I remember it like it was yesterday. The long and tedious journey of making the decision to go natural. It wasn’t exactly tedious because it was unpleasant or because it wasn’t something I wanted to do. Rather, it was tedious because I felt enormously conflicted!
I had this great decision I wanted to make for myself, about myself yet I did not want to screw anything up. I am sure that is how a lot of us feel when it comes to deciding what to do with our hair.
The Transition (2015)
It all began in summer 2015, when I became aware of the sudden increase in the number of natural hair enthusiasts online. Platforms such as YouTube opened up a great avenue to educate and inform the masses. It was possible now to easily learn more about caring and nurturing for one’s natural hair. The funny thing is that it never occurred to me that I could allow my hair to revert back to its natural state since I had already relaxed it. Although as a young girl I had always been taught to appreciate and cherish the hair on my head. But due to certain circumstances such as always crying when getting my hair done, dealing with hairstylists that weren’t really sure what to do with the thickness of my hair as well as migrating to a different country with a different climate – my mum decided to cut my hair and eventually apply a relaxing cream to straighten the texture of my hair. Although, I think it may have been a requirement of my primary school back then too, I don’t know. All I know is that my hair was gone. Over the years, I learnt how to style and became comfortable with my ‘relaxed’ hair.
Therefore, it made sense that I felt an underlying fear and crippling doubt when deciding to revert back to the natural state of my hair.
‘What if I don’t know what to do with my hair?‘ ‘What if I don’t like having to style and manipulate my hair almost every other day?‘ or ‘What if the natural hair look doesn’t suit me?‘
These are just a few of the questions that plagued my mind. Now, I’m not an expert in these things but I have discovered over the years that it is important for you to decide for yourself what works best for you and what helps your hair to thrive.
The Journey Begins (2016)
My natural hair journey began in summer 2016 when I decided to stop applying chemical relaxers to my hair. Eventually decided to do the ‘big chop’ sometime in 2017 to get rid of my relaxed ends as it was becoming quite difficult to manage my two textured hair. For me embracing my natural hair gave me the liberty to express myself and know myself better as well as what I liked and didn’t quite like. I don’t know if anyone else relates with that. I weighed my options and thought about the consequences and decided to make a decision.
In some ways that was perhaps the beginning of my ‘becoming stages‘ or ‘coming of age‘ as they say.
Over the years, I have gotten more comfortable with rocking my natural hair and experimenting with hairstyles. Although, after a while things can become limiting and one can become tired, frustrated and even bored with performing hair routines over and over again. However, that is where the power of community comes in!
The bible states in Proverbs 27:17 “As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend” and that is true even for the natural hair community!
Imagine my huge surprise and joy when I found out about the Edmonton Natural Hair Show which recently took place April 27th & 28th at Boyle Street Plaza! It was such an amazing experience to be surrounded with all the amazing hairstylists throughout Edmonton who were willing to share their hair tips, hair products and even some beauty products. It truly was such an amazing experience. Luckily I was able to get a few moments with the organizers of the event to chat with them! Check out the response here and follow their website for updates.
Overall, I am falling in love with my natural hair more and more everyday. And through my appreciation of this I understand what it means when David said in Psalm 139:14 “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Although he was a man, I am sure he would have noticed the beautiful intricacy of the human anatomy. Just try de-tangling your way after washing it and trust me you’ll have a new found respect for how God created such a weak thing as hair to also be so strong when wrapped together and for such a thing to be on our heads.
I want to majorly shout out all those that have helped me in one way or another throughout my hair journey. To all the great hairstylists over the years, y’all are amazing! Check out @thegennybeauty (she helped me with cornrows and styling during transitioning), @elltextures (she helped me cut my hair during the ‘big chop’ and took the awesome pictures featured in the blog!) and @lette_hair (she helps me manage my natural hair now with various protective styles).
Check out their pages and follow them on Instagram!
What is your hair journey? If you have natural hair, why did you decide to go natural and when?