My Hair Story
How long have you been natural?
I've been natural for about 35 months (almost three years).
I've been natural for exactly 35 months (almost three years).
Why and how did you go natural? (Did you transition? What products and styles did you use?)
I actually went natural because I was having scalp problems. I always wore my hair in a short bob cut and would get it shaved in the back of my neck. I would sometimes go to the barbershop. I can remember going to one particular barber and feeling like the back of my neck was on fire after he shaved my hair down. Years later I developed scalp bumps (which I still have). Later, I was diagnosed with acne keloidosis. I stopped the relaxer process thinking that would help my problem.
After doing a little bit of research about natural hair I decided that I was ready to transition to natural hair. Notice - I said "transition". On August 5, 2006, I made an appointment at Au Naturale in Philadelphia - I chose this salon because they specialize in transitional styles - meaning that they cater to individuals who have both natural and relaxed textures on their hair ("transition" state). Well, after my consultation with the stylist, I had been convinced to cut ALL of my hair off, to about one inch. She said that a transition style would not last and that it would probably be a waste of money. To make a long story short, I went home with about an inch of hair that day (I started off with seven inches). I did it. I did the BC. The "big chop". I had no style at all. It was just there. I used any and all products that I found in my house. YIKES.
How would you describe this experience?
I was not well. I felt like a boy. I think I even looked like Grace Jones that day. Grace Jones is beautiful but I wasn't on August 5, 2006. I wore a scarf home and didn't come out of the house for a few days. I spent days watching video tutorials, reading blogs, and experimenting with conditioners, gels, and shampoos. To top it off, my husband was not feeling it. It was simply --- OVERWHELMING. I had fun chronicling my progress, problems, solutions and hair growth though. As time went on, I became more comfortable in my skin - not sure how that happened but things are different now. I love being natural.
What was others response to your naturality?
Some people complimented me, others acted as if nothing drastic had happened to my hair (huh?), and others simply avoided me. WOWZERS. Gulp. The latter was very hard to swallow.
Below is the progression from pre-relaxer days, to relaxer, to the "BC" (big chop) to a variety of natural styles that I have had.
To check get the inside scoop on what really went down after "the big chop" check out my journal and pics at www.public.fotki.com/beautynholiness