From then to now. I've learned how to care for my hair.
In only a few short months, I will have been natural for 6 years. The experience has been wonderful to say the least, but I remember when I cut off my hair. With a fresh fade, I was thrust into the natural hair world forced to navigate all of the regimens, DIY products and curl puddings. It was overwhelming, to say the least.
I remember when I began research on going natural. I thought I was doing a lot of extensive research, but really I was only scratching the surface. I perused some pictures, looked at basic regimens, and learned about a few different product lines. When I cut my hair off a couple weeks later, I realized that the research I did wasn't even basic. Of course I have to clean my hair. Of course I have to style my hair. These were necessities. I didn't know about protective styles or anything beyond a braid out. So once all of my relaxed hair fell to the ground, I was in for a real wake-up call.
The first few months were easy...although, it was stinky. I made my own shampoo from a mix of castile soap, olive oil, and neem oil. And if you know anything about neem oil, it stinks a lot. But I put up with it because it has a lot of great qualities for the hair and scalp, including healing eczema and softening hair. I only used shea butter as a leave-in, and it worked well. And styling was a breeze.
During this time, since I didn't have that much hair, I did a lot of research on natural hair. I would peruse sites like Black Girl Long Hair, Curly Nikki, and Naturally Curly. I began to make a list of anything that was worth writing down for when my hair was longer; I wanted to be prepared.
You can see the product in my hair. As you can see, I threw out the notion that less is more.
The fluffy fro. I didn't know what other hairstyles worked for me.
There were moments when I was almost sure I could never be the natural with a blog. Nothing worked for me, and my hair was, well, boring. Regardless of what I tried, my hair just wouldn't morph into that gorgeous style that I drooled over in the pictures or in the video. I was the fluffy fro girl.
I started to get. This was a twist out that actually made me happy.
At a wedding, this twist out was a success (though the humidity deflated it a bit)
I look back on those years bittersweetly. It's an experience that changed my life. There was so much to learn and look forward to. But I don't miss the frustration and confusion. And I surely don't miss the anxiety of what my hair could be, I now know. And, I did become that girl with the blog.