Timeline: Before I Went Natural

This is the first of my ‘Timeline’ posts. I’m writing these especially for those ladies at the start of their hair stories. This is mine…

When I began my blog early last year, I had four readers,
including myself. It was never my original intention to make it public, just a
great way for me to keep track of my hair, my feelings and experiences with it.
So it remained private, by invite only, for awhile. And behind the scenes I had
some great hair days but I also had some horrible ones. I documented that
along with photos, not knowing that one day I’d get to a point where I’ll think
I need to share this with others. What if
there’s another girl out there struggling with her 4Z hair? Deciding she
doesn’t want to relax anymore but not knowing what on Earth she’s getting
herself into?
For some women, going natural isn’t a big deal. It’s just
another hair style. For others, it changes their entire psyche. I’m one of
those women who was sort of in between. It was big, but not necessarily life changing.

Own relaxed hair

Merely a couple of years before I decided to go natural, I
was under the impression that natural hair was unattractive. And I remembered
from childhood that my natural hair was hard, tough and completely
unmanageable. I’d dread having my mum do my hair in preparation for school the
next week. I hated the fuzzy look and cursed my head for sprouting such unruly
and stubborn hair. My hair’s still stubborn. But I’ve come to peace with that.
I’m a stubborn person so how can I expect Fro not to be? (Yes, my hair has a
name. I don’t mind being called crazy.)

My experiences and feelings are all here, on my blog. But
they’re documented in some old posts, the first ones, ones that don’t really
see the light of day now that I’ve made my blog public. So, as mentioned, I’m
going to be pulling those out and taking you back to how I felt and what I did
when I was 1, 4, 8 months natural. I know that there are some women out there
starting from the beginning and only seeing my blog now and can’t really relate
to where I’m at in my hair story and may be frustrated that their hair’s still
too short to do a puff or twist ups etc. That’s how I felt when my hair was 2
inches short.

I figured the best way to start is by giving you some
insight into where I came from, mentally as well as physically. In my ‘About
Me’ section, I say I’ve pretty much done it all; relaxed, braided, cornrowed,
wigged up, weaved up…

Half weave/wig
Weave


Masaai twists
Cornrows


Own relaxed hair
Own relaxed hair
Still my favourite weave of all – thanks Emma!
Half weave/wig
Weave with bangs


Braids

The day after removing these braids and retouching my
growth, I decided to stop relaxing my hair. And the day after that I thought But, what am I going to do? Enter
Google. And after doing a lot of
research, I was inspired, motivated and excited. I’m going to grow my hair, as it is, naturally. I didn’t know where
I’d end up, but I knew I had to stop with the relaxers. My hair was tired and
upset with me. That was in February 2011. I transitioned for exactly three
months (newbies: transitioning is the time between your last relaxer and when
you cut your relaxed hair off to be completely natural).

I read that whilst transitioning, it’s best not to try and
make your new growth straight like your relaxed ends. You can blend the
textures by doing it the other way around; by making the straight hair curly
and wavy like your new growth. By constantly trying to straighten your roots to
blend with your relaxed ends, you open your hair to being heat damaged as well
as cutting down the time you have to learn about your natural hair texture.
Flat twisting, braiding, cornrowing all help to give your hair that wavy/curly
look. And I also put my hair in two protective styles, to help me
pass the time. One was a full black weave and the other were long chunky braids I did myself.

I had planned on chopping in September, six months after I
stopped relaxing my hair because from the research I’d done, my hair would be
about 6” long by then (based on the average hair growth rate being ¼” – 1” a
month). I didn’t think I would do the very short fro look. But by April, I was
antsy. I started getting excited when my fingers would feel the new growth, and
I’d quickly Photoshop my face with a short afro to see how it’d look. I went
out and bought a whole bunch of products, some I still use today. I got a few
hair flowers and pins because I knew my hair was going to need a bit of help. I
stocked up on some bold lipsticks. I prepared myself by watching Youtube videos
and stayed motivated by reading blogs. In May, I chopped it off.

Transtitioning – Flat twist out

 

Last day with relaxed hair
Chunky braids with extensions


Right before my chop, I was 80% excited, 15% curious and 5%
nervous. During my chop, my good friend Darla, who came with me for support, was in
awe. I don’t remember ever seeing my hair that short. It felt great. Dead of
winter, with some red lipstick on, I debuted my new look at my boyfriend’s
birthday get together.

Night of my chop


Freshly chopped

Sometimes you just have to jump.

100% natural


Are you thinking about going natural? Too scared? Not sure what you’re doing? I hope this post has helped you take that next step. Do share your experiences and thoughts 🙂

Next timeline post: Being Natural – 1 month in

Follow:
Share:

27 Comments

  1. Rudzani
    October 13, 2014 / 9:00 am

    Woooow I am lost of words. I have recently cut my long hair into short natural hair and this morning, a friend of mine introduced me to this page. Woooow for the first time in my life, I have decided to go with the afro look, I have been looking at your hairstyles and they made me fall in love with an afro. You are an inspiration indeed

  2. July 28, 2014 / 4:25 pm

    Nice changes. Thank you for sharing your experiences in embracing natural hair. Take care!

  3. June 21, 2014 / 6:02 am

    This blog is just amazing, exactly what I needed. Ive recently moved to Joburg as part of a fresh chapter/start in my life. I last relaxed my hair over a year ago, I rocked the half natural look the entire festive,due to lack of info, I ended up hiding it under braids and weaves. I now feel Ive reconnected with the natural me and she is yelling "its about damn time". I didnt know where to start until I started following your blog 2 days ago. I will be going for my BC in 5 days time. I have this amazing energy, I feel a complete change in my psyche.

