3 Years of Natural Hair (And What You Can Look Forward To)

When I made the decision to stop relaxing my hair it was on a total whim.  I was fine with relaxing my hair, I was fine with wearing it straight, and I thought I was taking the best possible care of my hair.  I rarely went to the salon, learning how to relax my own hair, straighten it out or do roller sets, and even attempting a highlighting job (big mistake though!)  My only complaint that I had was that I didn’t grow past my ears and it was super flat.   I was craving volume. I tried layers, volumizing products, everything.  But when a hair stylist told me that my hair would be so much better and longer if I stopped relaxing it I had no idea what I was in for.

natural hair TWA

The first half of year one went okay, the texturizer and cute cuts I was getting the first six months making it easy for me to forget I wasn’t relaxing.  When the texturizing stopped by the end of that year I had a lot of hair shedding, a botched up cut job, and the shortest hair I ever had in my life.

Natural hair

Year two I watched my little fro grow out and I really got down with my hair health.  I was getting used to the short hair though I couldn’t wait to get to my normal length again.  That kept me motivated to take extra care of my hair and keep learning about my natural hair.

Natural Hair

This year made those two years totally worth it.    My hair is longer than it’s ever been and the volume I’ve been looking for is finally here!  If you’re new to the natural hair game, in the thick of transitioning, or thinking about it, here are three things to look forward to when you get to your third year hair anniversary.

You’re comfortable in your hair

In the beginning if I wasn’t wearing a headband, scarf, or clip I felt very naked.  I wasn’t used to my hair and felt that it was appropriate to wear out, especially working in a corporate environment.  Now, I leave those for special occasions or if my hair needs to be washed and I don’t have the time.  I’ve learned to love my hair and let it do its thing no matter what anyone says.  If you’re feeling insecure about it now, it won’t last and when you do learn to embrace your hair you will have even more fun with it!

You know how to take care of it

I know I wasn’t the only one who jumped on every natural hair bandwagon, used every product, and hairstyle just because a Youtuber video said so.  At this stage of the game I know my hair.  I know that it can’t take too much protein, loves olive oil, and can be in a wash and go all day.  Twist outs, braid outs, and dry detangling don’t work.  All the trial and error you’ve gone through up to has paid off and now you can cut through the natural hair info clutter.

You have a routine but are open to change

It’s hard at first to try to figure out how your hair because it’s been a long time since you’ve seen it in your natural state.  What worked for your relaxed hair doesn’t cut it anymore.  If you were like me, you have a stash of products under that sink that just don’t work (but afraid to get rid of). There are so many blogs and videos that talk about what should be part of your routine.  By  now, you would have tried a lot of them and you will find the routine that works for you.  For instance, co-washing no longer works for my hair , something that’s big in natural hair land.  It may be popular but it doesn’t work for me.  While my washing and styling routine doesn’t change much, I am open to new things (keeping the second point in mind).

How far along are you in your natural hair journey?  What have you learned?

 

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4 thoughts on “3 Years of Natural Hair (And What You Can Look Forward To)

  1. Othelia says:

    I haven’t had a relaxer since April of 2011. For a long time I thought about going natural before I actually did it. When I finally decided to do it ;it was because I wanted to see what my natural texture looked like because I was relaxed since as far as I could remember. The transition wasn’t so hard for me because before hand I did a lot of reading on what to do such as conditioning and when I saw other women who were natural I always inquired what was their regimen. Instead of doing the big chop I transitioned for a year and some change cutting off the relaxed ends until they were all gone. Right now I am in the stage of learning what works best for my hair and that is a process itself. I had a stylist color and cut my hair not too long ago, but I am not feeling the cut because it is so uneven long in the front, short in the middle, and long on one side and short on the other in the back. I am looking for a product that moisturizes, conditions, and enhances my curl pattern all in one, and doesn’t leave it dry within a day, but I haven’t had any luck yet. I currently have only been doing wash and go’s. I think my hair is 4 something, do you have any suggestions as far as products? I am currently using Shea moisture shampoo and curl enhancing smoothie and have also tried a few others such as Blended Beauty products and Kinky Curly products. I love my hair and don’t plan on going back to relaxers anytime soon. Your hair is gorgeous by the way and I always love to read stories of other women who have decided to go natural.

    • MJ says:

      Thank you! Those Shea Moisture products are great. Their Curling Souflee is great for holding curls and giving them shine. Another line I’m having a lot of luck with is Organix. I’ve been getting great definition with their Argan Oil and Shea Butter line.

  2. candycoatedcashmere says:

    I have been natural for a little over 7 years (April 2006 was my big chop). I finally have my current hair wash and style regimen up on my blog. Can’t believe it took me this long to perfect it. Your tips are on point for those just crossing over.

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