My Natural Hair Journey

As some of you know, one of my passions is natural hair! I absolutely love taking care of hair and nurturing it. I especially love natural hair due to its versatility. I am aware that some of my readers may be unaware of what natural hair is, and so it is the state of which ones hair grows being unaltered in anyway; i.e no chemicals, no color, no relaxers/perms. As I was saying, I have been an on and off again natural for 7 years. I originally didn’t even know what a big chop was even though I had gotten one.

See, what happened was….

I had colored my relaxed hair so many times, it literally could not hold any color anymore. And so, the result was this dark olive green color. It looked terrible. Not to mention, my hair was so dry and brittle, it would break if I only looked at it. And so, I went to a salon in my college town and asked the beautician to cut all my hair off. AS in shave it off. She was very uncomfortable and even stated she wasn’t aware on how to style ethnic hair. I explained I only needed it cut. No styling. And so she cut it. I’m laughing as I write this because she legit was in tears. It seems she was more concerned about my hair then I was.

Fast forward: I was now natural. I wish I had pictures of this but I lost them in my old college laptop. None the less, I got on google (because I didn’t know what YouTube was) and I typed in short black women’s hair. And all of these pictures popped up of Halle Berry but one video came up and it was of a natural hair YouTuber. So I clicked it and thus my eyes were open. I began researching and researching and researching some more. I realized that I had a coarse texture and few months later, my pocket book realized that I could not afford to be a hair product junkie. I spent so much money on Carol’s Daughter and other lines that promised my hair would look like Tracee Ellis Ross, not knowing that no matter how much hair milk I used, my coarse 4c kinks were not gonna magically spiral once wet.

This was disheartening. I began to hate my hair. I never saw videos of it on YouTube. I never saw them on the hair bottles or commercials. And so I thought everyone else had beautiful curls and I was the one unlucky girl who got stuck with naps. Until, I saw African Export. Her hair looked like mines and I cried because I was so excited to not be the only one. And not only did her hair look like mines, it was long and luscious and thick. So I followed her and began to look for other 4c naturalista’s. I had managed to grow my hair out quite long. I began to love my hair for what it was; beautiful. I didn’t need to have loose curls. I had hair that maintained every style because of how thick it was. And so, my hair flourished.

Unfortunately, I was told by someone very important to me and in a high position that natural hair was not of God. I know, I know. I was just saved (got saved at 21) and I had a person over me tell me that my hair wasn’t of God and that it could be associated with witchcraft. I left that day and got a permed. Again, I know. It’s the stupidest thing I have ever done. I couldn’t see that this person was simply using their position to inflict their personal opinions. I would’ve listened to anything they said, and I did.

So, here I am with relaxed hair shedding and breaking all over the place. My hair was a hot mess. This only lasted 3 months, and then I shaved it all off. Bald. Again, I will try to find photos. Not promising anything though.

For 5 years, I struggled with having natural hair because of what this one person told me. I would grow my natural hair out so beautifully and then I would think back and get worried that I was sinning by having the curls God gave me, and so I’d relax it. It wasn’t until my Pastor decided to go natural, when I realized that what that person said couldn’t have been true. Because here I have so many women of God who I know love the Lord with natural hair, and they didn’t see anything wrong with it. And so, alas, I finally got rid of that mindset.

So fast-forward. My hair grew like weeds especially when I got pregnant with our daughter. I, unfortunately had a very rough pregnancy, and once I got home, I relaxed my hair. I honestly blame this on hormones. I was not in a  good place after I gave birth and made some rash decisions. And so here I am again, with breaking hair, experiencing postpartum shedding on top of that. And so, you guys know what I did: I chopped my hair off. Again. Well, my husband did it for me. 🙂

Since then, I have been natural. I have colored and bleached my hair, and cut it into a tapered twa and now I am locing my hair. Making the decision to loc my hair was the best decision ever. Never have I appreciated my texture more. I am almost 2 months into my journey and it is teaching me patience like no other. I absolutely love how effortless my hair is and am enjoying every stage of this journey.

It took me years, clearly as you can see from my story above, to learn to love my hair, to learn to accept the shrinkage, and to learn to accept the gift God gave me. Please enjoy the pictures below. These are all the ones I could find over the years.

So, this is in high-school. I rocked a short Halle Berry pixie cut. 2006-2007

This is college freshman and sophomore year around 2007-2009

 

This is Junior and Senior year of college. I had gone natural. 2010-2012

This is my last year of college (graduation) and right after college. I cut and relaxed for my wedding. 2013

 

This is while pregnant with our daughter. 2014

 

This is when I relaxed my hair. 2015.

This is when I cut my hair April 28, 2015 and I have been natural since. These styles are all done on natural hair. I had gotten some heat damage so I did a tapered twa and I experimented with some wigs. The last Picture is of my locs started August 17.2017.

 

If you guys have any questions or comments,please leave them below. I would love to talk with you!

Faith and Favor,

Gladys

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