Don’t worry, it’s not THAT evolution I’m talking about. I’m talking about the evolution of our HAIR at different points of the journey. It really is amazing.
You start with deciding not to relax anymore or straighten your hair. You are just sick of it and you are ready to embrace what you were born with, knowing that it is perfect just as it is.. You probably feel pretty confident at this point. You know what you want, and right now..Your hair… Is EASY.. Yes, it’s still relaxed to the scalp!!! But you feel natural already and you are EMPOWERED! All your products still work, all your techniques still work.. You are doing great! Kudos!
Then that new growth starts getting longer and you hit a big snag. Your products probably still work, but you notice those roots are a little difficult to deal with. Still, your new growth isn’t that long…
And then it IS LONGER.. Now.. Not everyone has this experience. some people just big chop at this point. Get it over with. But some don’t want the no hair look, so they do what is called transitioning. And all that is, is growing out your relaxer until you have enough hair to comfortably cut it off. Still some never really “big” chop. They do a series of mini chops, trims really. And that is fine too. Do what ever makes you comfortable. Just stick with it. It will be worth it..
If you’re transitioning, your journey has a whole different set of hardships. You have two extremely different textures and as time goes by, if you’re not careful, you start looking a little busted. You’ve got poofy roots and smooth ends. Products that work on the bottom, don’t work on the curly part. So now you gotta find a product that works with BOTH textures.. But as you stick with it, you find a way to deal, and all is calm….
Then you do your chop… And all HELL breaks loose!!! Your hair looks dry, not weighed down by the relaxed ends your curls look different. There may be no real curls to speak of! And your product that worked on both textures? Sh*t you may as well toss all that crap cause it is just doing NOTHING now!!! It’s terrible!! You’ve researched and searched, but still it’s very difficult! Don’t worry though. You’ll get it. Soon your hair is use to being natural, your moisture levels are up, you’ve found your products and techniques, and you are looking FIERCE!!
Then…. It grows on you… It gets longer and more settled… And some of the products don’t work anymore… But worry not, you just take those out and you’re probably fine…..
Then two products don’t work together… One makes your hair hard and dry and dull and just NO!!! The other makes it oily or hard or something.. And it’s just… WRONG! You’re shedding, your hair is tangled. Your TWA only took 10 minutes to wash and detangle, now it’s taking you an HOUR to do what took 10 minutes just a few months ago. You just wanna go hide, or chop again…. Or go back to the creamy crack (relaxing.) And it just get’s WORSE WITH EACH PASSING WEEK!!! You may cope by putting it away. Just braiding it up and wearing a wig, or straightening it with heat. Or just twisting/braiding it up and wrapping it away.. But you DO cope and come out the other side.
Congrats!! You just made it through the awkward phase! So it’s all smooth sailing now, right? Your products are working well, your hair has grown out, looking good, you’re getting complements. You are doing well Diva!!!
But now… Products are STILL failing.. Now you don’t freak out anymore, you just mix them differently or eliminate what you don’t need. If you need more products, you research and make a careful decision on what to try. You know of trial and error and you go about it in an intelligent manner. You may find you need LESS products though you have MORE hair! How sweet is that? Some products that had stopped working- or never worked for you- are starting to work better for you now maybe. Super sweet you didn’t toss them, eh?
When I first went natural in 2005, I just stopped relaxing. My last relaxer was April 30, 2005. I kinda knew I didn’t want to relax anymore with that relaxer, but I hadn’t really decided. My decision came around July of that year. And I was going to grow my locs. My mind was made up. I had no idea what to do with my loose natural hair. It was so tangly and rough.. I just wanted to lock it up.. It seemed to be MADE for locs! I still believe my hair is the perfect hair for locs, because I have to literally do NOTHING to it for it to loc. I can grow fully mature locs in like 5 months! (See my Fotki, if you don’t believe me!) My hair just loves to groove on itself and that, along with shedding is what locs are. (And y’all hear me whining aobut my shedding!!) So, I started them August 27, 2005. And other than the fights with DH over them, it was so easy. I probably looked like a tore up CHICKEN to some people, but I was in that mind frame. Once I set my mind to something.. Fu*k you, I’m GOOD with it! LoL!! All I saw was my future locs and how awesome they were gonna be with each passing year. I even loved them when they were just little nappy balls in a fro! I… loved… my… HAIR! And it was the first time that EVER happened. To this day, I do not regret starting my journey with locs. It may seem backwards, but it was perfect for me.
Fast forward 5 years, I started wondering what my loose hair was like. I mean, I’d seen it as a child but briefly before my mom presses it straight. She’d always said I had beautiful hair, and it was long and thick. I wanted that back.. So, in April of 2011, I started the process of picking them out. It took an hour per loc, as they were about 18″+ long by now. It was tedious, but on May 21 I picked my last loc. I had 9 left, but I just chopped those. I couldn’t sit for another 9 hours picking. My hands hurt too bad, and no body else was ending my locs. So, I finished it.
And now the FUN began.. It was not like my locs. My locs were instantly easy. But my loose hair, in addition to being oddly shaped due to the chopping of the back locs, was a pickle. But I was up for it. DH hated my new cut because it was uneven and oddly shapped, but I kept trimming and shaping it up. Finally I had a cut. He said it looked like a boy, but I liked it.. I felt it was cute. My curls were pretty nice, though my hair was short the first time in years. Still it was so easy. I just wash, condition, quickly detangle and put my products in. Very easy… I’d leave some Aussie in and oil, then gel.. Later I added a lotion to the mix.. Made my hair white as hell, but it dried clear.
Then my hair was getting longer. I really didn’t notice it much, but others did. What I DID notice is with each passing month my hair was harder to detangle and used MUUUUUCH more conditioner. I couldn’t do my little style anymore, so I went to the puff. And the puff worked well. It is STILL my go to style. But now my products were working ok, but I decided to start eliminating products. the lotion was the first to go, my hair was instantly better… It just wasn’t doing what I thought it was supposed to do. So out it went.
Then one day.. It just came to me.. My gel is a curl activator. When I actually had the process in my hair, I used this product alone. I may grease my scalp, but my hair was just the gel.. And I tried it. (No scalp greasing!)… And my hair… Was… BEAUTIFUL!! Shiny, had movement, perfect curls. I was FLOORED!! And I stopped leaving in conditioner and just using gel.. No oil actually at first. But there was still an issue. STICKINESS!!! So I was rinsing every 2 days or so to try to cut down on that. And it was working, but my hair started to dry out. Honestly, my gel is so water soluable it CAN be completely rinsed away with just water for the most part. With it was my moisture. So I had to find a better way.
Then I was on Naturally Curly and read a tip from another Naturalista. She said she put oil over her activator to keep it from drying out. So I said… I’m gonna try that…
BAM! No stickiness!!! For some reason, it even dried faster! My curls were perfectly formed and no stickiness!!!! HEAVEN!!
And I’ve been doing this every since. My hair loves it, it’s growning.. Even starting to hang a little bit! And all this came from a decision to stop relaxing.. My Rebel evolved from a permed blog full of petroleum products.. To this beautiful natural fluffy fro you see today..
And this is when you get cocky.. You’ve got it now.. I’m coming up on a year loose.. But I’m sure Rebel is still growing and evolving….
I just hope I can evolve with her.
OK.. Done rambling.. :p