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Beginning Natural Hair Journey

Updated on August 1, 2013

No More Relaxer!

African American women has been relaxing their hair for years and not realizing the damage it's causing to their hair.

I've took on a journey to stop using relaxers and become fully natural. My journey was not easy but I'm glad I did it. Now my hair is fully natural, healthy and I can wear my hair either naturally curly or heat straighten it to get that straight relax look.

Read my article to see how I've took on a not-so-easy journey to becoming natural.

Relaxed Hair
Relaxed Hair

A Start of a Journey

I started my journey to becoming natural with my hair at the end of September of 2009. I'm so happy I started this journey because my hair has never been healthier in a long time and I'm now free from the creamy crack (relaxers). Let me tell you how it all got started.

My Relaxed Hair

My hair was chemical free throughout my whole childhood. I had long, thick, luscious hair that everyone loved sticking their hands in. My mom made sure I would go to the hair salon several times a month to get a press and curl.

Once I entered in middle school, my beautician at the hair salon talked my mom into getting me a relaxer since my hair was just way too thick and took the beautician hours to do my hair. She told my mom that with an relaxer my hair would stay straight without the pressing. That convinced my mom to say yes and the beautician slapped my head full of relaxer!

Have you decided to become natural?

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Protein Treatment for Hair

Aphogee treatment product line was a godsend to my hair! The products is a protein treatment that helps stop breakage and make the hair more stronger. Only can be used every 6 months because it can dry out hair and cause even more breakage.

APHOGEE Serious Care & Protection Hair Care Kit
APHOGEE Serious Care & Protection Hair Care Kit

Try out the whole hair care line with APHOGEE.

 

My Hair Became Thinner Due to Relaxers

Since then I would get a touch up every eight weeks like I was told by my beautician, but I started to notice a lot of shedding after awhile. It usually happens when it was close to the time I needed a touch up and I thought this was normal and didn't think anything of it.

Soon my hair became thinner and thinner and didn't have that bounce or swing like it use to. But I still didn't care because I liked the convenience of being able to wash my hair and it still be straight. I had to start getting my hair cut shorter and shorter to cut off all the split ends caused by relaxers. But I still kept continuing relaxing.

Best Shampoos for Natural Black Hair

Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, 8 Ounce
Jane Carter Moisture Nourishing Shampoo, 8 Ounce

I love Jane Carter's products! Her shampoo gives my hair the moisture it needs.

 

Oh No! Bald Spots!

Once I've gotten older and moved out of my parents house, I started paying to get my hair done myself. It started getting too expensive so I started relaxing my hair myself. I didn't really know what I was doing and had the relaxer on too long and wasn't using the right shampoo to deactivate the relaxer once washed out.

One day I looked at my hair and noticed bald spots all around my head! I thought I was going to cry! Good thing I had enough hair to cover all the bald spots.

I started doing research online about how to grow back hair that fell out due to relaxers and I came across a forum called LongHairCareForum.com and CurlyNikki.com

. I came across many post about women ditching relaxers and going natural. Some women just completely cut all their hair off and started fresh and some transitioned meaning they let their hair grow out without cutting all their hair off at one time. I decided I don't want to do anything drastic by cutting all my hair off but I would cut my hair little by little until eventually my hair is fully natural.

Best Conditioners for Natural Black Hair

Organix Nourishing Conditioner, Coconut Milk, 13 Ounce (Pack of 2)
Organix Nourishing Conditioner, Coconut Milk, 13 Ounce (Pack of 2)

I like to use Organix conditioner before I use my deep conditioner.

 
Suave Professionals Conditioner, Almond and Shea Butter 12.6 oz (Pack of 6)
Suave Professionals Conditioner, Almond and Shea Butter 12.6 oz (Pack of 6)

Even though Suave Professionals is cheap, it works really well with my hair. I also like to use it doing a cowash.

 

Deep Conditioners for Black Hair

Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask Moisturizer For Dry Hair, 6 Oz. (Pack of 2)
Neutrogena Triple Moisture Deep Recovery Hair Mask Moisturizer For Dry Hair, 6 Oz. (Pack of 2)

I really like using Neutrogena's deep conditioner but I only wish it came in a bigger size because I'm very heavy handed when it comes to using deep conditioners.

 
Queen Helene Cholesterol Cream 15 oz. Jar
Queen Helene Cholesterol Cream 15 oz. Jar

This deep conditioning cholesterol cream works very well with my hair and gives it the slip, moisture, and shine it needs.

 

Learning How to Maintain My Relax and Natural Hair

I had two textures of hair from growing my hair out which made my hair harder to style and comb. Also had to be careful combing my hair because my relaxed hair became very weak and broke off easily. The part where my new growth and my relax hair meets was the weakest part so I always made sure to use a wide tooth comb and comb my ends first and gradually work my way up.

To make combing easier I would always deep condition my hair once a week to soften my hair. I started using natural products that doesn't contain sodium lauryl sulfate which dries out your hair. I also started using hair conditioners only instead of shampoo when washing my hair because it gave my hair added shine and bounce.

