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.
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.
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.
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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