How I Began My Natural Hair Journey

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Part I

If you’ve read the “Welcome” page then you know my natural hair journey began my freshmen year of college. I had no idea how to care for my delicate curly tresses in 2006. You see, all my life my mother cared for my hair. When I was a little girl she would comb my hair into ponytails and send to me school or church. On special occasions she would press and curl my hair and I felt proud to be able to wear my hair down.

When I was in junior high, my mother felt it was time for me to take more of a role in my hair care, so I then began to wash, condition and comb out my hair myself which initially felt like a punishment. I had to learn to comb from the ends up to the roots. It took so long to comb out my thick head of hair and it took such effort that my arms would be tired and I just longed for my mother to do this part of the routine. After I was finished detangling and platting my hair I would let it air dry. Once it was dry, my mother would press my hair. This was my hair care regimen throughout my kindergarten through 12th grade schooling. I dreaded the rare occurrences in high school when I had to wash my hair but she wasn’t able to press it and I had to go to school in a bad hairstyle because I didn’t know how to style my kinky hair. Despite my hair woes, my hair was healthy.

It was my father who taught me to comb out my hair while I had conditioner in it. I remember my junior year of high school, still being too rough with my hair and pulling some out while combing through it when my dad suggested I comb through it with conditioner. Who knew dads knew anything about haircare? Boy was he right! The extra slip made detangling my hair easier, faster and with less breakage. I incorporated this into my haircare regimen.

Nevertheless, I was still learning about my hair in high school. I remember once I was too generous with the carrot oil and my hair became sticky. I used oil to weigh down my hair and “save” my press from the moisture in the air which would ruin it. My hair has always been what I like to call “hydrophilic”, it sucks the moisture out of the air on a humid or frosty day which would ruin my straightened hair (I would later learn to classify my hair as high porosity). I wore my hair straight until I got it braided before starting my freshman year of college. My game plan was to go school with braids and find a black beautician in South Bend. I thought I was well on my journey nevertheless college had more lessons in store because as the saying goes “some things are easier said than done”.

More to come in Part II!

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