A Story About a Girl and Her Hair
Updated: May 31
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So here we go! If you have naturally curly hair then you know that the Natural Hair community has grown a lot! I am thankful for this growth, because it helped me learn so much about my hair in its unbothered state. Let me just say that I have a strong love for all things hair related. I love all types textures, colors, and lengths.
I began my natural hair journey as a child of course. My mother took excellent care of my hair. Our hair tradition was washing my hair, blow drying, and pressing my hair. I had a lot of hair so this is how my hair stayed healthy. In that routine you can imagine how I never really saw my curl pattern. I never even remember looking at my hair in an afro state as child. By the way my mother still ask me til’ this day “ What are you going to do with you hair?” LOL She just wants to make sure I have a presentable plan curly or straight.
When I became a preteen I was that typical girl who was captivated by the look of afro textured hair manipulated by a chemical curl relaxer. To think that I could wash my hair and it wouldn’t poof... it would just hang. A new style is just that, something new. Just like people are captivated by the coils of afro textured hair, people feel the same way about hair that flows. That's why we often go through waves of various hair styles and textures. So, finally I was able to get that chemical curl relaxer. My hair flowed beautifully. A few months later it began to change texture and loose a little length. It was still strong and plentiful. I remained a relaxed girl for about 7 years. I would get a relaxer about every 8 -10 weeks. As time progressed I would stretch it a little further.
As a relaxed girl in those days I really enjoyed doing flat twist outs. For those of you that are unfamiliar with this terminology, it just means a French braid to the scalp using two strands instead of hair instead of three. This style worked out well for me because I have thick hair. Little did I know that styling my hair this way would later become known in the natural hair community as a “ protective styling”. I enjoyed that look. I often wished my hair would have that curl pattern without manipulation. That wish wasn’t enough, at the time, to make me stop relaxing my hair.
Then YouTube came along! I had a friend that was natural and I liked her afro puff. I was starting to see more afro style representation. I wondered what my curl pattern was. This was before the infamous curl typing system, which I do not partake in. I believe hair is like snowflakes, they are snowflakes but not one has the same pattern. Hair is hair and everyone’s head of hair is unique.
I set out to stop relaxing my hair and let my natural texture shine through. It was a confusing time because I did not know what to do with my hair. My mothers texture was very different from mine, so I couldn’t really draw ideas from her styles. So I wore a lot of ponytails and braid outs similar to the twist outs mentioned above. I was almost at a year and I had a trip coming up where I wanted that flow back. Yes! You guessed right. I returned to the chemical curl relaxer.
Not to worry after that trip I let the relaxer grow out and wah-lah, I did the big chop. The big chop is basically a hair cut eliminating all relaxed hair, primarily from the ends of the hair. I loved my afro. My hair was glory. In those days my skin was super clear and it definitely complemented my hair. It felt so freeing to cut my hair. It felt like a cloud was lifted. It felt like my hair was breathing. I cannot put it in words, but if you have done the big chop, you know what I mean.
From there my hair grew well and my curl pattern had many facets. I loved and wore them all. I began to silk press for a little while, and that was cool too. A silk press is when your is manipulated to fall straight down using high heat temperatures from a flat iron and/or hot pressing comb. My next phase was wigs, sew ins, clip-ins and braids.
I mentioned above I love hair. I had my braids done once for two hundred dollars. My edges broke a little. That was it for that. I got a professional sew in and that ordeal left me with some breakage. I went through a wig phase, because we know there is no shortage of wig influencers on YouTube. LOL. And I really enjoy wearing clip ins. I prefer high quality clip ins. So basically my hair could write a book! LOL
Now days I have a well rounded opinion of my hair. I am still chemical free in terms of a chemical curl relaxer. I color a little of my hair once a year for fun. I have learned how to silk press my own hair. I have also learned how to put in my own long marley twist. Long marley twist is one of my favorite styles. In the end it was a beautiful journey. I am thankful that I learned how to showcase my hairs unique beauty with any style that fits my mood.
Whichever phase you are in with your natural hair, remember to: respect, love, and nourish it!
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© Monique Albritton 2019