I had thought about it several times before, but after seeing Chris Rock’s Good Hair, I knew that I didn’t want to torture my scalp any longer. So on Dec. 31, 2008, I made the decision to stop relaxing my strands. I was 18 years old.
It’s been a long four-year journey, and I’ve met plenty of challenges and obstacles, but I’ve definitely learned a lot, including a few lessons on moisturizing techniques and funky style ideas. For those of you who are still considering going the kinky route, these few pointers may help you out a bit. And if you’re already a natural, I’m sure that you can definitely relate to these lessons I’ve learned along my exciting natural hair ride.
1. My Ends Still Need Trimming
Okay, so it may sound weird to some of you, but when I decided to go natural, for whatever reason, I totally neglected the routine of clipping my ends. I just washed, moisturized when I felt it necessary, and kept I moving. Don’t judge me. I know I’m not the only one who thought natural hair equaled healthy never-splitting ends…? That is, until my hair started to break off like crazy and I realized that natural hair needs to make friends with clippers too.
2. It Needs to Be Fed (Everyday)
I have to admit, I’ve never been one to moisturize my hair properly, even when I was with team creamy crack. However, when I stopped getting perms, my hair really suffered because no longer was I frequenting my beautician who did a hell of a job keeping my scalp fed. And when I decided to splash my head with some color, whew! My locks almost died of thirst. I’m embarrassed to say that my lack of moisturizing contributed to a big chop after my ends decided to do the moonwalk. It took a while for it to sink in, but I finally got over the laziness and decided to water down my weeds on a daily basis (or at least every other day) to keep my whole head nice and healthy. It even helps with the softness and promotes growth for those of you who are trying to get that Esperanza Spalding look.
3. It’s More Versatile and Fun To Style
I don’t know if it’s just me, but I find it more interesting and fun to style my natural hair. When I wear my hair straight (which I still do from time to time), it feels a lot more lifeless and boring when I’m deciding how I’m going to wear it for the day. But with my wavy, curly fro, I find myself having a lot more fun while jazzing it up. It makes me want to pull out scarves, hats, wrap it up, pin it down, twist it, braid it and do a variety of quirky things to it. Not saying you can’t do that with straight strands, but I find it more appealing with my kinks, and it looks better too. Way cooler. I’m just saying…