2 years post relaxer part I: Why did I go Natural?

15:54 Sandra N.U. 25 Comments

   Two years ago this month, I had my very last relaxer touch-up. It was November 2013 and in that year I had grown my hair longer than I ever thought was possible.
   At the time I didn't know what a erm, momentous occasion that last touch-up was going to be. I was just doing the usual, as I expected I would again six months after. I was grazing waist length and posted a blurry picture on Instagram.

   The plan was that at my next touch-up in 6 months, I would be hitting at least hip length. Being petite is awesome; few inches and your hair is at a new landmark, no struggle.
Then there's my growth rate too. I haven't measured it precisely, but it's pretty fast so unless I got sucker punched by terminal length, it was doable.
     Shortly after that I started the 30-day squat challenge. The effect would have created a narcissist. I mean. Hair down to there, skimming over a perfectly pert behind. Giddem.

    Four months after in March 2014, I made the decision to transition to natural.
At the start of my transition. I did the inversion method for a week.  The picture on the right is day 1. Left is day 7. Any difference? 
Goodbye Naija Pocahontas dreams, I started this blog and embraced being just who I really am: a kinky-haired Naija girl next door. My hair quickly got the memo and changed direction from bum-wards to skywards. We were defying gravity man.

Why did I decide to transition to natural?
   If I had just one reason, I would probably still be relaxing my hair.
Two of my reasons have been present since my very first relaxer, so it was going to take more. It was going to be a logical decision based on a satisfactory portfolio.

  1. Relaxing my hair was never supposed to be permanent. I planned my relaxer months in advance and read every detail on the box and on the Instruction leaflet (I can be obsessive with planning) and nowhere did it say I couldn't just stop when I wanted to. I wanted the experience of sleek hair, no shrinkage, swish swish. And then I wanted my big bad afro back, thanks. It didn't happen because everyone said all my hair would fall off if I stopped. 
  2. My mum wanted me to return to natural and pushed for it. Left to her my hair would have never smelled relaxer. But mums want a lot of things don't they? Going natural was my decision to make but when I did, she was a factor.
  3. New information. While trying to find out why my relaxed hair had seasons of joy and seasons of mourning, I came across loads of info on growing natural hair too, and all the things it could do! Before then my view of natural hair was 2D: afro or bun. I was seeing so much more. I knew I was finally going to stop relaxing my hair. Still, it took me a while to find people who had successfully transitioned instead of doing the big chop. I didn't want to cut off all my hair in one fell swoop. I think I would have felt naked and confused.
  4. I was plain tired of relaxer drama. That little tearful dance in the salon was becoming unbecoming. Even the "milder" formulas for kids burned my scalp. I never even tried lye: you know those ones in cups you don't have to mix? I just knew it was going to be fury on my head.
  5. I had a chance encounter with Nigerian black palm kernel oil. It was nice as a prepoo, but my girl Tope mixed it with our then favourite conditioner, ORS Replenishing Conditioner. After her dc, her new growth was soft and smooth beyond understanding, like it had been hand-combed and kissed by angels. I did it too and had the same results. (Example here) Right there I declared the start of my transition, with PKO as my secret weapon.

       It's been two years. I transitioned for 19 months and then chopped off the relaxed ends.
1 month post BC

I've been fully natural for five months and I feel like there are some truths that aren't readily acknowledged by most naturals. Or maybe everyone else has it different.
I don't want to make this post any longer than it is so I'll air it all out in part 2: comparing my natural hair with my relaxed hair, and I'll also share important bits about my transition. 

    A question. What do you consider your hair anniversary? Your last relaxer? The day you decided to go natural/ start taking better care of your natural or relaxed hair? Or is it your big chop date? Cos right now I feel like I have three. You know I love to hear from you. 

Xx,
NGND


25 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. What is my little brother doing here?

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  2. Lovely post,congrats on two years.While all of those are note-worthy dates,for simplicity I think of it as the last day I relaxed,Itll be 17 months for me in a few days,so I definitely like to think I've come a long way,17 months no be beans!lol.Im gunning for 2 years tho,seems so far......Again congrats,been reading your blog since the first post and you have definitely come a long way,from relaxed to natural.

