Okay, so here’s the deal. I’ve been wearing extension braids for as long as I can possibly remember. Wearing my hair naturally was something I was pondering about for months before I decided to make a blog about my experiences.
My hair went from a nice length, to falling out, to placing it into extension braids, to growing it back up to its length, and past it. And somewhere along the line, I decided I really need to do something different and it had to be big. Not for attention but big for myself. However I want to walk you through how all that led up to the present, in greater detail.
We’ve all been there: Bubbles and Clips throughout Elementary School. The other girls never understood why my hair wouldn’t lay down like theirs and I didn’t understand why it wouldn’t either. In retrospect, I noticed the rebellion from there. I always wanted my hair in braids to show off my length, to have a ‘laid-down effect.’ I even remember mutterings of wanting a perm and my mom being startle as to why.
Maybe even from there, that’s when I realized I wanted my hair to look like something completely different and not like my own hair at all.
When I hit Middle School, I think I finally achieved satisfaction when I made Box Braids the style for my hair for a couple of years. (When I hit 12.) I didn’t want to keep, what I thought was, the ‘babyish’ look of clips and braids into middle school. I wanted the ‘LONG’ hair. You know, the kind my white friends had and I wanted to be able to flip my hair and stroke my hands through it, like I’ve seen everyone else around me do for years.
I was overjoyed with the thought that I could ‘fake’ the length and I loved how everyone marveled at it. I’ll never forget how my neighbors reacted to my hair, the FIRST time I had box braids. I felt really pretty. I felt like ‘the bomb.’ (people don’t say that anymore do they?)
Looking back it’s sad how people were only ‘wow’ed by my hair because it was longer and looked like theirs.
I adored this new ‘invention’ in my hair until the month was over and it was time to revert back to how my hair really grows and basically put on another hidden mask of beauty and go out into the world again.
However, When I took them out that’s when the horror started. I swear, I wish I had a picture for how horrible it look back then, but my self-esteem wasn’t allowing much of any ‘kodak’ moments to keep record of that time. (However now it would’ve been great to have!)
My hair suffered tremendous damage with box braids. My hair was completely un-even, I had sprouts in one area and none on the other. None of the damages left bald spots on my head, just intense hair loss. My mom, frazzled as what to do with it, she (I guess not knowing any other option) permed it. That prevented ANY future growth and I struggled with this the first few weeks it was worn that way. I never thought I looked pretty enough and I’d spent hours in the bathroom trying to style my hair in a way that was satisfactory but couldn’t find one. (Kind of awful for someone who was a preteen)
I got a new hair stylists and she did cornrow extension braids and it worked! My hair grew out inches over the years and when I got my second blow out. (I’m gonna talk about the first blow out in a minute) I was so excited about my length. It was longer than my hair before it fell out. I was in love with straight long hair.
However, doing the same style for years, I realized how I’ve never really done anything EXCEPT braids with my hair. Never really wore my hair out so often, never did anything extraordinary. Kind of grew comfortable in my hair being that way.
Every month. I’d never want to go anywhere until my hair was done. I’d also schedule my hair to be braided before big events and any other fancy occasion because my natural hair wasn’t pretty enough. Now because my hair was so thick my FIRST blow out wasn’t what I thought was beautiful. I wanted it to be long and sleek straight. I want to lay flat and finally show off how long my hair actually is.
It was puffy! THICK and BIG haired! And I was so ashamed….and not confident. I was going to a wedding that day and it wasn’t my prime experience. Even though I was smiling bright in this pic, I’M TELLING YOU. I was NOT confident at all. It’s kind of sad because I didn’t look bad at all really, I was just that insecure about the way my hair looks. Yeah, I didn’t like this blowout then.
That was until I was satisfied with my second blow out. I grew obsessed with that and of course the heat knocked out my hair anyway. Not too tragic, but still not as long. So I went back to the braids for a year and that’s when it hit me:
I’m a young black woman who doesn’t really understand how to take care of her hair.
That’s when I got into real long deep self-reflective thought process about my hair.
And how I think of it.
And how I kind of played this awful role into thinking my natural hair isn’t really pretty.
And that they’re will come a time where I’m going have to learn about what’s on my head.
I knew I wanted to stop wearing braids (everyone thought I looked too young so I wanted to switch it up) and possibly wear my hair out.
Should I perm it?
I was too nervous of how that would effect the health of my hair, like the first time I permed my hair, all short and frazzled looking.
And I was resting on that for a while but then it hit me:
Why not just wear it naturally?
Then I started looking all over on how to wear the African American Hair Naturally. You guys know, it’s all over the place.
YouTube, Blogs, Forums and then that’s the passion started to rise up.
Why not start a blog about it too?
Hec, I love to write and I’ve always wanted to continuously blog about something and keep it consistent.
(I Have Multiple Blogs, been doing this thing for a while)
And that’s how we got here.
I’m honestly a beginner working through all the kinks and loops of just trying to manage my hair in a way that:
I feel beautiful and I feel me.
Something that just felt plain and simple, nothing added to it, nothing done to it. Just Natural and to learn to love myself in that.