Why I went Natural
Senior year of high school I was ready for a change. My once thick and long relaxed hair was now barely passing my shoulders, and I was over the upkeep. The ends were broken off, and I became embarrassed that my ponytail no longer was bouncy, so I stopped going to the hairdresser for perms and began maintaining my hair at home myself. Which was a lot of trial and error, I thought if I stopped perming my hair it would become healthy on its own. But I was so miseducated on how to actually take care of my own hair, I found myself using the wrong products and then applying tons of heat to still have the straight hair look. Which lead to a lot of broken ends and my new favorite hairstyle a low bun, so I didn't have to put in any more effort. As graduation came around, that's when I made the decision to transition my hair for a year and use protective styles. For the first time in years I was back in box braids and happy that I didn't have to do my hair anymore. During this time I found myself watching every natural hair video under the sun and writing my list of products I would have when I'm ready to big chop. But yet, I made another mistake when taking out my braids, so I found myself with a straighter in hand because I didn't know how to work with my transitioning hair. Leading to more heat damage and severely dry ends. The excitement I got when I would wash my hair and see the new growth and guess my hair texture was quickly dismissed when I had to figure how exactly I'm going to style my hair between textures.
My freshman year of college was a constant battle of trying to figure my hair out, and by the end of the year, I was tired of transitioning. So, the day after I returned home I went to the salon and did the big chop. I remember after she cut my hair I excused myself to the bathroom so I can really process what just happened. I didn't hate it I didn't like it, it was kind of an oh shit moment. I remember getting on the bus and feeling very self-conscious and that people thought I looked crazy ( melodramatic 18-year-old self) Then I came home and got the reaction of my family which was positive and then went for another look in the mirror and said: "Hey this isn't half bad."
As the summer went on, I became more confident with my hair. And my go-to hair products was Cantu leave in and my spray bottle. You would think with all the hair videos I watched there would be more to my collection; instead I was just letting my hair do its own thing. Then the school year began, and I didn't want to get my braids in. But, I found myself only 2 weeks in with my braids ready to take them out and see if it grew and maybe I can put it in a puff now.
The rest of sophomore year I learned what works and what doesn't for my natural hair. I was no longer using protective, and during this time I found myself more confident with my hair. My hair, my crown, no matter what protective style I put in nothing suits me more than the when I have my fro out, it's when I feel the most me. And I'm happy I went through with this journey.