I had been getting relaxers since I was about 6 or 7 years old. When I started college in 2010 I had been having long hair all my life and wanted something different. So, my mom cut it into a bob. I loved it so much! It had movement and volume and it was everything I hoped it would be, once I got used to the idea of short hair. But then, I got bored. That’s when I decided to color my hair. So of course, mom to the rescue again!
At first I wanted a deep burgundy color. We tried a rinse, which is a non-permanent hair color treatment. Unfortunately, the rinse did not take to my hair and you could barely see the color. That’s when I decided to get honey blonde highlights. They were nice in the beginning, but due to me straightening my hair almost everyday it began to look fried even though I was using heat protectant and doing regular deep conditions.
My hair had started to break off. It was no longer the cute, voluminous bob that I had grown to love. This is when I started a relationship with my true love: weave. From sew-ins, clip-ins and fake ponytails I tried almost everything! Then I realized that I did not always want to hide my hair. I had to get it back to it’s healthy state. Thus began my natural hair journey.
October 2014 I began transitioning. While transitioning for the first 4 months of my journey I faithfully kept my hair in either a sew-in or box braids. Then once my hair got to a length that I was comfortable with I started to experiment with different styles for natural/transitioning hair. I discovered that the best option for me at the time was perm rods. They allowed me to camouflage my natural hair at the root with my relaxed ends.
About a month into that, I was fed up. I was tired of having full hair at my roots with these ugly stringy ends. It got harder and harder to camouflage them at this point. So on April 21, 2015 I got a full blown haircut. No, I did not do a full big chop because I just couldn’t let go of everything! I needed something to work with. I got a tapered cut so the top of my head still had some relaxed ends while the rest was all natural. . .I hated it.
Having short hair is hard as it is but working with two different hair textures was a job within itself. However, I dealt with it. My go to style was a perm rod set, once I finally figured out how to work those crazy things. It took me a while to find the perfect sizes to make my hair look a certain way. It also took FOREVER to style. I couldn’t deal anymore. Once my hair got to a certain length, I went right back to box braids and other protective styles.
During this time, when I would take down my hair I wold cut off some relaxed ends from the top as time went on. August 2015, my final semester of college, I started to get into wearing wigs. My hair was in a protective style for almost the entire semester until one day I decided to see what my natural hair could do and I loved it! Even though I still had some relaxed ends, I made it work for me. I still mostly wore other styles but at least I now knew what my hair was capable of.
Here we are, April 2016 and I am finally fully comfortable with wearing my natural hair. Although I still love my weave, I’m trying to not wear it as often as I used to. I can see a total difference in my hair now and I am proud of myself for sticking with it. I have a regimen that I stick to and I tend to just wear twist-outs, but I am going to try more styles since it’s grown a little more.
ADVICE: If you just big chopped, congrats girl! With your hair in this short length, it’ll be easier to see which products work with your hair texture. Use this as your experiment stage. If you are transitioning, stick with it. DO NOT GIVE UP! Blending your hair textures will not be easy, but I promise there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Use this time to play around with different protective styles.
I’m excited to see how the rest of my natural hair journey will go! Take a look at the gallery below to get a glimpse of it! What’s your natural hair story? Did you transition or big chop? I’d love to hear from you!