    Thank you very much for this blog as the transition process is made easier

    • June 26, 2014 / 4:21 am

      That's great to hear! Thanks for your comment .

  4. Desi D
    November 4, 2013 / 5:43 pm

    Ok, I'm officially super excited! I've been braiding my hair since January, waiting for it to grow in some places so I can do a relaxed pixie cut. A few months ago though it's been itching me to go natural, especially after I loose out my braids and realise that I look mighty fine (lol). I was waiting on December 31st to completely rock my natural hair (December will make it a year without any chemicals whatsoever in my hair) but now, after seeing all the styles you created, even with short hair (I was mostly worried about styling my hair) I doubt I'll make it to the end of this month!

    Thanks again for the motivation! Your page has been bookmarked on my phone, computer, tablet, and iPod 😀 can't wait to officially join the Natural Club 🙂

    • June 26, 2014 / 4:21 am

      Lol, thanks for commenting…so, did you take the plunge?

  5. September 15, 2013 / 8:32 am

    I just cut my hair… I had been planning it all year, maybe longer because I was not interested in relaxing my hair at all, I feel amazing I went really short so it might take a while to grow back but I really dont mind. Loving your blog Aisha.

    • June 26, 2014 / 4:20 am

      Awesome! Please let me know how it's going 😉

  6. July 2, 2013 / 3:17 pm

    Hey Aisha you really looking great.Thanks for sharing it with us.It's really inspire us.Thanks again.
    Going Natural

    • June 26, 2014 / 4:19 am

      Thanks for your comment!

  7. June 28, 2013 / 12:22 pm

    Love love your inspirations Doll… you are the reason why i chopped my hair finally for the thousand time now 🙂 I am so willing to stick to my own natural hair. I always wanted to go natural and did not know how… you came along and walllaaah! You inspired me big time. I am totally one of the team natural! We can do this sisters…

    • June 26, 2014 / 4:19 am

      So glad you were inspired 🙂

  8. May 23, 2013 / 6:16 pm

    Thinking about going natural and you have inspired getting me one step closer to making the big change. I also decided that I would start my own blog and document my journey. Thanks much (Yelena) This is my personal blog http://myhairandicaribbeanchick.blogspot.com/

    • May 31, 2013 / 1:52 pm

      Good for you! That's how I got to this point, not sure what I would've done without my blog!

  9. May 19, 2013 / 12:09 pm

    I am so Loving your blog….so informative…I am 6mths post relaxer and so so motivated to continue after seeing all your gorgeous pics and tips:-)

    • May 31, 2013 / 1:52 pm

      Aww, thank you!! So glad you're enjoying it 😀

  10. May 16, 2013 / 11:26 am

    Im in this stage,3months without relaxing.abit scared and nervous too.Btw,I'm also Tanzanian,feels good to get a partner who did the same.i will probably need ur email love?it will make it much easier,i need a proper lesson

    • May 31, 2013 / 1:48 pm

      It can be nerve wrecking and shaky at first but totally worth it!

  11. May 15, 2013 / 8:29 am

    oh wow! I have been thinking of going natural, but I am so scared to cut my hair! This is encouraging me!

    • May 19, 2013 / 8:25 pm

      Odwa, I'm growing out my hair right now (three months since my last relaxer) and I've found that watching YouTube videos of people doing the big chop helps prepare you for it! Even the ones where the girl is crying lol. And if after watching them you're not excited to chop your hair off, then maybe a long transition would be better for you. Good luck with your hair journey!

    • May 31, 2013 / 1:48 pm

      I totally agree with you Denise! That and looking at nothing but natural haired women was all I did to prepare for my BC. It really helps!

  12. November 1, 2012 / 7:49 pm

    I do not regret going natural one bit, even though it took me awhile to take that leap. My hair was so damaged from relaxing and over weaving it!I think this is the healthiest I've ever seen my hair. Yay, team natural. Lol

    • November 6, 2012 / 2:43 pm

      Yay team natural! So glad you've joined 😉

  13. November 1, 2012 / 10:53 am

    2 words! AWESOME POST!this timeline post is the "bizness". i went natural too because the relaxers had damaged my hair, thinned it out. i had healthy relaxed hair initially but that changed with each relaxer session . all those years of weaving and braiding also did a number on my hairline! the number of hair disasters i have had! funny thing is i kept going back! i discovered this natural world by accident on a fashion blog, googled some more and i was amazed by what i found! i big chopped 2 months later! i felt awkward wearing my natural hair out after the big chop and months after because of the texture, but i soon got over it! its my natural and i'm rocking it regardless of peoples opinions!

    • November 6, 2012 / 12:46 pm

      Thanks luv 🙂 It's amazing how much it sometimes takes for us to realise that we're just hurting our hair all for the sake of 'beauty'. But beauty comes in many shapes, sizes and hairstyles! You just need to give the natural thing some time to get used to it. It's a big adjustment for many women. Glad you're there though!

  14. November 1, 2012 / 9:07 am

    I remember all this. especially hunting for your first half weave in Brixton – and me combing it for almost an hour after I had borrowed it (and kinda destroyed it..haha). wow! what a journey

    • November 6, 2012 / 12:43 pm

      Right! You were there through it all cherie 😀 Haha about the half wig combing, don't even remember that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.