My Hair Journey

About 3 or 4 here...
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From the womb (I suppose), my mother made every effort to take care of my hair. I have very vivid memories of sitting in between her legs as she greased my scalp, detangled my hair, and braided it. This was a daily task that she committed herself to. Even as a young girl, I understood what it meant to have my hair "done". I wouldn't come down stairs until she styled my hair. On special occasions (such as Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving), she would use the hot comb to straighten my hair. I especially looked forward to having my hair straightened.

In sixth grade it seemed like every African American magazine I looked at featured Just For Me or PCJ hair relaxers. I loved looking at the little girls with straightened hair. Finally, I convinced my mom to relax my hair. From this point on I began to get relaxers each year.

In eighth grade, my hair became damaged from one of my mom's at-home relaxer applications. It was so bad that I remembered having a significantly shorter amount of hair on one side of my head, in comparison to the rest of my head. This did not stop me from getting relaxers. All throughout high school and college, I had my hair relaxed. One thing that baffled me was each time that my hair was relaxed, it was straight. Bone straight. But then when it was washed, it would sort of revert back to its normal state. It was as though my hair didn't "take" relaxers. Still, this didn't stop my desire to have my hair relaxed.
Damaged hair college days :(

In college, one of my friend's who happened to live next door to me told me about how she stopped getting relaxers. I was confused; her hair was straight. And it looked healthy. How could this be possible? She told me that she was simply "heat training" her hair, so that it would be just as straight as a relaxer. I really liked the idea of this and stopped relaxing my hair in 2005 with hopes of "heat training" my hair.

I then realized that I was getting the same results from "heat training" that I did while relaxed. It was working for me. Though I did not experience significant growth (probably because I was flat ironing my hair 2-3 times a week, or more...also I wasn't using any heat protectant at all), I was satisfied with the results. This is also what helped me to get through (what I later found out was) my long term transition.

One thing that I made sure to do was to give my hair a break each summer. And each summer I noticed that I would have a growth spurt in the length of my hair. This is because I spent my summers wearing braids (protective styling...who would've known!?) and wearing my hair in wash-n-gos. I wasn't completely satisfied with the results of my wash-n-gos, so I began to research tips for how to make my wash-n-gos work. I became addicted to watching YouTube videos and being on Forums that discussed these topics.

I then began to branch off and look at other styling ideas and became completely mesmerized by the results that women got when doing braid outs and twist outs. So much that I tried it...and I loved it!!

From that point on I began to research further and try different hair styles and became a self-professed product junky. If I saw someone using a product that gave them good results, I went out and purchased the same thing to try for myself. This trial-and-error is what helped me to build a good hair care regimen.

Everyday I am learning more and more about my hair, what it likes, what it loves, and what it dislikes. I am inspired by the results that I have had and I definitely look forward to sharing with everyone every step of my hair care journey.