Posted on January 05 2015
Then my senior year in high school while my mom was on vacation, I added color to my hair shortly after she permed it... yall know how that story ends. My hair popped off and never grew back. My freshman year in college, I wore a short bob because I couldn't retain my length.
My 3rd in year in college, I was over trying to hold on to hair that refused to grow. My mom had gone natural 3 years prior, and I decided it was time. This was a period of transition in my life, so after rocking a ton of India Arie, "I Am Not My Hair", I had a "Come to Jesus" moment and decided I was going to go natural. I transitioned with a press for 6 months, then in the summer of 2006 I did my 1st big chop.
I struggled, like most of us, using all kinds of stuff just to keep and hold a style. I used every product I could find, from the coconut grease in the beauty supply store, to Stay Sof Fro, to Garnier Fructis Gel.
Shortly after, someone introduced me to shea butter in a little African shop here in West End Atlanta. I then discovered coconut oil and began mixing and blending to find the right consistency. And being as ambitiously lazy as I say I am sometimes, I melted shea butter so I didn't have to work so hard. Of course that resulted in tons of epic fails and bottles of dish washing detergent trying to get all that stuff out. This was the start of Coco Curls in 2007, and I kid you not ladies, the original formula was greasier than that Soul Glow stuff from Coming to America. My now husband, then boyfriend would throw all kinds of shade if I left grease stains on his clothes :(
Since color is what prompted the need for me to go natural, of course I had to try it again. And like some things, it's just hard to get right. I had a few bad colors that drastically altered my texture. I had to use rollers on the end just to keep a curl in the front of my hair.
I have experimented with multiple styles, from rod sets(my fav for special events), to braid outs ( don't work for me), bantu knots ( I'm often left with the knot and no curl, epic fails for me too), presses, and my all time favorite twist outs. I'll stretch a twist out for multiple days, pulling it up in a bun, adding a few braids on the side, making a mohawk, any and everything! And after much experimentation, I discovered that I'm a twist out girl. It looks best on about day 3, can last to day 5, and then I'll refresh and get a whole extra week.
I don't have a bunch of fancy steps and complicated regimens. I wash, condition, apply my styling cream while wet (get the most moisture retention this way), wear my satin cap at night, and take a steamy shower in the morning to loosen the curls before I fluff. On about day 3-5 depending on how I'm rocking it, I'll add a little product at night and do a few chunky twists. And that's it! I'm a water fanatic, if you see me around, I guarantee a water bottle or cup is near. I do watch how I eat; kale, spinach, bananas, ginger, green tea, quinoa, brown rice, and a host of fruits and veggies are in rotation weekly. Now as for exercise...still working on that. It's a 2015 goal to work out at least 3 times a week consistently!
I even have 2 natural babies. All 3 of us have different textures. My baby is more of a silk/satin blend, my oldest is a cotton/wool blend and I'm a satin/cotton blend. It took a little while for me to figure it all out, but the basic principles of my regimen apply to all of us. The baby has really high porosity hair so I ALWAYS seal her hair with either coconut or jojoba oil, sometimes castor. My oldest has extremely low porosity hair so I leave a little Coco Curls Revitalizing Conditioner in her hair, and I apply the Coco Curls Moisturizing Styling Cream while her hair is SOAKING wet and then seal with castor oil. No matter your texture or porosity, you can have beautiful natural hair :)
Oh and did I mention, after 8 years of caring for my long natural hair, I decided I was ready for a change and did my second big chop in June of 2014. I felt so free and confident. The 2nd chop is nothing like the 1st one. I had a whole new swag :)
I hope you've enjoyed reading about my journey. What I hope you take away is that every girl's hair journey is their own. Your texture, porosity, style preference, regimen, etc may be totally different than mines, but I'd bet once you discover a regimen coupled with the right products, you'll enjoy your hair just as much as I do. Being natural is about the freedom to rock your God given curls, do it the way you feel most comfortable. Try to avoid comparing yourself, or forcing rules on yourself. Be you confidently!
Let's get back to the basics curlies! Be sure to join our mailing list at cococurls.com and stay tuned throughout 2015 as we guide you through building a regimen of your own.
Comment below and let us know how long you've been natural.