IGC: Tell us your hair story. How did you come to step inside the shoes of a curly woman?
Well I had been straightening my hair for about three years due to pure laziness. I felt that it was a safe escape from the frizz, breakage, and work that came along with my natural hair. However I got bored with processed hair. It had grown to the middle of my back, I’d cut off, bleached it, dyed it… I’d exhausted my options. It was at that point that I made the decision to go back natural.
One day my sister sent me a link to the video “Good Hair” by Chris Rock. What I saw and heard touched me, saddened me and infuriated me. It’s not like I’d hated my natural hair for being curly or kinky. To me hair was just that… HAIR! It amazed me how much some people judge you based on what you have growing out of your head. It was right then and there that I knew for a certainty that I wanted to return to my “roots”. Not only was it a personal liberation from the restrictiveness I’d experienced with straight hair, but it was also my way of protesting the ignorance I’d just heard.
This was my thought process. “Straight hair is more professional than my kinks? I’m less likely to get a job because of my hair? We’ll see about that!”
IGC: How much support did you receive when you decided to go natural?
My mom was excited about the news especially since she was never for the creamy crack. My sister was also excited. I could feel her excitement after I told her I was going to chop all my hair off. My brother wasn’t too thrilled about his little sister having a “man” head. My parents weren’t too thrilled about the super short hair either…which is why I didn’t tell them until it was all gone. Hehehe ^_^
Outside of that, my friends were really supportive of my decision. Quite a few of them were either already natural or transitioning. So they had a lot of helpful hints and they were a HUGE source of encouragement for me.
IGC: In your opinion, what has been some of the best things about having natural hair?
On the very top of my list is the versatility! I get bored with my hair pretty easily when it was straight. So having the multitude of options that I do now is a HUGE plus in my book.
I also feel a sense of satisfaction and ease within myself. Being in my most natural state makes me feel more ME than I ever have. Another big plus is that the health of my hair has improved. I’ve experienced and lot less breakage and my strands feel stronger.
IGC: Please elaborate a little bit about your hair routine?
I keep it pretty simple. I shampoo, and do a deep treatment once a week. While my hair is still damp I apply Extra Virgin Olive oil to seal in the moisture, and then apply a leave in conditioner. In between washes I mist my hair with water and seal with olive oil.
IGC: Would you consider yourself a product junkie or do you like to keep your products simple? Tell us about your hair products.
I can safely say that I am not a product junkie. I do like trying different products BUT when I do it’s one new thing at a time. For deep treatments I use Bambu Nutritive Hair Treatment. For my regular shampoo and co-washing I use Motions moisturizing shampoo, and conditioner. My leave in conditioner is also from Motions. Outside of that I use Extra Virgin olive Oil and some good old H2O.
IGC: What is your hair goal?
My overall goal is to continue growing a healthy head of hair. Presently though, I’m on a 5 year “no cut” journey (trimming excluded… healthy hair over length any day! Plus it always grows back).
Another goal of mine is to continue encouraging those who are interested in going natural or already transitioning. Having a support system is always useful.
IGC: What has been the hardest part of your hair journey thus far?
The most challenging part of my hair journey thus far would have to be the “in-between” stage. You know that annoying point where the hair is not super short but it’s not quite long enough to do much of anything with? Yeah… that was a pain.
IGC: What advice would you give to anyone who is thinking about returning natural?
Research is key! Knowing the different hair types, getting an idea of what works for each is definitely important. Then once you are sure that going back natural is the right thing for you GO FOR IT!
IGC: Anything else you would like to share?
Being natural is not hard. It is only as complicated as you make it.
Melissa thank you for sharing your story. It’s great when you have support from your friends and family. I know you get bored with your hair easily but natural hair is versatile and you have loads of options. We’ll check back with you to see how your “no cut” plan is working out. lOl!
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