Love your coily kinks!
Well, here we go.
This year, 2019 makes it four years since I returned to my natural hair. I have no idea why, but I started the journey with a very unrealistic view of what my hair was going to be like. In my mind, my hair was going to be like all the naturalistas I kept seeing on YouTube. Might I add, at the period in time where I was deciding to big chop and binge-watching YouTube videos to mentally prepare myself, the 4C hair community was grossly under-represented.
I knew I had long, thick natural hair before the creamy crack because I remembered all too well the detangling and braiding sessions with my mom (my relaxed hair was also thick and long) but I had no experience dealing with it on my own. I was 11 when I straightened my hair.
Anyway, I made the big chop In May of 2015. I did not transition for very long, so when I cut the straightened ends off, I BARELY had any growth. When I saw myself in the mirror after the chop, I just felt I made a mistake! I DID NOT WANT TO BE SEEN! BY ANYONE!
It took me a while to get accustomed to the new me but hearing comments such as “I like natural hair, but I don’t know what I would do with a texture like yours” or “your hair must be difficult to deal with” did not help. Mind you, it was. It was difficult to deal with. Mainly because I did not know what products to use, I did not know how to style it, and there’s a bunch of other things I did not know how to do. So there I was with a little struggling afro re-evaluating my decision every time I looked in the mirror or passed a shiny object that I could see myself in.
Nevertheless, a few months in I had an “aha” moment where I figured out a regimen that worked for me. My hair started blossoming, and I became more comfortable handling my hair. My crown and I still had a love-hate relationship, though, because I felt like it wasn’t growing. However, anyone with tight coils like that of the 4c texture knows that shrinkage is the devil reincarnate.
Also, I was still receiving comments by a select few that boreholes in the wall of confidence I was building when it comes to my hair. Idiotic comments such as “you don’t have good hair” because my hair wasn’t loose or curly or wavy enough in their opinion.
I am still learning, and there are weeks and months where I am the definition of a “consistent natural.” Other times, I don’t feel like seeing, touching or combing my hair and there are those moments when I have to talk myself out of going back to the creamy crack because I feel it would be “faster and easier.” If you feel that way too know you’re not alone, trust me. Life happens and sometimes a bad hair day can turn into a bad hair week, and it’s natural to feel defeated but don’t give up.
Friends, 4c hair is so versatile. Listen, now that I know how to style my hair, I do and have done so much to it!
- I once bleached the ends (never again, you live, and you learn, haha.)
- I’ve dyed it twice
- I occasionally flat iron it when I feel like measuring my growth, or I feel like having the sleek and straight look
- I wear my big fro
- I do twist outs, flat twists, single strand twists, low buns, high buns, side buns
- And protective styling
Oh yes! While I wrap up, let me leave you with a tip! TAKE A LOT OF PICTURES. It has been a saving grace for me, especially when I am upset with my hair! (YES, getting angry at your hair is a real thing, and I’m not alone, right? *fingers crossed*). I created a folder specifically for my hair on my phone and sometimes sit and browse through it, and I can testify to how it helps to lift my mood when I notice how far I’ve come.
Here’s a look at what that folder looks like:
Four years in and ABSOLUTELY NO ONE can make me feel negative about my hair. I love every kink and every coil, and you should too no matter your texture, length, etc. There’s no perfect hair, only the one perfect for you and that’s the hair you were born with. WEAR IT WITH PRIDE!