When I style my hair I would air dry and then use a flat iron with a heat protection sprayt. I roll my hair at nights so I wouldn't have to use heat during the week. Less heat, less hair damage. From months of doing this I noticed my hair is growing in thicker and longer quick! Also my bald spots are starting to fill in.

I would say my journey has its ups and downs but it is the best thing I did! I will never turn back to relaxers again! Here are the advantages of having natural hair :

The Benefits of Having Natural Hair

These are the top 10 great benefits of having natural hair.

  1. Less to no shedding
  2. Hardly no itchy scalp and dandruff
  3. No expensive salon visits
  4. Thicker hair
  5. No bad chemical smell
  6. You have more of a product selection you can use on your hair
  7. Not have to be afraid of the rain wetting your hair
  8. Faster growth
  9. You have a choice of wearing your hair straight or curly
  10. No relaxer burns

Good Leave-in Conditioners for Black Hair

Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner, 8 Ounce
Jane Carter Solution Revitalizing Leave-In Conditioner, 8 Ounce

I use Jane Carter's Leave-In Conditioner to comb out my hair after I have deep conditioned.

 
Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner, 8.5 oz
Giovanni Direct Leave In Treatment Conditioner, 8.5 oz

This is my favorite creamy leave in conditioner! I wouldn't know what to do if this was discontinued!

 
Natural Hair
Natural Hair

I'm Fully Natural!

My Natural Hair

I've been fully natural since late 2009! I'm so happy I took on this journey to become natural and be free from using relaxers every other month!

My hair is very healthy and fuller! Now I do still have some bald spots that will never fill in since using relaxers damaged my hair from the roots.

Natural Hair Butters and Oils

Shea butter and oils helps seal in the moisture. You can mix any natural oil into your raw shea butter.

Miibox 100% Raw Unrefined Organic Shea Butter-African Grade A Ivory  1 Pound (16oz)
Miibox 100% Raw Unrefined Organic Shea Butter-African Grade A Ivory 1 Pound (16oz)

You can create your own shea butter by adding essential oils that you like.

 
Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce
Nature's Way Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil, 16 Ounce

When my hair is dry, I like to use this coconut oil. Also works great in my deep conditioners.

 
Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil 150ml (Pack of 2)
Dabur Vatika Enriched Coconut Hair Oil 150ml (Pack of 2)

When I do my deep conditioning, I like to add this coconut oil to my hair to give my hair extra softness and shine.

 

A Step by Step Guide on How To Transition from Relax to Natural Hair

Still don't know what to do with your transitioning hair? Check out this helpful book to help guide you.

Better Than Good Hair: The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy, Gorgeous Natural Hair!
Better Than Good Hair: The Curly Girl Guide to Healthy, Gorgeous Natural Hair!

I followed this blogger Curly Nikki when I was transitioning and she provides helpful tips on how to care for my natural hair.

 
No Lye: The African American Woman's Guide To Natural Hair Care
No Lye: The African American Woman's Guide To Natural Hair Care

This is a helpful guide for natural hair women.

 

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Have you taken on a journey to become natural? If so, what's your story?

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    • profile image

      4everBlackBeauty 3 years ago

      like this lens, I remember when i first big chopped. I was so happy!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @RationalHedonist: Thanks so much!

    • RationalHedonist profile image

      RationalHedonist 4 years ago

      I think your hair looks great the way it is now - and much better for your hair :)

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @tahirmahmood: Thanks!

    • profile image

      tahirmahmood 4 years ago

      Beautiful lens

    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 4 years ago

      I am glad to read this lens :)

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @Mamabyrd: Thanks so much Mamabyrd!

    • Mamabyrd profile image

      Mamabyrd 4 years ago

      beautiful pictures louidam your hair looks great straight or curly! Thanks for sharing your journey!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @Lady Lorelei: Using heat on any type of hair is not really good for hair but always use a protection spray and don't use heat all the time.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 4 years ago from Canada

      I am not African American so don't have to worry about relaxing my hair. My hair is so straight and thin that if I used any heat or straightener on it I am sure that it would just go brittle and break upwards and off of me.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @shellys-space: Thanks!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 4 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Great tips and products for relaxing African American hair!

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @mjoonline: You can do it! Going natural was hard for me and before I knew it, I was fully natural and I love it! I won't be looking back!

    • profile image

      soaringsis 4 years ago

      I did attempt it, but decided to stop. Hair too thick and way too much time needed to maintain. I see you used a flat iron, I did not and will try that. Thanks for sharing.

    • mjoonline profile image

      mjoonline 4 years ago

      I tried once but I was weak. I will eventually get there though. Great lens and motivation.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 4 years ago

      @soaringsis: Yes I did use a flat iron for awhile but I stopped due to heat damage. Be very careful and use protection spray because you don't want to risk heat damaging your hair.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @AskPat: That's great!! Being natural makes you feel so free!

    • AskPat profile image

      AskPat 5 years ago

      Yes, I became fully natural in 2010. I am loving it.

    • Louidam1 LM profile image
      Author

      Louidam1 LM 5 years ago

      @flinnie lm: Yeah I love it also! Best thing I've ever did and my hair is thanking me for it!

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I took on this journey to become natural in 2009, love my natural hair.