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My struggle to go natural

Whenever I’ve blogged or spoken about going natural, I’ve always said that my only regret is that it took me so long to do it because I thought about it for a year before I actually took the leap. Well I lied.

A friend recently reminded me of a pyjama party we had where we were trying all kinds of tricks to turn my relaxed hair curly – back in 2009! This mostly involved using heaps of conditioner on my very wet hair in the hope that it would ‘shrink’ & curl along with various scrunching techniques.

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2009 – trying to create curls on my wet, freshly washed & conditioned hair. As you can see in this picture, I’m sans make up & sans curls.

I even bought a diffuser attachment for my beloved Parlux hair dryer. These tricks had my hair looking ok-ish & curly when wet but when it dried oh gosh when it dried it was one thick bush – not a curl in sight. I even went to work with this hot mess for 1/2 weeks & colleagues had kind words but what they didn’t know was that I was in the bathroom every 2 hours spritzing water & conditioner on  just to keep it under control. Of course it didn’t last (thankfully) & before long I booked myself in for a relaxer. Relief.

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Still 2009 – things didn’t get much better once my relaxed ‘curls’ dried. I really tried!

Now 2009 was way before I even heard of a blog & the word ‘natural’ to me back then conjured up images of herbs & all things homeopathic. The truth is I sought advice from various hairdressers – I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go. Whenever I was in a mall & a salon looked quiet, I’d pop in & all they did was recommend various curling creams & well, diffusers. That’s what landed me in this situation. Why I even walked into these salons to ask for help I don’t know – desperation perhaps because the only ethnic hair they had seen was that of the lady’s making the tea in the salon.

Each one of them sold me a different product (& I’m not talking cheap stuff – its lead to quite a predicament) & I’d hurry home only to be disappointed. All. Over. Again. In retrospect I don’t think they knew any better although I felt completely frustrated & sabotaged!

Here’s what I wish someone had the sense to tell me four years ago (FOUR YEARS AGO!!!!): Once you relax your hair you have permanently altered its chemical make up. You can argue that the straightness fades over time but it’s not reversible. You can transition for a while if you prefer (i.e. let your natural hair grow out while you keep your lengths relaxed for a bit) but eventually the relaxed hair needs to be cut off. That’s the simple truth. And in 4 years no one could/would tell it to me.

Yes, you live & learn but I can’t help think how far along my fro would be now if I’d done the big chop 4 years ago. Anyway, I’ll keep myself focused on the fact that I’m now only weeks away from the 1 year anniversary of my big chop 🙂 Yes, time has flown & all those other clichés are true but it’s also true that I’m impatient, so dear hair – hurry up & grow!

If you missed my last hair update at nine months post big chop, check it out here.

Be kind to your hair!

W

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