Here is my natural hair story! Grab your tissues.
At the beginning of 2012, I decided that I wanted to go natural. I was tired of paying out the wazoo for chemical straightening. No more creamy crack! My cousin had (and still has) glorious sisterlocks. They were so beautiful and made me think that it wouldn't be too bad to go back to my kinky roots. I, however, was not going to cut all my hair off to start from fresh. Nope. No way. Never. The big chop was only for stunning girls who could look feminine even with no hair. I would just look like my brothers. Not the look I was going for. So I decided to transition. I grew my hair out, styling it in ways that would hide the difference between my new growth and relaxed hair.
That summer, I decided to put braids in. It was something I had never done before but I was so excited.
Length! Glorious length! I wore those babies as long as I possibly could. I werked 'em. Like from May to August. Then came time to take them out. It took forever and when they were all out I had an amazing afro. (Think Foxy Brown) But it was so late, we were going on vacation the next day and it was already after midnight.
Let me just put my hair in a ponytail and wash it in the morning. (First mistake)
I woke up the next day ready for our anniversary trip to Savannah. I took out the hair band and hopped in the shower. (Second mistake)
As I felt the warm water running over my scalp, I noticed that my hair was clumping together.
Let my grab my comb and some conditioner and detangle everything. I don't have time do this in sections. (Third and final mistake.)
My heart broke when I realized that my hair was beyond repair. It had clumped together in such big, tight pieces that I could not run my fingers through it. I stood in front of the mirror, tears streaming down my face as I realized that I could not save my hair and that I would have to cut it off. All of it.
I mourned for my hair. I sobbed as my husband held me for over an hour. This is not how I planned things. This is not what I wanted. I thought I would no longer be beautiful.
He stood by me as I grabbed the scissors and repeated out loud to the point of convincing: I am not my hair.
When my hair was I gone, I looked at myself for a long time. I was still me. It was the same face, the same smile. I could still be beautiful.
That next week was perfect. Because we were on vacation, I didn't have to worry about having to explain why I suddenly had short hair. I also realized that I was free! Minimal hair maintenance and more time to do fun stuff!
It didn't take long for me to love my new hair. My true hair. And once I learned how to take care of it properly (no more detangling without sections and I sleep with a satin headscarf) my hair loved me back. It has grown faster than I could imagine.
I can't believe how far I come in this journey. I still call myself a newbie because I don't have everything figured out. (What the heck is argon oil?) I have learned so much about true beauty and loving who I am. Becoming natural is more than just another way to style hair; it is a true discovery of who I really am. How God made me. Sisters, if you have ever struggled with this decision I hope this story is an encouragement to not be held back by fear. You are more than your hair.