I’ll start with an introduction. Hi my name is ShoesnNatural and i am in the middle of a very long, very hard, hair journey. I have been trying to grow my hair since fall of 2006. Today is August 2012 and my length is just past my shoulder . I have learned a lot and i am still looking for answers to the riddle that is is my hair. Whether it’s what my hair likes, doesn’t like? What helps it, what damages it and ooh did i find out some of the things that damage it . Well lets get to it this post is named “The Beginning” after all.
I was beginning college and since i went away for school i started braiding my own hair. It was ok for a while but then i wanted a change i still had relaxed hair so i wore it down and curled a lot. The next couple of months were great because while my hair was in braids it grew and retained the length. I know now that, that was a protective hair style and so my hair wasn’t experiencing any extra breakage. After wearing my hair down and curled for about a year it started to beak off again. My solution to this was to get my ends clipped and start wearing my hair in a sew-in. For those who don’t know what a sew-in is, its a style in which your stylist will braid your hair and tuck any loose braids and sew tracks on to them. This style typically lasts about 2 to 3 months depending on care of the hair and the overall grade of the hair. I always bought good hair because with my work schedule i needed my hair not to be an issue and at the same time i was growing it out. After a year of these sew-ins and still relaxing my hair i had a little length then I started noticing breakage. I was googling going natural and i came across a women with really long natural hair, instantly I was interested. That is her hair, Black Girls hair can grow. I remember being told that black hair doesn’t grow as fast as other people’s hair. Now i know that wasn’t true , everyone’s hair grows on average 6 inches a year. I was hooked, I wanted to go natural but how to do this with my demanding job?
I decided to transition through having back to back sew-ins and the last couple of hair styles were as follows. In May 2011 I got a style called kinky twist. I couldn’t wait to be natural, I was 9 months post relaxer and wanted a style that had a natural look. I loved it. I liked it so much that i wanted to get it again it was the summer and it was a low maintenance style ,or so I thought. I was ready to big chop because I was still going to be wearing the sew-ins and other hairstyles so in July 2011 i did. I had my stylist do it then put another set of kinky twist in my hair. Soon i was bored with the style and i might have been rough with my hair but also my hair seemed very dry the second time. I wasn’t hydrating my hair and as a result when i took it out i notice my hair thinned a little. Next was a sew-in that i wore too long i didn’t have time to take it out and redo my hair due to work. Since the hair was a great grade it still looked new, so I waited till I was on vacation. My vacation was in two and a half weeks and in that time my hair snagged on everything, I wasn’t hydrating it and when I took it out I noticed my hair had thinned more and in addition to this i also saw a lot of thinning in the front edges of my hair. I was very sad and decided that i was just going to accept my length and it was about 6 inches so i figured i could deal with that. I took my hair down Dec 23 and wore it through Christmas till the day after. I was rushing to get dressed and i wanted a slick bun. Now because of all the damage to my hair it would not lay down at all. I tried flax seed gel (my first attempt home made), then jam and after everything I said I’m just going to straighten it. I thought about all the stuff that was in my hair but didn’t have time to wash it out, so i just let my friend flat iron it. Oh the smell of my hair being blow dried then flat ironed was horrible. I severely heat damaged my hair it was straight and only a little curly in one section in front on the side. So begins the Road To Recovery was i going to be able to fix it? Was i going to have to cut my hair? Can i transition it?