Y’all already know what this is. If your hair’s relaxed or texturised, it’s that horrible smelling cream you have to slather on your hair – the one that when your mum/ stylist is taking their time will burn like the Avatar is firebending your scalp – but will give you those lovely straight locks for that “leave out” to blend nicely with your 22 inch Peruvian.
I got my hair relaxed for the first time when I was around 10 years old, mainly because I was jealous of how easy all the other girls in my class had it when it came to styling their hair. My hair was coarse, tangled very easily and seemed to have a life of it’s own at times – I remember walking around with my sparkly beaded cornrows and being annoyed at the long flowing waves and defined curls that the other girls had. Another motivator was the sheer pain my mum inflicted on my scalp when she was combing out my hair – and eventually after months of begging she gave in and texturised my hair & soon enough I grew used to having bone straight hair and relaxing it every 2 months or so.
My hair was pretty thick back then & past shoulder length, however in the winter of 2009 disaster struck. My hair literally snapped in the cold and thinned out to just below my ears. Whilst I’ve gained back length (🙏🏾we tenk God) the thinness and brittleness of my hair has remained, along with mild dandruff coming and going.
So this year, I made the decision to transition my hair back to natural (I refuse to do “the big chop”) after A WHOLE LOTTA RESEARCH. This part is ESSENTIAL.
DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH. Before attempting this, you’re gonna have to find out/ determine a heck of a lot of info, such as whether you have thick / thin hair (this WILL will affect your haircare routine) , location of nearby good hair shops (minimum 2), and the numbers of at least 2 hair stylists (at least 1 good stylist/wig lady who can lay down a closure like the hand of God). Knowledge of preferred protective styles will also be vital, along with the basics: a good deep conditioner, leave-in conditioner, shampoo and sealant. Along with this, you’re also gonna need to create your own basic hair care routine, because everyone’s hair is different – it needs/ lacks different things, so your hair care routine should reflect this.
Here’s some good starting points for your own research so take notes📝📝:
- Reading books such as The Science of Black Hair: A Comprehensive Guide to Textured Hair Care (Standard Edition: Black & White) by Audrey Davis-Sivasothy
- Going online to websites such as (http://www.blackhair.about.com) (http://www.naturallycurly.com/curlreading/) etc.
- Checking out Natural hair gurus on YouTube. There’s a heck of lot of them!
- Asking your usual hair stylist for tips
Trust me, you will get frustrated, & this will be time consuming, which is why basic time management will be so essential. But if you want healthier hair and your natural curls back then go cold turkey with the relaxer and texturising – it’s all or nothing.
I admit that I do miss the simplicity of having relaxed hair – the ease of styling and upkeep, but after embarking on this natural hair journey for the past year, I know that this is what I want. It hasn’t come easy at all and I still end up extremely pissed off at my hair or having bad days where it won’t behave or I have no idea what to do with it. But for the sheer difference that I’ve observed; as my hair has grown thicker, stronger and shinier than it has ever been, to me – the pain has been worth it.
It’s not by force to do it though, don’t jump on the wave just because a lot of people are doing it and going natural is becoming more popular. Really take the time to consider the advantages & disadvantages – whether or not this is what you want, as you’re the one who’s going to have to live with it.
It is YOUR HEAD.