My natural hair journey, where do I even begin? It’s been a long journey with many ups and down as well as equally as many bad hair days that only naturalists will understand. So it’s safe to say that my natural hair journey has been an adventure and one that made me realise how important someone’s crown is to them.

I stopped relaxing my hair in grade 10 mainly because the flat look started looking boring and I really didn’t see much growth in my hair, so I naively decided to take up a more natural look. However, between grade 10 and 11, I would like to describe my natural hair journey as somewhat of an on again, off again relationship as I would sometimes – out of frustration – go back to relaxed hair. Going back to relaxed hair was only because I thought I would be able to manage my hair better but really relaxed hair to me is so boring , so I would then go back to my afro. It was only at the end of grade 12 that I took up the natural look for good and made a real commitment to it.

I am now 22 and can confirm that I have been in a kind of happy relationship with my natural hair. For about 2 years and 9 months since grade 12 I had an afro. Although I had many great memories my afro, there were those moments that made me wonder why exactly am I putting myself through this. Moments such as; when my hair would just not cooperate when the weather is not a friend, when I’m invited to a pool party or even when it would not just stay in its style for long enough. The worst was
when you had a date for example, and my hair would just not be on the same page or when I discovered that the really good products, the kind you find at salons can actually burn a serious hole in your pocket. So although I had some beautiful and really great memories with my afro, there were those moments – many moments- that I would just feel like giving up but the thought of putting chemicals in my hair would make me nervous.

This was when I thought of a permanent solution to my many hair blues; introducing the dreads. I started my dreads in October last year a month after my friend did. Her starting her dreads actually made me act on an idea that I’ve had for months. And actually an idea I’ve had since primary school. I remember going to the salon to start dreads and I was discouraged by the hairstylist as my hair was too processed and was encouraged to actually just cut my hair and start my dreads once my afro was
a decent length. As soon as I walked out the salon , I felt a bit sad, my mom encouraged me to cut my hair but I was influenced by my aunt who convinced me that dreads really aren’t fabulous and lack versatility. So I kind of gave up on thought of dreads because for one, I had long hair at the time although it was relaxed hair and my mom actually encouraged me cutting it, I couldn’t imagine going all the way short and so I also listened to my aunt wanting to be the fabulous girl she thought I Was.
Fast forward a few years down the line – October 2017 – and I actually have dreads now. I haven’t really had my dreads out as they’re always braided but the thought that in summer of 2018 I will finally have my own locks, long enough to let loose and which are all natural is exciting. I haven’t really been exposed to the bad hair days of dreads but I don’t think they will be as traumatic as when I had my afro. So I am very excited for the summer and I will finally have long hair that is actually my own.

Really the natural hair journey is honestly very exciting because you get to watch your own hair grow and be all that it’s meant to be in all its glory. But it has its days where you feel like you’d just be better offer with straight hair. However, the journey is a long one which when you look back, you’d never give up for anyone. Even for that one trip to the salon to chemically straighten your hair and actually live with regrets. So to anyone looking to take up the natural hair journey, all I can say is buckle up its about to be an interesting and slightly bumpy road which is actually worth it. All you have to do, is find what works for you, as cliché as it may sound.

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