My Natural Hair Journey

So, about 10 months ago I went “natural.” By this I mean I stopped getting relaxers, which are the harsh chemicals many African Americans currently (or have in the past) put in their hair to permanently straighten it. If you’ve ever seen the movie “Good Hair” with Chris Rock, you’d know that the “creamy crack” is very damaging and unhealthy for the scalp. Unfortunately, society (since slave times) tells African American women straighter hair looks better, and is more beautiful. Our naturally kinky, curly hair is often deemed “inappropriate for the work place” or “too unruly.” Today, more and more women are laying off the relaxers and are beginning to embrace what God gave them. I decided to do the same and it’s soooo freeing!

Me with relaxed hair

It’s been two weeks since I did THE BIG CHOP. This is when women decide to cut off all of their relaxed hair and just rock the naturally curly hair growing from their scalp, that is chemical free. In between the time I first stopped getting relaxers and two weeks ago, I was going through what’s called the transition stage. Parts of my hair were curly and the rest chemically straightened and damaged. I was attempting to let my natural hair grow past the relaxed hair so I wouldn’t have to cut it. I was getting protective styles such as box braids and marley twists to help my hair grow faster during this process.

Me with protective styles, Click to enlarge 

When part of your hair is weak and the other strong, it can be very damaging. When I would wash my hair and try to comb it during the transition phase, my hair would break off at the line of demarcation. This is where the new growth met up with the relaxed hair. Breakage is never good, and can be damaging in the long run, which is what I was trying to get away from. I finally put my foot down and said I’m cutting this off. I’m doing the big chop. I was ready. I was ready to be healthy, free, and fully able to rock my natural hair!

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What my hair looked like after the big chop

My hair stylist cut more on the sides for a tapered look which I love. This is the shortest my hair has ever been. My mom said I came out of the womb with a full head of hair, so this is definitely new to me, but I LOVE it. Since more of my face is exposed I’m always perfecting my angles in selfies. LOL. I feel more modelesque, a little older, and definitely more edgy.

When it grows out, it will look something like this:59e4fa347e24ecdab253ca4f80d5b13b

There’s little to no maintenance with this hair. I can do a wash and go style (which I’ve never been able to do before) or I can do a twist out.

I’ve gotten nothing but compliments on my hair. People have asked me if I regret my decision, and I say NO WAY. This is one of the best thing I could do for myself. For those of you who may be thinking of going natural, let me just say, You are not your hair. You are so much more than that. Going natural represents truly loving yourself for who you are. It represents embracing what it means to be black and beautiful. It represents confidence, exudes sexiness, all of that! So I’d say, join the club!

Here’s how I’ve been rocking my cut lately

Click to Enlarge 

Logo_Black-e1401894860145About a month or so ago I became the Vice President/Editor-in-Chief of a new national organization called Curly in College. The founder, started the second chapter at my school, (the first is at Rutgers). The goal is to provide support, tips and tricks, and a community of naturalistas who aren’t afraid to rock their bold curls on campus. You can follow us on Instagram @CurlyinCollege, and check out our website CurlyinCollege.com. It’s perfect timing how that worked out. Now I can help other women who want to go on this journey or who already are on the journey, as well as learn from those who have been natural for a while. EEEEK. I’m so excited to be #teamnatural.

Let me know what you think of my cut, going natural, and let me answer any questions you may have!

2 thoughts on “My Natural Hair Journey

  1. Hello Niyah,
    You just look wonderful.
    I have stopped using relaxing products a few years ago, and you are right. It’s a nice feeling to discover my real “me”. I love it and it try daily to take care of my hair.
    It can be painful sometimes but I know that was the best decision.
    I’ll have a look at your website : CurlyinCollege.com, which sounds like a great project.
    Haneek.s

    1. Thank you so much! Yay, no more creamy crack. Haha. Yes, definitely check out CurlyinCollege for tips and tricks and and overall community of naturalistas

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