It’s time for an all new edition of My HAIRStory! Aww yeah! This is low-key my favorite feature on this blog. I will always appreciate the opportunity to hear about the natural hair journeys of black women from across the country and beyond!
The last time around, our curly girl spotlight was on Chenyea, whose natural hair journey was one of self-discovery. Today, our light is shining up north, as we learn one Canadian cutie’s tale of natural hair and self-love.
1. How did your HAIRstory begin? How long have you been natural?
This November will be four years since I went natural. Initially, my plan was to embark on a healthy hair journey. I wasn’t looking to stop perming my hair completely, but I wanted to go longer periods without using the “creamy crack,” while also using less heat and better products. After doing some research, though, I fell in love with the beauty of natural hair and decided to stop perming altogether.
2. What was your greatest motivation for going natural?
I think my decision was mostly driven by curiosity. I’d had my hair permed for as long as I could remember, and I really had no idea what my natural hair texture looked or felt like. Also, because my hair is so thin, I often had to keep permed hair short in order for it to appear thick and voluminous. So, while I was very much curious about my texture, I was also hoping that by going natural my texture would be thicker.
3. What was the biggest challenge at the start of your journey?
Without a doubt, I’d say it was learning to style it. Before I began transitioning, I had my hair cut in a very short bob, with the back my head shaved. In the beginning, as my hair started to grow, it was too short to braid or twist, while the hair at the front was quite long. It was definitely a struggle and I was quite self-conscious about how I looked. Needless to say, I opted to wear a lot of hats those first few months, until my hair had grown long enough to put into braids.
4. Were the people in your life supportive of your decision to go natural?
For the most part, yes. As mentioned before, I really struggled with styling my hair in the beginning and unfortunately, I did receive some negative comments about how my hair would look. But that’s now water under the bridge—four years later, those same people are often the first to compliment my hair.
5. What have you learned about yourself by going natural?
I would say that by going natural, I’ve realized how much I’ve stopped caring what others think. At the beginning of my hair journey, I was so self-conscious about what others thought of me and how I looked. I generally wore protective styles, like braids, and slicked my hair into a bun in order to look as “mainstream” as possible. Now, I wear my hair however I feel like wearing it, regardless of what others might think. My new hair motto has become: The bigger, the better.
6. What was your biggest misconception about natural hair that changed by going natural?
Beautiful hair = Curly hair. That’s gotta be the greatest lie society has ever told! Natural hair comes in all kinds of curls, kinks and coils, and they’re all beautiful.
7. What’s your go-to hair style?
Flat twists. I usually do them right after washing my hair on Sundays, and then I pull them back into a low bun during the week. Absolutely no styling required Monday to Friday! Those bad boys are an absolute godsend.
8. What products are on your “can’t live without” list? Why?
As I Am cleansing conditioner, Giovanni leave-in conditioner, whipped shea butter and coconut oil. Those four products really help to keep my hair soft and shiny. I swear by them.
9. What products would you NEVER use again? Why?
Shea Moisture’s Jamaican Black Castor Oil Edge Treatment. I’m a fan of the Shea Moisture line, and so naturally, when I saw they had their own edge control/treatment, I had to try it. It was absolutely terrible! It had a sticky residue and did nothing to hold down my edges. I definitely don’t recommend.
10. Who’s your hair crush(es)? What do you love about their hair?
I think everyone’s hair is so unique and beautiful in its own way. I’ve come across some natural hair v/bloggers with absolutely gorgeous hair, but I can honestly say I don’t have a hair crush on anyone.
11. What’s your goal for your natural hair?
Growth and length retention. When stretched, my hair reaches just past my collar-bone, but I would love to get it down to the boobs!
12. What advice would you give to someone at the start of their journey?
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different products, regimens and styles. There’s a lot of information out there about natural hair, and everyone has their opinions about what works best, but at the end of the day, what works for someone else might not work for you.
13. Finish this sentence with three words: My HAIRstory is….
Growth, evolution and freedom.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us today, Adrienne! I especially love your advice for the newly natural! Being brave enough to experiment and try difference regimens is key! If you enjoyed what she shared, too, be sure to check out on her blog, According to Adrienne. You can also find her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest. Go show her some love and let her know Audrey sent you!