I was scared into going natural. Seriously.
After seeing an older woman's hair reach frightening levels of thinness, I did my own backtracking and saw that my hair has gotten gradually, but noticeably, thinner over the years. While there are certainly many factors that contributed to this (age, diet, tight weaves are among them), the most prominent one is relaxers, specifically how frequently I used them.
Some background: I begged, pleaded and cried to my Mother to get my first relaxer when I was 12 years old. In my opinion, my natural kinky hair couldn't be more out of style; I longed for flowing straight hair like models and my girlfriends who craved the creamy crack.
Since then, I've seen my full, thick, brown hair get thinner and thinner, reaching its pinnacle with a hair dye job my freshman year of college (below - yes, I've been so, so bad).
Though my hair grew braided underneath the weaves (see below), it never had that same gorgeous texture that my Momma passed down to me. And it may never be the same, but I want some semblance of it back.
And also, cue my interview with Chrisette Michele, "I'm tired of having things sewn in my head." Amen and amen! P.S. I'm sure you've noticed, I've been asking everyone in interviews from Chrisette Michele to Lisa Price to the writer of LoveBrownSugar for natural hair advice.
Now I very well may get a weave again (below) should the wind blow me toward the specialty hair shop, but I want to be able to wear my OWN hair curly (and feel the air on my scalp!) and straighten/blow dry it as I please.
And last reason? I flirted with curly natural-looking hair (weaved) over the summer and totally fell in love.
So with all that said, 2011 is the year of natural hair for me. I'm not doing a big chop, instead opting for a long transition so you'll see me out and about with extensions in the meantime. Still, I am nervous, terrified, excited and relieved and obsessing over every inch of natural hair that grows in (DYING to know what my "curl pattern" is cue LoveBrownSugar).
Though I am scared beyond belief, I will share every step of the process with you including a consultation with Anthony Dickey (natural hair God and creator of Hair Rules).
But for now, I'm asking you natural-haired beauties:
-What advice can you give me?
-Products, products, products. What do you use?
-What's been the best and worst part of your natural hair experience?
Wish me luck!