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    1. Whooop! 17 months be beans at all. I'm cheering you on to 2 years. I think the day I decided to transition actually feels more like a big milestine than even my big chop. My last relaxer doesn't even feel so big. Ah well. More excuses to have cake

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  3. The day I chopped off my relaxed parts is the day I started my natural hair journey. Transitioning is the gestation period from the way I understood it. Many transition but not everyone continues to the end of chopping off the relaxed parts, some relapse and go back to the relaxer. The natural hair journey starts when all the hairs on your head are natural.

    www.lisasjournal.com

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    1. True true. I see your point.The day of my big chop was the day I became natural.
      I guess because I saw it coming it didn't feel like the biggest thing. The decision to transition on the other hand, while I had thought about it, was abrupt.

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  4. Am texlaxed.
    I count the beginning of my hair journey from the month I started taking care of my hair.

    If I ever decide to transition, your transition journey would have played a part, it's been both interesting and informative.

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    1. Thanks Tamie! I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's all I can hope for

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  5. I guess I consider my hair anniversary to be when I started taking care of my own hair and stopped depending on others but I'm also keeping track of my transition to natural as well so I guess I have more than one anniversary too. Lol. Thanks for sharing your reasons for transitioning with us!

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    1. The more the merrier, hehe.
      Awww, thanks for reading

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  6. Congratulations on 2 years! I have 2 hair anniversaries. The day I cut off all my relaxed ends (my big chop) and 3 months later when the barber cut off my straight ends and most of my new growth.
    Oyime's Musings

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    1. Most of your new growth! 😭 Brutal

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  7. Congrats on making it to 2 years post relaxer! I suppose my hair anniversary would be when I decided to start taking better care of my hair which was in March 2012.

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    1. That's right, before my transition that was my hair anniversary too.
      Haha, March 2012 holds some memories. That was when I reached an all time low with my relaxed hair

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  8. I consider mine to be the day I made up my mind to go natural.

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    1. Then we are kin Chinwe :) It felt like a big step didn't it?

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  9. gosh u had beautiful hair and ur hair is beautiful even now! im considering texturizing the nappier portions of my hair. i just wanna do me now jare.
    my natural hairversary wud b my last perm....
    www.folasoasis.com

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    1. Awww Fola your hair is so beautiful it doesn't need any alteration. If only you knew how many people were ogling your hair at NITC 10. Of course whatever makes you happy though...It's just hair and it's yours :)

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  10. Congratulations on your journey so far,you've come a long way. I consider mine the day I started my hhj which also happens to be the same day I texlaxed.


    hairlevation.blogspot.com

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    1. Thanks Dupe, exactly how I counted mine in my relaxed days

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  11. Hmmmm fine fine baby doctor..........

    Your hair is looking gorgeous as always and you sure have a way with styles, maybe you will open a salon someday. I'm following you up bumper2bumper.

    I will consider my last relaxer as my hair anniversary; (28 of June 2014 it is for me). Initially, mehnnnnnn.........i no fit shout. But right now............I'm loving every bit of it.

    BY the way, aren't you supposed to be an "otondo" by now? No jist about camp and how you managed your hair during all that morning, afternoon and evening drills?

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    1. Hey Tochukwu :)
      That salon someday won't be a bad idea.
      I'm an otondo, lol! But I didn't stay in camp. One night and I ran, so no hair gist on that front. My hair was even in those grey braids at the time

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  12. I have 2 hair anniversaries: the month I last relaxed it, and the month I cut off the relaxed parts (I'm rubbish at remembering dates). Last relaxer was September 2013 (my mom did it for me, I still remember her washing it off and marveling at how long my hair was), "big" chop was February 2015 (it was impulsive, since I had previously decided to transition for 2 years. I was having a psychological crisis mehn. School stress and the like). I cut off about 10 inches from my hair last February, and I am a few inches from the length I had before. My hair is past bra length now, I want to get it straightened to be sure of the inches. I am not petite...at all. I'm 5ft.10" So my bodily markers would be quite different from yours.

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    1. Whooo yes, past bra strap at 5'10" is no mean feat. Goals.
      Congrats on your 1 year big chop anniversary.

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  13. What's the inversion method you mentioned here?

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