So here I am about 18 months later with an entirely new idea of what I want out my life and pretty much a 180 degree turn in a new way of thinking and living. The best way that I can describe this change is self discovery, and it all started when I moved to the great city of Philadelphia. I grew up in Providence, RI but never felt as if I belonged, but living a bit over a year here I feel home, and in this city is where the love affair with my hair began.
For as long as I could remember I have always been relaxed. Not quite sure when my first relaxer was, but looking at my childhood pictures I’m guessing around five or six. At that age I didn’t know what was going on as far as relaxers went, but what I do remember was being in awe of the length and thickness of my cousins’ hair. All of my cousins at that time were bi-racial and had loose soft curly hair that was long and moved when they ran. I had the short puffy twist that did indeed move when I ran, but partly because I had those heavy marble ponytail holders at the end acting as a pendulum. I would grill my cousin on how she got her hair to grow, what grease does Auntie put in it, what shampoo you are using. Obviously, none of that worked for my relaxed afro textured hair.
I grew up with the same hair rituals and traditions as many other little black girls in the U.S. I ran, hid, ducked and dodged at the site of rain. I Planned my relaxers around summertime pool and beach outings. Very selective on letting a man touch my hair, join me in the shower and sure the heck not see me straighten the kinks out. I spent Sundays sitting on the floor between my mother’s legs so she can grease my freshly cleaned scalp with that blue magic, holding down my ears so the hot comb doesn’t get it, and yell out when I got burned just to be told to sit still it’s just the heat. I would wear my newly pressed hair to the first day of school rocking my burnt neck and ear tips just like all the other little girls who were told “it’s just heat.”
So last year I just made the decision to stop relaxing my hair. I’ve gotten tired of blow drying and flat ironing every week, and wrapping every night. I’ve been seeing natural hair women all over the city in all their kinky, coils and curly glory. I have never seen so many natural haired women in my life. In Providence there are so many bi and multi-racial people it’s rare to run into a natural kinky beauty. I started entertaining the idea more and more that this was something that I might be able to do. I decided to check out YouTube and that is where my whole world in regards to my hair was flipped upside down. I remember thinking where the heck have I been and why did I wait so long for this.
My journey began in part because I was just tired of the routine, and tired of having to pack gel, brush, comb, conditioner, ponytail holders and a scarf just to go to the beach. But the decision wasn’t solidified until the lovely ladies of YouTube showed me what my hair Really looked like. I transitioned for 11 months and BCd on Christmas Eve 2010. I am four months into my natural journey and I’m totally head over heels for my hair. I have never said that I loved my hair when I was relaxed, and I was more concerned about making it look good than doing what was good for it. I was fortunate enough not to have extreme hair breakage and thinning from the chemicals, but nonetheless it wasn’t reaching its potential. I started this site because I love reading, talking and learning about afro textured hair. I love hearing about what other women are doing, and how they feel about their journey. So, I will continue to rock and bling out my TWA while learning and writing everything I can on hair that is distinctively ours.