One of the benefits of having natural afro hair is the versatility it offers. Many people don’t get how it is possible to have different hairstyles over a short period. Although some people claim that natural hair is expensive and high maintenance, I would argue that the advantages far outweigh whatever disadvantages they think it may have. Over the years, I have kept it pretty simple but even then, I have tried several gorgeous hairstyles and looks. I have compiled these in a gallery.
I went natural for many reasons put together. First was the fact that the relaxers were not really working out for me and always inflamed my scalp causing unnecessary pain and unevenly relaxed hair. Second was because I was living in Norway at the time and just could not find salons that catered for African hair. Third was curiosity. Having been relaxed for a long time, I almost did not know what my real natural hair felt like. Finally, I wanted independence; not relying on salons or friends for a perm. I wanted to be able to do it all on my own. I figured this was the best option for me and was very excited to completely cut my hair off without any kind of transitioning phase.
My family and friends were a bit surprised at this decision. They even thought I had made a mistake that I might regret but I have never regretted the decision for a second. I got the independence that I wanted and freedom from the pain that relaxers always caused my scalp. My TWA (Teeny weeny afro) days were awesome, I could just shower as many times as I wanted with the water running down my face and ear (really refreshing). I also reckon, I looked pretty cute those days and I felt very confident. As my hair grew, I went through different life stages, intensive studies, two pregnancies with a husband that loves my fro. My hair grew like crazy during both pregnancies and shed with the same craziness during the postpartum stages.
Nowadays, my hair is my best accessory which I wear out whenever I want to. Most of the time, I have twists which are very easy to manage. While some people have hair days which are especially dedicated for hair, I don’t have that kind of luxury with two active little boys. My hair is washed and detangled in the shower after a deep condition which lasts under thirty minutes. After air drying over night, I re-twist if I don’t have any special place to go that deserves a special hairstyle. My hair bonnet is on my head most of the time especially when the hubby is away on business trips because he is not a huge fan. Apart from natural butters like Shea, Mango, Cocoa and Tamanu, I have only 2 hair products in my cabinet. Hair conditioner and Leave in conditioner which I make up myself. The African black soap does a pretty good job at cleansing my hair without stripping it too much.
I think the best thing is to accept your hair the way it is. Sometimes it will blossom sometimes it will break but it is a good idea not to put too much pressure on yourself. If you look at it the way you look at other parts of your body, then you will learn to live with it in harmony. One day you will be amazed at how long and healthy it actually is. I decided to get a blow out for the first time last year and was amazed at how long my hair was, I never really knew this but I was so happy with it. Right now it’s just recovering from post-partum shedding but that’s fine, I’ll let it do its thing while I go ahead and continue doing my thing after all, it is just hair and will grow back.