Hairy Situations: How I Ditched Relaxers, Hot Tools & Started My Natural Hair Journey
By: Dominica Reid
So I’m finally doing it. I’m going natural, and by natural I mean not straightening or relaxing my hair. After a long time of going back and forth on the issue, hours of Youtube videos, joining Facebook groups, and envying all of the naturalistas on Instagram. I’ve finally bit the bullet and decided to do this. The scary part for me was that I’ve never seen my actual natural hair. Like EVER! Since I was a very young child hot tools were used to tame my curly mane, and I can’t blame anyone who had to struggle with my hair. It’s tough.
My hair is naturally curly, but also coarse so it was easier for my mother to blow dry it straight. Once I became a teenager we moved to relaxers and the rest is history… I decided to go the natural route when I realized that I’ve changed my whole entire beauty routine. From using pure castile soap for my body wash, to using organic lotion, to using ethical and chemical free shampoo. Yet I was still willing to use dangerous chemicals to straighten my hair.
Since doing a big chop is too much of a commitment for me I decided that slowly growing out my relaxer is much easier. At first I would flatiron my roots but then I slowly learned to appreciate them. As they grew longer I started to realize just how soft my hair is, and it made me get used to my actual hair. But then my wedding came and my mother insisted that I get a relaxer to straighten my hair again. The fear of having unruly hair on my wedding day almost made me cave, but then I got lucky and found a hairstylist who only works with natural hair. Hooray for me!
Then my honeymoon came and being away from home for three weeks I had to learn to deal with air-drying my hair. After watching a few Youtube videos I learned to do a twist out and this helped keep my hair surprisingly tame enough for me keep it in a top bun for most of my trip. After this experience I knew it was time to ditch the hot tools and take the plunge on my natural journey.
There have been lots of errors on this journey. The first time I did my twist out with Shea Moisture Curl Enhancing Smoothie I used so much of the product my hair never dried and when I took out my twists my hair was sticky and clumped up. I had to rewash my hair and redo the whole entire process. The second time around I used the right amount of product and used perm rods for my ends, but while putting them in I somehow missed a whole entire section in the back of my hair. Don’t ask how I managed to do this, and of course I didn’t notice until the next morning… I’m now up for my third trial and we’ll see how it goes. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. They always say third time’s a charm.