The Accidental Natural
I had always thought about going natural. Not seriously though – I mean, the thought of cutting off all my hair and not texturizing it or something was absurd. What was I going to look like? In retrospect, it’s not like I had glorious hair or anything like that. I was getting it texturized every six to eight weeks and it looked nice. It was growing well, it looked good – to the point someone had asked me if I was wearing a weave. I took it as a compliment… and so did my hair stylist.
But there were some issues: I had HORRIBLE dandruff. At least I thought it was dandruff. The more I texturized, the worse my scalp looked: it was flaky and dry and a hot mess. I didn’t know what to do – my doctor thought it was a fungus and prescribed some cream… that didn’t work. I bought all kinds of dandruff shampoos – all they did was make my hair smell like medicine.
I had BC’d before – just for a change, not because I was planning to go natural. I still religiously went to get it ‘done’ at the salon. Spending hours upon hours on Saturday mornings being coiffed. I hated it, but I enjoyed the vibe at the salon and how my hair looked – before the flakes took over the next day.
September 20, 2007 was the day before my wedding and I went to the salon to get my hair permed as straight as it could go. And it was permed straight and it was shiny and silky for my wedding and honeymoon. But it was boring. When I got back to Toronto in October after my fun-filled honeymoon in Kona, Hawaii and San Diego, California, I went into braids ‘cause the weather was getting cold. I braided, fooled around with weaves (not a good look) and finally in June 2008, I was like, “why perm again? Lemme just keep the braids in.”
I did that and started to grow out my permed hair. I could get my hair straight enough with a blow dryer and flat iron, so why subject my sensitive scalp to chemicals?
My scalp also started to act better – it was still flaky, but I could go at least three or four days after a wash before seeing it drop onto my shoulders (lemme tell you about embarrassing). I started researching online about going natural and found a bunch of resources and websites. I started to get excited. On September 20, 2008, I cut off my permed ends.
So this month is my year anniversary of being natural. It’s been a great journey so far. I haven’t had any of the negativity that so many naturals online speak about. Lucky for me, my husband is happy with my hair as long as I’m happy with my hair. The majority of my family is supportive — of course, there are some people who say: “Wait!! What happened to your head!” – but that doesn’t faze me. Work is awesome. I work for one of the largest global accounting firms and the most anyone has ever asked me is: “How long did it take to do that style?”
A friend of mine, who I share my hair stories with, encouraged me to start a hair blog. I’ve blogged before on just my thoughts and ideas, but this intrigued me. I don’t know if I have any advice to give anyone at this point. I’m just a year in, but I definitely can share my experiences and experiments with you.
Hope you enjoy – and I hope I can keep this up