If you’re an avid reader of my blog, you probably have read my posts pertaining to my hair and slaving to get my hair pattern back [1, 2, 3]. In 2010, I contacted my favorite hair blogger & asked her for some advice. I didn’t want to cut 7 inches of my hair off & start over, just because of a mistake I’d made. I needed help and I needed it fast. Here was her advice:
“Sounds like you and I have similar stories. When I decided to go natural, the first few inches of my hair was curly; and the rest was straight. I thought I needed to cut off all my hair and start over [similar to what others are telling you], however I waited about 6-8 months [I wore twist outs during this time] and my hair got curlier and curlier [even most of the parts that used to be straight].
I say “most” because even though my hair reverted back to it’s curly state; there was still about 2-3 inches of hair that needed to go. – What this means for you is that you can still hold on to your length, and cut whatever needs to go gradually. If you want to cut a half an inch a year, then so be-it. Ultimately leaving those ends like that isn’t going to negatively effect your hair [unless they are split], it just makes styling a bit harder because you always have to blend those straight pieces.
Frequent heat styling [even once a month] can hinder the training process, I would advise you go several more months without any heat to really get more reversion [and an idea of how much you would need to cut-if any].
I would also recommend waiting at least a year in the event you do decide to cut; if I would have cut my hair one year ago, it would have been in vain because most of my hair has already reverted.”
After our conversation, I tinkered with it, but again, fell off the wagon. I made a promise that after my Honeymoon, I was going to jump in and make this happen. But, I failed again. After a week, I straightened my hair.
It was on July 5, 2011, one month after my wedding. I blow dried my hair, only to be disappointed in myself. I felt that I had let myself down again. Realizing since I had gone that far, I might as well have continued and grab the flat iron to finish. At that moment, I was sincerely OVER it. Sure, my hair had bounce, but it was flat and dry after a couple of days and lacked personality. I realized that the girls with the big & oversized curly hair which could be styled in one hundred, thousand ways were the ones grabbing all my attention. Not the ones with the straightened hair. That Sunday, I washed my hair and vowed to do whatever it took to get my curl pattern back once and for all. My obsession with long, bouncy, flowy hair was over. It was time to get back to what God gave me and actually appreciate it this time.
Today, I’m bringing you my story today, which is quite lengthy, but it’s a journal of how my hair has changed over the past 12 months. Please forgive the quality of some of the photos. These were taken with my phone.
Every week, I washed & deep conditioned my hair without fail. I stopped making the “it’s going to look short” excuse and dived in head first. I tried a number of different ways to style my hair. I first started with twist outs at night using flexirods. I learned the hard way when it came to taking your hair down while still damp…MANY days. It was okay. My hair frizzed on some days, and other days it wouldn’t curl. I MADE it work. I told myself that this road is, surely, the one less traveled & I knew I would never regret it. As I was telling myself this, August rolled around and I started to see results.
September rolled around and one day I noticed my hair wasn’t responding to a twist out properly, so I opted to put it up in my favorite top-knot style to get me by for the week. That ended up being a major fail. Why? I actually had more curls than straight hair! I made my hair less of a major factor in my life and just stayed consistent to what I was doing to it that I actually started to see curls! So to make it easier to see, I washed and conditioned my hair a day early to help the curls stand out. When I could immediately see the straight ends with the curls, without a flinch, I grabbed the scissors and started my first “search and destroy”. When I was finished, I was so excited to see my natural curls, for the first time in my life.
Between the end of September to November, I kept my hair up in a bun. I washed, deep conditioned, and invested in a steamer. I took my time to learn about new products which would work for my hair and continued the S&Ds. After wearing my hair in a bun with minimal manipulation, I decided to wear a twist out for the first time after 2 months. Here’s what I saw:
From there, I just continued to look for products that would benefit my hair for the appropriate season. One year later, I have my curl pattern back and it did not require me to cut my hair completely off and start over.
To this day, I have not used any heat in my hair. While I can’t say I won’t ever straighten my hair ever again, I just know that curly hair is more appealing to me.
A lesson learned:
I get asked by so many women about being natural, especially those that are habitual pressers and want to get back to their natural curls. One of the major factors, for me, was that I never had the chance to experience the full benefit of being natural. While pressing on natural hair proved a healthier looking result, I was still making my hair do something it wasn’t naturally meant to do. Not that anything was wrong with this, but I was doing it often and using as an excuse because of my own hangups.
To be even more transparent with you than I was here, I realized my thoughts about naturally curly hair were extremely ignorant! Totally. I thought that if I wore my hair that way, people would think I was trying to be militant, walking around with a pick in my hair with a fist on the end of it, screaming “Black Power.” I thought that I would be unattractive to my husband. I thought that I wouldn’t look or feel as beautiful with curly hair, like I did when my hair was freshly pressed. Lord knows I was completely wrong. I have never felt more free, natural, & simply gorgeous! When I stopped thinking like this, even before the results started to show, I was able to move forth on my journey.
For those of you thinking about tinkering on this journey, let me assure you, without a doubt, it’s not an easy one. No sugarcoating needed. Especially for those that are natural but have lost their curl patterns. It’s (literally) transitioning all over again. Still with me?
I am a living witness that this can be done without having to cut your hair all off and starting over. Doing this is like preparing for a game or sport. You have to be relentless and dedicated every single day and have faith that you will see results you want to see. You can’t focus on where someone else is in their hair journey, you have to run at your own pace. You may get tired, but push through. Find a way to rock a cute and easy hairstyle until you get back on track. If you’re trying to revert, leave the hardcore heat alone and trust that your hair knows what it’s doing.
I’m very happy I’ve been faithful & loyal to my hair. I find that if I’m good to it, it will be good to me.