The decision to leave your well-known way of taking care of your hair is harder than some may actually realize. It may be harder than anything you’ve ever done before. What can make this transformation not only harder but failure ridden is a lack of support.
Five and a half years ago I decided to stop relaxing my hair and go Natural when we moved from New Orleans to Denver. I felt the change in climate would be damaging to my hair. Back then, my idea of being Natural simply meant no chemicals. I didn’t do any research or go to a salon for advice. I just wore braids, wigs and weaves while using relaxed hair products on my hair. For three years it never dawned on me I may be using improper products as well as improper methods on taking care of my tresses.
My hair was damaged and without any knowledge I was actually doing a BC, I clipped the remaining relaxed ends as well as a TON of damaged hair. I grabbed some hair care products off Target’s shelves that I thought would assist me (they didn’t) and began a REAL Natural hair journey.
I was nervous. I was worried. I applied those poor choices of hair products to my hair while trying to squash the insecurity in the pit of my stomach. I wrapped one of my scarves around my head like a headband and went to work not knowing what to expect from co-workers who were used to my wigs and braids. I walked into work and was welcomed with oohs and ahhs. It sounded like the sweetest music I’ve ever heard and I’ve never looked back.
I did so many things wrong during those first few months. I had no one to talk to since I didn’t know anybody going Natural. After I soon realized many products at an arm’s grasp weren’t for me; I was on the computer searching for ANYTHING and stumbled across Miss Jessie’s products. There my true journey began.
I’m sure if I had someone to discuss my fears with as well as gain advice on what the hell to actually do with my hair this would have been a much smoother path to go down. I don’t regret going what I went through since it got me to where I am and I appreciate what I now know. I can also assist others who may not know exactly what to do or just need support. Some Naturals are surrounded by Relaxed family members or friends who are just unwilling to help or may even hinder your progress. You may feel all alone.
I’m here to say you are not alone. There is a huge Natural hair community now just ready to help others who are interested in taking the plunge. I’m sure it’s even harder for older Naturals (such as myself) since it’s a lot cooler to experiment with your hair and style during your college years and during your 20’s. Coming out of your comfort zone in your late 30’s, 40’s and even 50’s can be one of the scariest things you may encounter. Despite that fear, it can be done. I’m here and planning to stay. I truly couldn’t be happier.