February 2009. One month after my last relaxer and after my last bob cut.
It seems there are more and more women willing to rock their hair in its natural state nowadays. I am certainly thankful for the increase in natural hair wearers because the hair product makers have taken notice and started to create more product lines that cater to natural hair.
I started my natural hair journey for the first time in 2003. Rather than taking you through the long story of ups and downs on why I went back to a relaxer then, eventually, back to natural hair, I will share with you that at the time I went natural in 2003, there were VERY few products available for me to maintain my natural hair and most of the products they did have available left my hair feeling dry and hard.
The second go around, I have learned more about my hair and what products work for my hair type. My hair is mostly 4b hair texture with some 4a and 2c thrown in there as well. You will find that your hair texture is probably a combination of textures as well. If you are unsure of what your hair texture is, view the chart below:
Unlike most, I did not go through the BC (big chop) process. I allowed my new growth to grow to a length I was comfortable with, then cut the remainder of the relaxer off. I had my last relaxer February 2009. The below photo was taken June 2010. By this time my hair had 4 inches of new growth and the remaining length was the relaxed hair.
While maintaining two textures, I wore my hair creme pressed when I needed to get a trim or desired to wear it straight. Mostly, I would wash and condition my hair then two-strand twist my hair and roll on flexi rods until it dried. It gave my hair the illusion it was all the same texture. Since my scalp cannot handle braids, that was not an option for me, but if it works for you, by all means go ahead. Be sure the person that braids your hair does not pull your hair so tight that it breaks your hair rather than giving it time to rest and grow.
2-strand twists set on flexi rods
The most important thing to do while your hair is transitioning is to make sure you keep your hair moisturized and healthy. I have heard some say that the relaxed hair breaks off while transitioning because it gets weak at the point where your natural hair ends and relaxed hair begins. Because I was under the care of a hair stylist at the time for monthly trims and because I started a healthy hair challenge for 6 months, I had very little breakage, if any at all.
For those that are up for the challenge, here is the link to the healthy hair challenge. Because I wanted to get great results, I followed every detail to the t. I will tell you my hair grew a great deal and my hair texture improved from 4c to 4b. It is a challenge because it breaks you from your normal hair routine habits.
I would also suggest that you become a member of at least one natural hair group. I found so many different ideas on how to style my hair as well as routines for maintaining my length. I am actually a member of one group on the web, but I am a member of a few on Facebook. I listed a few below:
Youtube is also a great resource for product reviews, creating natural at-home products, hair styles and more. There are some awesome vloggers on there and I have a couple of my favorites below:
As of today’s date, I have been natural 4 years and have learned so much about my hair and what products work and which do not. All of my relaxed hair is completely gone and, since my hair grows really quickly, it reaches my mid-back. My goal is to allow it to grow as long as possible while keeping it healthy for 10 years to see where it reaches. My hair has grown near waist length before, so I know it will grow pretty long.
Here is where I am today, February 2013:
I haven’t straightened my hair in 6 months and I know it has grown at least 3 inches since I had it straightened last:
Share your hair journey… Did you BC or transition? What worked best for you and how are you doing in your hair journey? Post in the comments section below!