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My earliest memory from childhood was smelling burning hair grease on the stove by having my mother press my hair using Afro Sheen. She sectioned my hair in eight major parts where my braids would stand in place majestically . My mother did not allow me to perm my hair until I turned 13 years old. After my 13th birthday, I recieved the license to perm. This was my entrance into adolescence. If I knew better, I would have never begged for a perm because my hair was never the same. I have to admit, mother knows best.
During my young teen years, I wore a perm in a french roll, bob, ponytail and other well-known hairstyles. As a young adult, I started wearing extension braids which I wore for several years. I loved braids and wore mostly individual plaits or cornrows. Out of curiosity, I wanted to see how long my hair had grown so I permed in my hair once again. Due to lack of knowledge on how to care for my hair, eventually I experienced severe hair damage and breakage.
For many years, I went back and forth perming and wearing extensions whle struggling to maintain healthy hair. The worst experience is when my sister had to cut all my hair off. I cried for days. However, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I continued to grow my hair out naturally and then couldn’t wait to get a perm to see my new-found hair length! Well, I decided enough was enough.
In my mid-twenties, I went completely natural and never turned back! I struggled wearing my natural hair in a professional environments. At times, I would hide behind wigs to blend into corporate environments. It took years to find my confidence and to be comfortable in my own skin to wear my natural hair.
Over time, I started to wear twists with no internal struggle of turning back to chemicals or hiding behind wigs. I noticed my hair was so thick and healthy. The healthier my hair became the more confident I started to feel. It wasn’t about length or texture anymore. I started to walk in my natural essence. I was now coming into my own.
Then, I had a setback. I had an awful experience that left a scar on my self esteem. Unfortunately, I started to hide behind wigs again. I spent so much money on hair wigs that it was ridiculous! I owned every length, style and color imaginable. Although I literally had a beauty supply store in my bedroom, I still continued to wear my hair natural under those wigs. Again, I didn’t feel comfortable with who I was becoming and I definitely did not feel free like I once was. I felt fake. I was hiding my authenticity.
Eventually, I began to wear my natural hair again. I disposed of EVERY wig that I owned and began the whole process once again. My most favorite hairstyle is my signature afro puff or twist out with a headband or flower tucked on the side.
In the past, I would struggle wearing my hair natural because it was not popular and I would receive such negative comments or stares from women, in general. I never would have imagined that a natural hair community was rising and taking ownership of their natural beauty.
I’m so excited to share my hair journey with you. I just want to mention that I’m not against anyone using chemicals, wigs, braids or weaves, but I just want to emphasize that my mission is to promote healthy hair and hair care maintenance and products that are helpful in nurturing hair growth.
Many woman are damaging their follicles and balding at the temples. Wearing lace wigs, applying too many chemicals, or wearing tight braids and weaves which are causing permanent damage to their hair, resulting in traction alopecia.
Maintaining healthy hair is the the ultimate reward. No matter what you decide to do to your hair, you have to be comfortable in your skin. Natural hair is NOT for everybody. You do need to have time and patience when handling your locks. You have to get to a point where you do not care about what others may think or say about your hair. Natural hair is not a statement. It is your essence.
Once you realize that you don’t have to look for others approval or acceptance, you reclaim your freedom, embrace transformation and can truly walk in your natural essence.