I was deciding on whether I should do anything to celebrate the fact that I went natural (or returned to natural) 12 years ago this month.
I don’t remember the exact day, but I do remember the month. I also remember the exact reason why I decided to stop relaxing my hair.
Standing in front of the bathroom mirror one day, I saw my shoulder length hair which was wispy as hell at the ends and was turning a rusty brown color even though I’d never colored my hair.
On top of that, my personality is such that I was through… just THROUGH honey… with the whole process of getting my hair done. It had become a chore to wait and wait and wait, then wait some more, then finally getting into the beauticians chair… and getting the creamy crack… and hoping it won’t leave any scabs… and sitting under the dryer forever with a head full of rollers. I was just THROUGH.
This decision happened naturally for me, and so did the process. I got a couple of tips about switching from straight hair to curly hair on a couple of websites whose names I can’t remember now. I also got a tip from a former colleague with relaxed hair who said her beautician gave her bantu knots and sat her under the dryer in order to get her curly look.
But that was basically all the info I had. Youtube didn’t even exist yet! (It wasn’t created until 2005). Facebook didn’t exist yet (It was created in 2004). Twitter didn’t exist yet (It was created in 2006).
I didn’t know shea butter existed. I knew nothing about ‘pineappling’. Nothing about cowashing. Did the term ‘cowashing’ even exist yet? I don’t know. But I had to think of something.
I did the slow transition. Was the process even called ‘slow transition’ back in 2001? Anyway, I picked up what turned out to be a great tip from somewhere (can’t remember where) about using cut up straws and bobby pins to make the relaxed hair blend in better with the new growth.
Almost everything else was sheer experimentation. I used to do braid-outs all the time. I had to learn for myself which shampoos, conditioners, leave-ins and stylers to use. My favs at the time were Creme of Nature shampoo and Conditioner, Kemi Oyl, and Infusium 23 leave-in (the Moisturizing formula from back in the day).
Over the course of my matriculation, I saw maybe 3 other women who were rocking natural hair on campus. That’s it. There were probably more, but nobody else I remember seeing. Chi’le I even remember a guy trying to run game by calling out ‘Hey Jill Scott. Let me hol’at chu for a minute’. LOL.
When I transitioned to natural, I felt a little alone, but I’ve never been the type to like hand-holding all that much anyway. However, when I see the online natural community I so wished there were a rich, knowledgeable online community when I first went natural. It would have saved me all kinds of time and spared me a lot of confusion.
Reminiscing about it, I went natural before it was cute to BE natural again. LOL! I just can’t believe its been 12 years. TWELVE YEARS. Where has the time gone?!
Thanks for reading. 🙂