Hair damage can be traumatic for some women, especially African-American women. My journey has been a particular one, but I know I’m not alone. My hair was relaxed off and on for 4 years before transitioning on accident. Eleven years ago, at the age of 17 I simply decided that the stuff my mother was putting on my hair was damaging. My styling skills were limited, but I noticed that my hair loved moisture. Opting out of wearing weaves or extensions I wore my hair flat-ironed, in buns or braids. Fast-forward 8 years and my hair was still damaged.
Hair damage can be traumatic for some women, especially African-American women.
Our hair can be styled to look anyway we desire, like our clothing. It’s fierce by nature!
I had fallen victim to severe heat damage. Direct heat constantly applied to my natural hair changed its physical make-up and permanently straightened my curls. At 25 I made two life-changing decisions. The first was to move to Sudan’s triple-digit weather and teach English, the second to stop applying heat to my hair. While on my hiatus from heat I decided not to big chop and discovered the world of natural hair. I embraced the hair that grew from my scalp and learned how to style and blend my curly hair and straight ends. I also learned that there were ways to protect natural hair to avoid severe damage when flat-ironing. My main focus here is to show women what I learned from my journey. That our hair is a like a fabric, not a plant.
For example hair, like clothing it can only be preserved. The older parts of our hair is the weakest and most fragile just like our oldest pieces of clothing wither with age. Depending on genetics, diet and wear and tear our hair needs different things to look well-preserved. Most importantly though, as African-American women, our hair has super powers. Our hair can be styled to look anyway we desire, like our clothing. It’s fierce by nature! The challenge is to preserve it well. I want women to know that whether transitioning from a relaxer or heat damage, making the decision to transition or big chop is personal. These twists and twisted out styles are some ways those transitioning can blend the 2 textures and embrace the fierceness of natural hair!