This day last year (September 3, 2015, a Thursday to be specific) I had the day off at work and my neighbor came around to gist. Somewhere along the line, we moved on to the topic of hair, natural hair especially. We talked about every possible reason people keep natural hair and how much it costs to maintain.
Before this time I had been fascinated about natural hair, seeing that it looked pretty on some people and as an adventurous soul I wanted to explore. So my hair had been unrelaxed for a few months before then as I was transitioning (I was afraid of what “The Big Chop” would do to my small head…lol).
Back to the gist matter….. My neighbor stayed with me for over an hour talking about everything down to our terrible light situation then. As soon as she left, I decided there and then that I was chopping off my hair as I was curious to know how it would look in all its natural form.
Without taking permission from anyone, not even my boyfriend, I headed straight to the salon with my sister and asked the barber to cut the hair. He was confused and kept asking if that was really my decision, I brought out my phone and showed him a style I had screen grabbed to guide him. That shut him up and with N500 I had my big chop.
My mother came back that day and to say she was shocked is putting it very mildly. She looked so traumatized that you would think someone cut her own hair without permission. All she could say was “Folake why did you cut your hair?” she found it very difficult to believe that it would grow back. Funny enough, the boyfriend didn’t even complain, he took it well. And so began my Natural Hair Journey.
Handling my Natural hair in the past one year has taught me a lot of lessons that I might not have paid great attention to. Firstly I have learnt to be more persistent and patience. I have understood that my hair type and texture is different from every other person’s type and have learnt to handle it as such. I know that it will grow faster than some, slower than others and be at the same pace with many. I have happily embraced this fact and I don’t fret about the time it takes to grow. This doesn’t mean I don’t get jealous when I see long haired naturalistas, I admire them and know mine is growing at its pace.
Inbetween the failed twist outs, Bantu knots, braid outs and the rest I have learnt the art of perseverance. I see all these styles on you tube and sometimes when I practice them, I get a different style entirely (how frustrating) and there are days I am actually doing these styles and my hands ached like crazy tempting me to give up. I am proud to tell you guys that throughout these times, I never gave up… maybe once or twice when I just removed all the knots and went to bed… its not easy believe me. I remember with joy all my first successful tryouts and my first normal and non-manipulated bun (Oh my God!) I was beyond excited.
But its just hair, why all this excitement some may say. No, Never! For me, this is a feeling, a religion, a passionate act and a perfect sho of love to my God given glory. The journey has not always been sweet especially at the beginning when I didn’t know what to do with it except use a band. Those days I ask myself “Folake who send you work” and I am tempted to relax.
My natural hair gives me room for more creativity and versatility as I am my own stylist most times. I do my hair myself (Wash, condition, style and even braids) as against the relaxed days where I go to the salon for virtually everything. I have also learnt the art of DIYs (I make a mean Shea butter mix and cook up various recipes to feed my baby).
Many of my friends and family members who were worried I had lost my mind last year now consult me for hair products but I am yet to convince my mother though. Many times when I sit in front of her mirror she just eyes me and tells me that it’s only a matter of time before I go back to relaxers. Some other people ask me too if I plan to be natural for life and my answer is YES!!!. As long as I live , God willing and God helping me, I plan to keep nurturing and pampering my baby in all its glory. It’s quite full and difficult to handle, but I will manage.
Again I love my hair and everything that has to do with it and I also love helping others discover the best way to care for theirs (Natural or Relaxed).
Cheers to a new year of conditioners, deep conditioners, styling gels, shea butter mixes, Aloe vera mixes, Corn rows, Braid outs, Twist outs and all the other words you can ever find in a natural girl’s life!
And yes there’s a party, you just have to come to my house….lol