I recently decided to stop getting relaxers and wear my hair as it grows out of my head…curly and coily. I’ve done this before. About ten years ago, I had a health issue that thinned my normally thick hair. I decided to wear weaves while my hair recovered. Soon my hair grew back longer than the weaves I wore.
This is what my hair looked like when I decided to stop wearing my professionally installed weaves. In this picture, I had taken out my last weave and unbraided my hair. This is it uncombed and unwashed. I had a head full of thick natural hair that I had no idea how to handle.
I went back to relaxing it. A home relaxer at that. This was during the Great Recession and money was very tight. After a year and a half, my hair had broken off to half of the length in the first picture. I was so frustrated that I decided to cut off all my hair and start over.
I did just that, but I hid my natural hair under braids and homemade weaves. These protective styles were great because my hair grew underneath them.
During this period, I struggled with grooming and managing my hair. Youtube videos helped, but I still didn’t feel confident wearing my hair out. It looks great in this picture, but the next morning it was a dry shrunken mess. I simply did not know how to care for my natural hair.
Things went from bad to worse. One day while washing my hair in the shower, it got so tangled that I nearly had to cut large clumps of my hair out. I swore to God if I had any hair left on my head when I got out of the shower, I’d would straighten it. I kept my promise and started using keratin treatments which temporarily straighten your hair. I eventually moved on to texturizers which are mild relaxers. I could manage my hair better, so I’d twist my hair in the evening, and wear it loose as seen in the picture above. But this meant, I would have to twist my hair every night…and that simply would not work for this lazy girl.
So I went back to what I knew….a relaxer aka white crack. I had a beautician maintain my hair. I had some breakage and thinning from time to time due to the relaxers and heat used on my hair. Earlier this year, I started losing hair due to a medication I’m taking. I ended up having arm surgery and dealing with other health problems. I decided the last thing I needed to do was worry about my hair. My health was a bigger priority. I also began to question why I use natural products on my face and body, but I was still putting lye in my hair.
So with my one good arm, I cut all my relaxed hair off. It was a fresh healthy start and I immediately felt better. No more lye. However, look at what I discovered…
Gasp! Bald spots and thin areas. I’ve always had super thick hair but the medication, illness, and relaxers led to this. One thing I can depend on is my hair grows fast. These pictures are from September.
This is my hair two months later. The bald spots have filled in. There’s just one thin spot I’m working on at the top of my hair.
I take folic acid supplements which may help with my hair growth. I also use The Mane Choice Growth Oil which has biotin in it. I will never be without it. I apply this to my scalp twice a week. You can get the oil at Sallys and many other stores for about $10.
I also put Jamaican Black Castor Oil by Sunny Isle on my thin spots. It comes in a thick liquid form as well. This stuff really works. I found this at Marshall’s for about six bucks.
Initially, I was nervous about going out in public with such short hair. When I big chopped, I was still on leave from work due to my surgery. I built up my confidence by going to my doctor’s appointments, physical therapy, and doing daily errands. Some people gave me funny stares. Others complimented me. The best thing is I’ve bonded with so many women who are also on a natural hair journey.
I’m really proud and happy I made the decision to go natural. I’m learning a lot about coily textured natural hair which I’ll be sharing with you. I’ll be testing out new products and equipment that will hopefully keep my hair healthy which is my number one goal. So far it’s been fun.