Being natural comes with its fair share of trials and tribulations, ups-downs, set backs and rewards. We get so caught up in comparing ourselves to other people's hair types, textures, length, and manageability, that we forget to take a step back and remind ourselves why we are doing this in the first place.
I've been on my all natural and healthy hair journey since May of 2013. And, trust me - I did not happen upon this on my own. I just kinda got into it. I was heading to my best friends wedding in a country that has proven to be humid in the early summer months. I did not want to look like a "hot ass mess". Or so I thought at the time. And, I didn't want to constantly put heat in my hair knowing it was going to sweat out in minutes and be "poofy" all over again. So, I decided to get a weave. My first weave by the way - EVER. It was bomb. I just knew I was cute. Anyway, I successfully made it through my trip. Looking and feeling amazing. Oh, and the bride looked cool too...LOL! Just kidding she was so beautiful. (That's me on the left ya'll) as a brides maid.
Once I got my first weave, my hair started to grow. I took the weave out after two months, and my hair was so thick and beautiful. However, I didn't know what to do with it. Side bar: Just to be clear - I had a perm previously, and my hair was extremely short. This image shows how short my hair was, and I used to rock it like this for years. It started off as a "Rhianna" cut. Ya'll remember when those cuts were in, and they still are btw. But anyway - I digress.
I kept trimming my ends, and putting my weave back in. I did this for a solid year and a half. My hair grew a little bit past shoulder length. I was feeling myself; but I was also trying to figure it out. The only time I tried going natural as a young adult, is when I was in college. I mean - I was natural as a baby, and early childhood - until someone changed my life forever by giving me my first perm. I think I was about the age of 9 years old. As a parent now (looking back), if I had a daughter, I could not imagine putting all those chemicals in her hair. My mother did not do it btw. She was completely organic. However, times were tough and we were split between two homes - so we were at the mercy of whomever could do our hair at the time.
Fast forward - back to my results down below. This was about 3 years ago.
I could not believe the what I was seeing. I loved the progress but I was concerned about my ends, and because I started watching so many youtube videos, I was scared to put too much heat in my hair. Side bar: there are so many YouTuber's that've literally changed my hair life, and I want to give them a quick shot out and LOVE:
Curly Proverbz: https://www.youtube.com/user/remz316
Craving Yellow: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9zMrgA9DLEhtHshh5Vayog
Glam Twinz: https://www.youtube.com/user/glamtwinz334
To name a few.....
Back to my story: I started to deep condition, trim my ends, hot oil treat my hair, use the L.O.C. method, and moisturize and seal. I've had to cut off some hair here and there, and I've had to adjust my plans over the years, but all in all - I will NEVER go back to putting chemicals in my hair.
I have been completely natural going on 4 years. Not counting the year and half of transitioning from a perm. I've learned so much; but I think my biggest lesson so far has been not to hold on to dead ends. I was holding on to those ends for so long, that my hair wouldn't curl properly, and I wasn't really feeling it. I had to choose health over length. I had to stop looking at everyone else's hair and comparing mine to theirs. I had to stop obsessing over growth. I had to stop watching my hair in the mirror. It's literally like watching paint dry - especially since my hair grows a half an inch per month.
That said, here's an updated picture of my length (2017). I am definitely still a work in progress; but I feel blessed, and happy in my OWN SKIN. And, I want you to feel that way too. It takes time to grow your hair. Especially if you have a short TWA. It takes patience. It takes you coming to terms with the fact that you are beautiful. Be You. Be Proud. Be Beautiful! Much LOVE....