Try going natural…at least once. For the first time in possibly 15 years, I have finally experienced natural hair. It’s an overwhelming and yet rewarding experience. Every woman should have the privilege of feeling her natural tresses at least once in her adult life. Oddly enough, our hair really does help define who we naturally are below the social surface.
I received my first relaxer at around 10 years old. I grew up with wildly curly hair that stretched down my back. Sometimes, it just seemed a little easier to stretch out the natural coil with a process. I didn’t receive them often, but my hair always retained some sort of chemicals to smooth my flyaways until I was about 16. At this point, I had a hair stylist going through a troubling pregnancy, who not only burned my scalp from the relaxer, but also caused inches of my hair to break off. After attending a friend’s Sweet 16, my hair puffed up from the humidity on the dance floor. From this day forward, I felt it was nearly pointless to have a relaxer if my hair still reacted from moisture of the early spring months. Not to mention that I had to get my hair redone three days later by my unstable stylist who still charged me the full amount.
Two years later, I began to dabble in color. From burgundy, plum, Charli Baltimore red, auburn, strawberry blonde, honey blonde, to what I liked to call “golden straw blonde” with hints of platinum, I varied all over the color spectrum and loved it. I was a color chameleon and was known as such. It got to a point where people could no longer imagine me with my natural hair color. Until one day, I got the call from one of my acting agents that it was time to change the color to something more natural in order to be more marketable. I hadn’t had my natural color in nearly seven years. Though I debated about the change, I couldn’t imagine myself no longer being a blonde. When the day finally came, I really disliked the change. I felt pale, washed up, and no longer unique.
Now, over a year after my color transition and cutting my tresses shoulder-length, I no longer have any chemicals in my hair. Neither relaxer or hair dye, and I absolutely love it. This process-free process has allowed for me to truly get to know my hair texture and behavior. I now understand how my hair will truly respond in humidity (which is actually really cute), how often I really need to sleep with a silk scarf, and the texture of each spiraling curl as it thrives freely from my scalp. I can now more accurately buy products meant for my hair type, and my hair more willingly responds.
For each woman, no matter how fine or course each hair strand may be, I do suggest going completely natural at least once during your womanhood. It’ll help you get to know your hair on a more intimate level, a level that most of us probably have not seen since we were little girls. And wasn’t life so much more carefree and glamorous then? Mine definitely was, with more confidence than I could contain. So, try the process-free process and find something out about yourself that perhaps you didn’t know before. Become your hair and truly be “care free”.