Friday, 25 October 2013

Goodbye Chemicals, Hello Natural hair

I remember when I was at school, the girls around me had sleek and fantastic hair. My hair was curly, thick and unmanageable. I was seduced by the lure of being able to have hair that was straight and easy to work with, I didn't want to have cornrows any more. Of course I went to an all girls school where the majority of the girls were not black, in fact there was a handful of black girls and they generally had weaves or relaxed hair.

My last braided hairstyle, pre-relaxer
So as soon as we were finally allowed to wear our own clothes to school I convinced my mum to let me relax my hair. Looking back now I think that is quite possibly the worst mistake I ever made. From then on I tended to get my hair relaxed every two weeks, my mum used to do it for me until she no longer could take the time. So then I would go and pay to have it done. I sat in chairs in salons and let the relaxer work whilst it burnt my scalp and caused scabbing and pain, but none of that mattered because my hair was straight. Unfortunately those weren't the only problems, My hair demanded time and patience and heat every single day, every hour of the day. Washing it, far from being easy, was a nightmare because it matted, tangled and generally felt stringy and lifeless.

The Trademark Bob, thank the straighteners

I put up with it for just over 4 years, but it got so bad I couldn't stand my hair being long. One summer I got it to a place where it was past my shoulders relaxed because it had been in a weave before hand. I got it chopped off to pixie crop short as soon as I could because it was even worse than before. That then had it's own pitfalls because when your hair is that short, you need to relax it even more often to make it look good. 

Short as it got

For my Mother's birthday party I had it put into a weave and left that in for a while. When that came out a while later I took a look at my hair and decided I was never going to relax it again. I was going to stop putting chemicals in it and keep it natural. That day I washed my hair, called my housemate into my room and handed her a pair of scissors. I told her anywhere she saw any straight hair she should chop it off. I also had my own pair of scissors, and believe me I was brutal. I was getting rid of the relaxed hair for good.

Attempting to make short natural hair workable
It's been just under 3 years from that point and i've never looked back. I've been learning my hair, what it likes and how to do it for myself (still working on that part). Every time I take it out of a protective style I get far more excited than I should at the length gains that it's has made. The most recent length check is in fact 9 inches long! which for my hair means that when stretched it no longer stands straight up in a crazy ass fro.

Said Crazy Ass Fro! (early summer)

I'll be posting some pictures of my current hair soon, as I decide what to do with it and how to wear it now it's out. What is your hair like? Has it changed drastically over the past few years? Let me know, comment below.