Why I decided to go from Relaxed to Natural Hair by Acharacha

Current protective style, kinky twists.

First of all, I had always wanted to do something other than weavons, braids or relaxer. Weavons made me scratch my scalp like a crazy person, and then braids…..well I always dreaded spending long hours at the saloon getting the attachment fixed to my hair and they hurt so much afterwards. As for relaxers, I never really liked getting relaxers on my hair. It hurt so much and it made my hair thin and weak. Also whenever I retouched my hair with relaxer, I would get burnt scalp and afterwards get flaky and funny white stuff which I found difficult to deal with and it was embarrassing as well. I used relaxer because it was what everyone was doing and I never knew any other way to manage my hair other than getting it relaxed. Recently I was seriously overwhelmed and should I say “disturbed” by the increase of the use of expensive weavons called “Brazilian Hair and co” in Nigeria. I always thought to myself “..there should be something much more than this”. Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying and fixing Brazilian hair. So I am not despising or hating on anyone just that I feel it’s a bit too artificial and in my opinion “not natural”.

See how much natural growth I had? I wish I  went fully natural then.

Sometime in 2010 I had about 6 inches of natural hair growth (“undergrowth” as we call it in Naija) underneath my relaxed hair and I really wanted to go natural but I didn’t have a clue about how to handle my really coarse natural hair. I even took a couple of pictures and uploaded it to facebook, telling everyone I had gone “afro kinky”. Above this paragraph is a picture of myself then. However, after a couple of days of struggling with the two textures in my hair (relaxed ends and undergrowth), I gave up and went back to fully relaxed hairL. I didn’t do any research at all about transitioning to natural hair! Recently I was browsing through the internet looking for a unique hairstyle to do and I came across this Youtube channel called “Beautifulbrownbabydol” and that was when I discovered the African American natural hair community. It was amazing to realize that there is a huge and I mean HUGE community of “natural sistaz” out there. There are so many inspiring vlogs and blogs that left me saying this to myself “Why didn’t I think of coming to the internet to do this research earlier?” But anyway, I finally decided to go “napptural” as the natural hair community would put it and I am not going back!

My hair was three weeks post relaxer when I made up my mind to go napptural, of course that was my very LAST relaxer. Some of the sites were so informative and inspiring, having this friendly “you can do it too” tone to them. My most favorite was www.naturalchica.com, her vlogs and blogs are so informative and well edited so it made it easy for me to follow. She also has contributors in form of doctors and specialists whose articles I found really helpful. I also liked www.nappturality.com and Carol's Daughter www.transitioningmovement.com, I got a lot of tips from them too and so many others. I read a couple of articles by two hair specialist Dr. Kari Williams and Dr. Pheonix, you can find a link to their websites on the useful links section of this blog. After all my research I opted to take the “long grow out” route of transitioning for a number of reasons. First, I didn’t want to do anything drastic because I didn’t want to be freaked out. Second my husband was totally against me getting a low cut, so I was left with the long grow out route other than the “BIG CHOP”. The long grow out means that I would let my real hair grow gradually while i still kept my relaxed ends. So as time goes on I would have to deal with two hair textures, the relaxed and the natural curly one from the roots. The big chop means I either shave my head bald or trim a huge chunk of my hair off depending on how much relaxed hair I have!