April 4, 2010 – I turned 28 and had my last relaxer, ever.
December 31, 2010 – After transitioning for several months, got the relaxed ends of my hair cut off.
January 1, 2011 – the first full day as a natural head on my latest journey towards a lifetime without processed hair.
The decision to go natural was quite uncomplicated for me – I had made my personal goal of having healthy, shoulder length hair after my last big chop and I was tired of spending money on relaxers. So, really what did I have to lose?
To minimise the chances of quickly reverting back to relaxed hair, I started reading blogs and forums dedicated to natural hair care. I knew that my knowledge of natural hair was quite rudimentary, and to tell myself otherwise would be a recipe for disaster. I had a lot of learning to do.
To be quite honest, a lot of my learning centred on dispelling myths and my own irrational fears. I already knew that my hair craves moistures, not jars of oil! But I had to come to terms with the fact that my hair is MY hair; the way it grows out of my head is not an abomination to be punished in every which way.
In a nutshell, I needed to make peace with the fact that natural hair IS good hair.
So, this is not an act of militancy or rebellion or a means for me to feel more African (if there’s such a thing). I am simply embracing my hair in its natural state as bequeathed to me by my maker. In the same way that I coddled my relaxed tresses, I do the same with my little ‘fro.
I have had a few moments of panic as I feel the little coarse curls, but I know it is all part of the learning process. I am an adult learning things that should be second nature to me, and it’s only natural (no pun intended) that I would question the wisdom of my actions from time to time until it becomes a non-issue.
Wish me well!