Until I attended college, I had always had a relaxer for as long as I could remember. It wasn’t until I became an adult that I gained knowledge on just how damaging the chemicals in relaxers are. Of course, growing up, I knew of girls who had natural hair but, I took that as them just having “good hair”. That’s what was taught to many of our young girls in the Black community. Little did I know, the hair that God gave me naturally at birth is good hair. There aren’t any if, ands, or buts about that. Still, I wasn’t exactly keen on stopping my relaxers because I had no idea what I’d do without one. I questioned myself daily: “What does my natural hair even look like?” “What do I do with it?” “Will it fall out and never grow back?” It wasn’t until the summer after my freshman year that I became brave enough to stop getting relaxers; thanks to one of my now closest friends, Kiana, who convinced me to do so.
I had more help than most when it came to starting my journey to having natural hair. I learned a lot from watching Kiana do her hair and countless hours of YouTube videos afterwards. I perfected Bantu Knots which I wore most of the time while allowing my hair to adjust to being independent. I invested in OGX hair care products that would maintain my hair as it went through the struggle of adapting to relaxer free roots. The products I used during this process were:
- Argan Oil of Morocco (Extra Strength)
- Vitamin E
- Keratin Oil
- Bamboo Fiber Full
- Coconut Curls
- Argan Oil of Morocco (Extra Penetrating)
- Coconut Milk Anti Breakage Serum
The Big Chop
When I first decided to go natural, I was told that I should do the big chop and start fresh. That was a big change for me though. I already had to adjust to not having a relaxer; I wasn’t ready to go nuts with it. I thought that maybe if I just kept maintaining it then the relaxer would eventually be gone for good and I wouldn’t need to cut my hair. Little did I know, I had had a relaxer for so long that even four years after going natural, I still had straight ends in my hair when I washed it. I figured since I had all these new changes going on (relocated, new car, new job, etc.), I might as well have a new hairstyle too.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned about myself over time, it’s that my life runs more smooth when I make certain decisions spontaneously. My anxiety will often make me talk myself out of what could be the best for me. I ended up getting recommended to a barber who took me in the same day with no appointment and I went in without allowing myself to think twice about it. I freaked out about all of my hair being on the floor but, in the end, I found myself loving my new look better than my old one. That was two months ago and I’m still embracing how beautiful I am without long hair.
A little while before doing the big chop, I switched my brand of hair products to Cantu. OGX was good for maintaining my hair while I was phasing out of a relaxer but, Cantu is more of a forever brand for me. I started taking twenty dollars a week and buying one of every product that they have and now I have just that; one of everything. Of course, I have a routine for it all and I don’t use it all at once. When I need it, it’s there. My favorite thing about this line is how clean and healthy it makes my hair feel. Not to mention, my hair is as soft as it’s ever been. The products that I use the most from this line are:
- Sulfate Free Cleansing Cream
- Sulfate Free Hydrating Cream
- Leave In Conditioning Repair Cream
- Daily Oil
- Tea Tree & Jojoba Hair & Scalp Oil
Now that I’ve learned how to maintain my hair and keep it healthy, I’m just waiting for it to grow back. Which, honestly, it’s been growing back fairly quick when I compare it to how short I got it cut. Hopefully by the summer of 2019, it’ll be at its full potential. While I’m waiting, I’m definitely enjoying not having so much hair to deal with. Plus, it’ll be worth the wait to see exactly how beautiful my natural hair is.
Stay tuned for a post showing my hair care routine!