When Amber suggested that I write a post about my transition to having natural hair, I kind of laughed. Although my last relaxer was in December 2007 and I chopped off my relaxed ends on my birthday in July 2009, I didn't think I had anything to say.
To the left is my hair after the relaxed ends were cut off in 2009, and the right is after my hair was straightened and styled.
I guess I can start from the very beginning with the reason why I transitioned. It all started when my hair started to get really thin in the Fall of 2007. For some reason, my hair started to shed like crazy! As my pony tail got smaller, but heart started to sink. Back then I was going to a regular salon that had specials during the week for wash n' sets ($20) and relaxers ($45) about every 2 weeks and I relaxed about once every 4-6 months. After seeing my doctor to make sure I was a-okay, I tried another salon that was far more pricey but known for making you look fabulous AND growing luscious long locks. Before styling my hair for the first time, she brought out a microscope to look at my scalp closely... and she found dried up relaxer.
Yes, you heard me right. Dried up relaxer, as in, the relaxer was never properly washed out of my hair the last time I got a touch up. To say I was shocked is an understatement. She went on to explain that once the hair is styled after the relaxer, if all the chemicals were not washed out completely, they will pretty much dry up and stay on your scalp until you use clarifying shampoo to get them out. Hence why my hair continued to fall out after I had gotten wash n' sets several times after the touch up relaxer. So she clarified, scrubbed, and treated my scalp and I vowed to never get a relaxer again.
To the left is my hair wet and out of the shower with no products, and the right is my hair was straightened.
Fast forward to now... I am completely natural and super duper happy! My hair has grown so much and it is thick and healthy for the first time in a very long time. Up until July 2009 when I cut off all of my relaxed ends, I would go to the salon once or twice a month to have my hair blown out and the ends gradually clipped. I had absolutely no idea how to control the curly craziness of my roots and the delicate relaxed ends, so I opted to just straighten it. It wasn't until after that time that I started to experiment with natural hair styles.
Now with after over a year transitioning, and 3 years being completely natural, I have almost figured out what works best for me. I've had some pitfalls that resulted in me having to get some aggressive trims, but I have also mastered some styles that have helped me retain the length and strength of my hair. More to come soon!