Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Much Obliged (A Natural Hair Story)

My wholeness journey began with my natural hair journey, which started in 2003. I noticed a huge bald spot in the back of my head—right in the center. When I saw it, I began to panic because I thought I was seeing the beginning stages of alopecia, which runs in my family.  I cried and prayed on the floor. And suddenly deep inside, I heard a small, still voice say that my hair would not fall out, but it would grow back healthy if I would began to take good care of it, and my entire body.

I set out to follow the voice, and now I believe it was God telling me to take better care of myself. I decided to stop putting heat or harsh chemicals on my hair. However, as I was making plans to do these things, fear began to rise within me. I realized I wasn’t ready for the emotional part of embracing my natural coils. I went from being peaceful about the decision to being afraid of what people would think when I cut off the relaxed part of my hair. I was about to sport a tiny afro, but I decided to simply get a texturizer instead, because a curly, short afro was easier to handle emotionally. 

But the thinning problem got worse. I knew I was going to have to ditch the harsh chemicals altogether. I was also using harsh dyes to keep my hair as dark as possible. It took six whole years to go completely natural, using no chemicals on my hair at all. Slowly but surely, I embraced my natural hair journey, researching and experimenting with foods, drinks, nutrients, vitamins, and natural products. While doing that, I bumped into products that would keep my skin, and my entire body glowing and much healthier. What started out as a natural hair journey eventually transformed into a “taking better care of  me” journey.  

In 2009, I was on YouTube constantly, taking notes with the same fervor as an eager college student. The ladies on YouTube (and natural hair blogs) became my professors as they carefully researched, defined, and demonstrated how to nourish black natural hair. I learned about the various oils that are best for tightly coiled curls. And that satin and silk scarves help prevent breakage while sleeping. I learned that instead of drying my hair with a towel, it is best to use a dry T-shirt. I also learned that Shea butter and Shea butter products worked wonders for my kinky, coily curls.

The bald spot incident is what made me spring into action. But little did I know, by embracing a natural hair journey, I would become healthier than I’ve ever been. Just a little food for thought—I guess I just want to say thanks! I thank God and all the beautifully natural sistas who helped me reached this wonderful place in my life (Naptural85, CurlyNikki, NikkiMae, FusionofCultures, Alicia James, and many more). Love you much and much obliged (tears). 

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