Natural Hair Journey

I’ve decided to go natural.

Let me explain…

I’m mixed (Jamaican, American) and I have “mixed hair”. Whatever that means.

To “tame” this mixed hair, I got my first relaxer at about…10 years old.

It. Was. Magical.

My hair went from unruly curls to pin straight, Disney princess worthy perfection. I was shocked and amazed that my hair could look like my mom’s (straight. white. flow-ey. whatever.)

Fast forward 10 years to age 20. I was getting relaxers about 2-3 times per year (a step down from about once every 2-3 months), because I was convinced that was the only way my hair would grow. I’d see a decent amount of new growth, but each trip I made to the salon for a relaxer, CHOP! My 2-3 new inches of hair would be cut off because of “breakage”. I resorted to wearing my hair curly (yes it would still curl) to try and get it longer without it breaking from heat/relaxer use, but I’d still be convinced into cutting it because the ends were “bad” with each trip to the salon. I was so frustrated. I wanted the straight, easy hair, but I wanted it longer and it would. not. grow.

Right after my wedding (age 24, wearing clip in extensions with my permed hair)…

I decided I was sick of waiting on my medium length hair to get long, so I chopped it all off. I’ve loved my bob…

but recently, I’ve gotten sick of it all. Sick of the upkeep. Sick of the relaxers. Sick of forcing my hair to be “easy”.

After talking to my brother’s girlfriend, who’s been natural for 4 years, I decided to give it a go. I’ve been relaxer free for about 3 months now and hope to stick it out and be re-introduced to my God given, curly, big, fun hair again.

Updates/Progress Pictures will be here!

-Jessica

May 19th 2012 – frizzy and sunburnt πŸ˜‰

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July 14, 2012 – Discovered how I could make a twist out finally work on my hair. Excited to keep testing and eventually do a tutorial!

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September 10, 2012 – Bantu Twist Out (I twist then knot to get smaller curls that match my pattern better) also, I recently got my hair dyed darker for Fall πŸ™‚

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November 22, 2011 – Thanksgiving before blow drying/straightening. 8 months worth of growth πŸ™‚

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So, right around my year mark I chopped the remainder of my relaxed ends off. By myself. My hair dresser fixed my butcher job and I’ve been growing it since. The picture below is about 13 months since my last relaxer.

 

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9 responses to “Natural Hair Journey

  1. Good luck on your natural hair journey! I’ve been natural for 12 years and would never go back. I only ever relaxed 2x a year and didn’t frequent salons often. But, my hair was probably never longer than bra strap length. Now, I’m touching waist length at the longest points. It takes learning what works best for hair and employing protective/low manipulation techniques, but I’m sure you’ll reach your goals with patience and persistence!

    • Thank you for the well wishes! I also wasn’t a big relaxer anyways, so I’m hoping that helps make the transition a little big easier. 12 years is just incredible!

  2. I definitely think it’s easier to transition if you didn’t get relaxers a lot!! You know, 12 years does seem like a long time when I compare it to what seems to be the trend. But, before you know it, it’ll be 12 years for you too;)!! And, you’re welcome:)!

  3. Congratulations for this journey! Your hair looks beautiful already, and I can hardly wait to see the conclusion. And I’m so impressed how many women are out there on YouTube and blogs like yours talking about how they’ve made the transition. Gorgeous!

  4. Love this. I’m following! πŸ™‚

  5. Jessica I just stumbled upon your blog. So what’s the hair look like now almost 2015? It should be close to 4 years for you now if you stuck with. My hair story is almost identical to yours including cutting it all off. In fact I had it shaved within an inch of my head. I was so tired of the breakage from the relaxer. I’m mixed Jamaican/German as well and I’ve been relaxer free for 7 yrs. now. I also did it after my nuptials. First few years were tough especially the summers. But I’m going strong too. Enjoyed your journey b/c I could relate.

    • Hey! Thanks for checking out the blog! Grad school made me put it all on the back burner, but I’m still natural! (At least, my version of it – aka relaxer free) I’ll post a pic soon, I’ve had it straight for a while, it’s just about bra strap length now straightened πŸ™‚

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