Sunday, November 11, 2012

Back to Basics: A Hair Journey


I recently asked my friend, Alex to share her journey back to natural hair. Natural hair, is hair that is not treated with chemicals such as relaxers. I myself have dealt the chastising of curly hair, but I'll have more on that another day. When I saw how amazing Alex's hair looked, my first question was "Why haven't you gone natural before is you have all of this amazing curl?" Her answer, "I didn't even know that's what my hair looked like". That's because many women who chemically treat their hair as adults, had their hair also chemically treated as children. This is one women's journey on getting back to natural.

Hello, Pricilla J Followers!

My name is Alex and I was invited by Pricilla to talk about my natural hair journey, my current regimen, and to discuss both the victories and frustrations of having natural hair. I decided that I no longer wanted to relax my hair back in March of 2008.  My decision came after experiencing major hair breakage after my last relaxer. I was simply tired of having a chin-length bob. I had rocked that hairstyle for over a decade and wanted something new. I tried growing my hair long, but for some strange reason, I couldn’t keep my hair from breaking off (I would later learn that it was due to the harsh chemicals found in relaxers).  So, in 2008, I decided that enough was enough! Although I did not know what my natural hair would look like, since I received my first relaxer when I was four, I knew that I would learn to love whatever grew out of my head.


I transitioned for a year and in March of 2009, I took scissors to my hair and did the big chop! I was not prepared for my reaction. My whole life, I was told that I was too black, too fat, too short and that on top of that, my hair was too nappy.  In that moment, I decided that I had been lied to. My hair was not nappy, it was BEAUTIFUL! I was in complete and utter awe of the twist, turns and pop of my new found curls. I was also very angry. I was angry that I believed my parents, friends, and society when they said Black women couldn’t have naturally beautiful hair. ‘Cause at the moment while standing in front of the mirror with scissors in hand, and relaxed ends on the floor, all I saw was beautiful strands growing out of my head.


one week after the "big chop"


After the Big Chop, I also realized that I was completely unprepared to manage my new hair. Although I had become an avid YouTube user during my transition, inputting “natural hair” in the search box, I felt like only a millionaire could afford the different natural hair products YouTuber’s were urging me to buy in their videos. After years of trial and error, I have finally come up with a hair care regimen (which really isn’t a regimen).


six months after "the big chop"


 My current hair regimen?
As a busy woman, balancing career, graduate school and a family, I did not and still do not have time to focus on my hair seven days out of the week. I look for products that offer longevity. Therefore, I look for products that have great hold without leaving my hair feeling rigid and crunchy.  I wash my hair 2-3 times a week with T-Gel (I have bad dandruff) or with apple cider vinegar/water mix.  I then apply a lot, and I mean A LOT, of conditioner. I either use Aussie Moist in the purple bottle or Herbal Essence Hello Hydration. After washing my hair, I apply Kinky Curly Curling Custard. The front of my hair tends to frizz more than the rest of my hair. Therefore, after applying KCCC, I also apply IC Aloe Vera Gel to the front (bangs) of my hair. That’s basically it for my regimen. I do not do any “protective styling” nor do I apply any oil to my hair. I’m too lazy for all of that!


my hair today


How would I describe my hair?

I describe my hair as kinky curly.  I have super tight curls that have a mind of their own. My hair will not let me boss it around. It does what it wants when it wants. It took me a while to realize that!

What types of products work best for me curls?
Gelatinous products work best for my hair. Anything with the description of cream, lotion, pudding, or pomade, my hair does not like.

My advice for those thinking about going natural?
Have patience with your hair. I cannot stress that enough. Everyone’s hair is different and your hair will never look like another natural’s.  Take the time to learn what works best for your hair, experiment and have fun!


Written by: Alexandra Silvestre

4 comments:

  1. Her hair is simply beautiful! My last relaxer was 11/20/11 and I love it!

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  2. Thank you for the comments! You've made my day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Her hair is gorgeous! I had my hair colored all sorts of crazy colors in high school and have been working hard ever since to get it back to it's natural state. :-) It's finally there and I love it!

    ReplyDelete

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