The Natural Hair Movement has picked up a lot of steam within the past few years. Beautiful women left and right are rocking, owning and SLAYING in their curly glow. When I was growing up, pressed hair and relaxers were the norm between my friends and family. I never thought much of it. Long straight hair was what I wanted and what I had for most of my life.

I got my first relaxer sometime in middle school because I was way too tender-headed for my mom to deal with it anymore. In the 7th/8th grade my hair fell out a bit, losing a lot of thickness, so from that point I worked really hard to maintain my relaxed hair. Then I toyed around with bangs a couple times and highlights a couple times but nothing too drastic.

Fast forward to college—I'm suddenly stretching my relaxers 3-4 months because I only get my hair done when I come home from school for breaks. After using awful products the first couple months of freshman year, my hair was still prospering! I would usually switch between blow drying + flat ironing my hair and wearing two french braids + a braid out and it was working pretty well. Sophomore year I wanted to switch it up so I cut my hair in a longish bob. It wasn't a huge deal but my hair started growing like CRAZY after that. There were a few times that I had girlfriends ask me how my hair was so long and beautiful. In my mind, it was standard. I made sure I didn't do too much to damage my hair.

Sometime around the start of junior year, I started toying with the idea of going natural. I had a few friends trying to convince me to go natural but my response was always "I don't want to transition, I have too much hair for that and I don't want to cut it all off." Something kept nagging at me though. I knew that during the spring semester I would be going on tour to Brazil for spring break with my department and that I would probably stay at school to take a summer class in May. That meant I wouldn't be going home for five months. Five months of new growth? The idea caused me to think about going natural more and more. 

By the end of April I hadn't decided if I wanted to relax my hair or not so I got box braids to prolong the new growth. At this point I have a lot of natural friends, honestly I'm the only one with a relaxer, and they're constantly telling me to do it. At this point I want to, but I'm deathly afraid of not having my hair as I know it. I had a lot of people in my corner reassuring me that I could rock anything, but I didn't really believe it.

Fun Fact: I'm a planner. I don't like doing anything until I know each and every possible outcome. Long story short, I just couldn't picture myself with a mini-fro. No matter how many beauts I came across on my Instagram explore page that were rocking their TWAs, I still couldn't commit.

Two weeks ago I came home from school with a whopping seven months of transitioned hair and I'd had it. I was pretty much set to get a relaxer until the night before my hair appointment when I came to terms with the fact that I'd be really disappointed in myself if I didn't big chop. I was over making excuses for myself, so with the help of some people really close to me I decided that I was doing it and not going back.

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I've been natural for about a week and I see why they call it a natural hair journey. The journey isn't just about hair growth either. I have to redefine beauty for myself! I have to get used to looking in the mirror and seeing a tapered baby fro. I have to figure out how to make myself look "good" when I go out by entirely new standards for myself. It's not like I don't think natural hair is ugly, or unrockable, seeing so many prosperous fros is a big reason why I wanted to go natural. I just have to get used to seeing it on me.

I'm proud of myself for doing this! As I prepare to go into my senior year of college and beyond, I am going to do so knowing so much more about myself. It's definitely just hair, but breaking myself out of this box is only the beginning of tearing down my walls. I am excited to learn about myself and my entirely new head of hair!

G

 

Published by Wiltz, Gabriella