Redefining Beauty in My Mind
I can remember the very first time that I ever heard of the term “natural”. It was about four years ago, when I had an old roommate that decided that she wanted to go through the process. Now, I have to admit: I was not liking it. I thought that it would be most ridiculous thing I have ever seen. She had a mess of curls at the roots, and stringy strands on the end. As a firm believer in the power of the creamy crack and Brazilian hair down to my booty, you can imagine what I was thinking when I looked at my roommate. How can you possibly feel beautiful whenever your hair is a big curly mess? And after she made her big chop, I was still unconvinced that natural was the way to go.
Fast forward a few months later, and my perspective changed. My friend’s hair had grown significantly, and she had a different hair style every few days. She could curl it, straighten it, and do whatever she pleased- her hair looked absolutely beautiful. After a bad experience with a relaxer a month after bleaching the back of my hair, I decided that maybe I would give the natural thing a try. If I could get my hair to look anything like my roommate’s, then I would be a happy camper. After all, if I got tired of it, I could always just perm my hair right? So in March of 2013, I made the pledge to myself that I would try to refrain from ever using the creamy crack again.
Now recall that I had spent years getting perms and wearing weaves. I'm almost ashamed to say that my college classmates did not even know what my real hair looked like until my senior year. Because of the countless times that I applied relaxer to my head, my hair was pretty fine. It grows at a pretty slow rate, and at that time it was shoulder length. I was terrified to do any kind of big chop, so I just transitioned by wearing sew ins. I kept a sew in in my head for a solid year, only taking about a day or two max to allow my hair to breathe. After I took down my hair, I would clip just a little bit of my ends at a time.
The first thing I noticed when I went natural was how much thicker my hair looked, particularly at the root. As a woman who had had fine hair her whole life, this was a dream come true. In the beginning of my hair journey, I had also read about the benefits of using Jamaican black castor oil, and how it was supposed to help with thickness.
Naturally, I massaged that into my scalp after every wash and also squeezed some to my roots when it felt itchy under the weave. I attributed the thickened roots to the constant use of the castor oil. Shedavi hair oil contains castor oil so I will be using this in my hair routine.
My Not So Big Chop
In July of 2014, I finally cut off the rest of my relaxed hair. I was surprised at how much my hair shrank after I clipped those ends off. I had not really put much heat into my hair (apart from my bang), so I had no idea how long my hair was. I only knew that my hair didn't look like my friend’s hair, and I did not feel beautiful. Because I had more time on my hands, I started to really research natural hair and all I could do to make it grow. I came across some popular terms like the LOC method and proper detangling techniques, but they honestly just went over my head. I knew what to do, but I didn't care to do it at the time. It was just much more convenient to toss in some inches.
So, my hair was growing, but I still didn't feel confident enough to wear my hair on a regular basis. I only posed for pictures every now and then to try to test out my new look to the masses.
Later that year, I moved to Atlanta, and the strangest thing happened. I started working for a company that literally had only 4 black women. Guess what? Each of them were natural. In fact, they all wore their hair in its natural state. Where I was from, seeing a girl with natural hair was far and few between, so I was shocked to see these women not only have natural hair but wear it with such pride. I wanted that confidence. I wanted to be able to strut around with my natural hair and still feel beautiful. So, for the first time, in October of 2015, I wore my natural hair to work. Because I had to deal with my own hair, I started to incorporate the LCO method into my hair regiment, shampooing every Sunday like clock work. Deep conditioned first with some conditioner and sat under an electric soft bonnet.
I also placed a wet hot towel on my head to really hydrate my scalp. After about twenty minutes, I rinsed that out then applied some moisturizer after my hair was about halfway dry. Usually, I would flat twist the hair afterwards so that it would be fairly stretched after it dried. I was not a fan on the super tight afro look. A few months of doing that and my hair flourished! It looked healthy and my curls would pop! I ended up cutting a few inches off in December and dying the back red in the process.
Now, my hair is still pretty healthy, but it doesn't seem to be growing like I want it to. Also, even though its thicker than it was when I was getting relaxers, my hair is still a little finer than I want it to be. I'm hoping that using the Shedavi products will help me to achieve my ultimate goal of having bra strap length tresses. Stay tuned!