted updos, have dyed it light brown, currently have it dyed blonde, and love all the versatility I have with my hair. My new hair brought out a new me. I stand out in a crowd full of bone straight weaves and heads of Brazilian wavy. I can’t imagine going back to a relaxer. I cannot imagine going back to THIS.

And let’s not even get on the new attention I received and still receive after going natural. Even on my bad hair days I can look just as good as my good days when I was relaxed. And there is NOT ONE DAY that passes where I don’t get a compliment on my hair if I’m out. And this is not me bragging, this is me reassuring you that if the sole reason you haven’t gone natural is because you are afraid of what others think, you are thinking to deep. After going natural you will find that some people will love your hair more than you do.

But who cares about what people think anyways? If everything we did in life was only to make others happy, where would our own happiness come from?

The purpose of writing this letter to you, was not to be a natural hair nazi. I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for having a relaxer because who am I to talk? I had one for 2 decades, so I say do what works for you boo. It’s more about giving you the boost and encouragement to follow through on something you’ve probably thought about. It’s a far worse feeling to have regret over something you’ve never done, then to actually try something and disliking it. And say you go natural and you hate it? Guess what? You can go back to the relaxer and you can go back to the weave. You know how people say “It’s just hair, it’ll grow”? It is, and it will. You have nothing to lose.

Just know that if there were ever a time to go natural, this is the best time. There are a hundred more natural hair outlets available to you now, then I ever had when I tried to transition the first time. Now you can transition with no judgement, all while having massive support from the online community and ladies like myself. And if you ever feel alone during the journey, just know you have at least one person you can come to for questions and support– me.

 

Wanna see my hair now? Follow me on Instagram, my name is: intreegme

Wanna get tips on how to transition? Click here  and here

Wanna see my old YT channel (don’t laugh!)? Click here

 

DAY 21

 

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Categories: 30 Days Before 30Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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