My Naps and I Take a Ride... My Natural Hair Journey and Whatnots
Let me tell you a little story of a black princess and her hair…
Okay, I’ll paint the picture. So, a young goon was in her sophomore year of college. I was doing the damn thang. I was team #NoThinWraps and I got that creamy crack every six to eight weeks like clockwork! Then I thought, I’m tired of this; I want more. So, I asked my stylist about my options as it pertained to color. She told me that I could try it, but she really wouldn’t recommend people with my hair type putting color over a relaxer. My hopes and dreams were killed. UNTIL I thought to myself, well I could always just go natural. So, boom! There you have it. I went natural not to embrace my natural curl or to make a statement, but to add a lil color to my life.
After about three months, the naps were strong and making their presence well known. I wore my hair in a weave to eliminate the daily struggle of afropuff scalp with long stringy relaxed ends. I made it a point to get my hair cut off a little every time that I went to the salon. I would cut it into a layered little bob—I thought I was cute too. While I would get it cut off, I would also get it straightened so I could check out my hang time. That’s where I ran into my problem—heat damage.
In the beginning, I really didn’t care because I was thinking, I just wanna grow my hair out so I can flex on these peons with a gold high light… I’ll be fine. Then, I thought about it, what's the point of having colored hair if I have to hide it due to all of this heat damage?At that point, it had been about two years since I started transitioning and basically all of my relaxed hair was trimmed.
Due to all the of the heat damage, I damn near had to start all over again. This time, I told myself that I wouldn’t put heat on my hair and I would strictly grow it out for health. I would wear my natural hair for a few weeks and go back into protective, non-heat styles for another few weeks. I did all of that for about a year and a half. I was sure that my hair would be ready to rock. NOPE! The shit was DRY! From all of the Marley twists, braids, and weaves my hair was just DRY.
Dry hair isn’t the end. All I really needed to do was clip off my ratchet ends and moisturize it so that it didn’t look like a tumbleweed. Problem with having extremely dry hair is… it takes months to get it that freaking dry, so it might take months to experience maximum hydration. I dedicated myself to moisturizing my hair for a few months and I finally started to see my naps “pop”. A young goon was feeling herself. Then my best friend (shout out to Estelle—the simple things make my friends happy) reminded me that I originally went natural so I could get color. With all of the heat damage, dry hair, and tears of sorrow, I forgot the mission.
I scheduled an appointment and I finally got the color that I’d been wanting for about three and a half years. I didn’t color it a dramatic color simply because I wanted to see how my hair would react to color over a long period of time. I was so proud of myself for accomplishing that goal—it’s the small things for folks like I.
My natural hair journey started as something vain and shallow—I just wanted a honey brown. However, these three and a half years (maybe four… I don’t remember) have taught me so much. I’ve learned the importance of natural black hair. I have also learned how political a black woman’s hair can be in different settings. These are all things that I have learned through personal experience that I would not change for the world. I have learned to love the little naps on the top of my head simply because it’s mine. These naps are mine and because they are mine they are beautiful. My naps are beautiful because they are a part of me and God created me—and we all know that God don’t make nothing ugly.
I’ve learned so much about my hair. I know what it likes and what it doesn’t like. I know how to listen to what my hair is telling me and act accordingly. My journey is unique because it’s mine; it’s not anyone else’s. I’m not the type that circles the last time that I got a relaxer and celebrate with a length check yearly. That’s just not my style. So far, I am in love with my hair and I wouldn’t trade in these bee-dee-beads for anything. My hair defies the laws of gravity and I love the shit!
Afros and Ovaries
Doing a twist out on three day old hair