The month of May marked my 6 months natural milestone. I did my big chop after transitioning for six months in November 2020 and officially began my journey as a fully natural woman. And, whew! After being relaxed for the portion of 20 years, this has definitely been a learning curve for me. I am not the most patient woman and in the world and for someone who enjoyed my relaxed hair immensely, this was a challenge.
Natural Hair Frustrations
Over the last couple of months, I’ve learned a myriad of things about my hair and reinforced others. The biggest reinforced point though is that when I thought I didn’t have the patience and physical requirements to care for my own natural hair, I was absolutely right.
Patience is a Virtue
The lack of convenience has been definitely frustrating. I don’t have days to dedicate to haircare, and I often end up delaying my need for a wash because washing and blowing is at least a two-hour activity. I learned the hard way that washing and not detangling straight away. was an absolute no-no. So I’ll go bald before ever doing that again.
I eventually swayed towards natural hair because I figured I could always be the kind of naturalista who did more blowouts and silk presses. But I also found my area didn’t have very many salons that seemed capable of silk pressing my texture, though, I eventually found one.
Back pain and stiffness, arms going stiff and numb and headaches are all common assaults now when doing my hair. It’s often more than I can manage, and I am also incapable of blow-drying my own hair properly. Please, please if you are reading this, comment below a good, affordable blow dryer you can recommend for natural hair.
Wash and Go Where?
The lie of a ‘wash and go’ sold on the gram threw me for a loop. Not this mane. There will be no wash and going anywhere. Not only am I averse to the amount of product these styles take, resolving myself to spend as long as two hours manipulating my hair and curls just so for the right look is just not for me. Besides, it would last about 2 hours after that, before I’d be back at square one trying to detangle.
So instead of wash and gos, I’ve really been sporting ‘granny twists and gos‘ and granny plaits when I don’t have braids.
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This was another learning curve for me. I’ve been braiding my own hair for years, but I have now learned that blunt-ended natural hair requires ‘tucking’ when braiding, so as to not have tufts of natural hair escaping as you braid. As an inexperienced person, this was very hard to do. I did it, but my hands paid the price and it wreaked havoc on the carpal tunnel syndrome symptoms I’ve been having over the past few years.
The Good Things
It hasn’t all been bad, though or one of the relaxers in my bathroom cupboard would have been to work. (Not sure that won’t still happen.) There are good things. I have learned my hair’s behaviour and patterns. I’ve also had a bit of fun with colour, which surprisingly, also had the result of lightening my texture just a bit, making it slightly more manageable. I am officially a redhead again.
6 Months Natural Hair Growth
My hair has grown a good deal. I cut my hair once after the big chop because I thought my super coily ends were a result of not chopping properly this first time, only to watch them curl right back up when they got a bit of moisture in them (the more you know). I also got a good trim in when I got my silk press a few days ago.
I love the versatility of straight and natural. I haven’t fallen off the wagon just yet, and the box of Soft & Beautiful Relaxer looks at me every day, but the beckon isn’t so loud. That said, I think it’s safe to say I’m doing okay so far. Let’s hope I make it another 6 months, eh?
What I do know though, is that I will be leaving most of my hair care and maintenance to a professional, thank you very much. I do not have the patience nor the physical strength.
P.S. For those who wanted to know how long my silk press lasted, I am on Day six and we are officially in ponytail territory. So, I’d say it’s not too bad considering I’ve been dodging rain and my scalp has been sweating up a storm in this Jamaican summer heat and humidity.
Remember to leave any tips in the comments for me. Your girl needs all the help she can get making this easier. Here’s to another 6 months natural hair growth!
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