I decided to go natural back in 2010 when I initially wanted to simply stretch out my relaxers. I found that stretching them out helped my hair grow faster. In the midst of searching on YouTube for women who applied fewer relaxers each year, I ran across those who showed off their natural curl pattern. Instantly I became interested and made it made me reflect on the fact that I’ve never seen my own natural curly pattern. I loved the look and have always been health obsessed so when I learned of the harsh ingredients in relaxers that was the last straw. My research began in 2010, but I actually became serious about six months later.
How long have you been natural & is it what you expected?
I have been natural for a little over four years. I big chopped a little over a year of transitioning. Yes, pretty much. I expected there to be times I wanted to chop all of my hair off and times I adored my hair. It’s been a journey but I would say it’s been a life changing one. I’ve learned so much about not only the hair industry and how to style and care for my own hair, but how to care for myself and be confident.
What stage are you at in your natural hair journey & how did you transition? ((twa fro etc.))
I have tons of shrinkage! When wet my hair looks like a small to medium sized fro but straightened, it’s a little past bra strap length. I don’t play into hair textures very often because I feel as if it divides the natural hair community in certain aspects, but it does help in terms of styling. In this case I’d say I have a 4a hair texture. I transitioned for about 14 months in a variety of styles including braids, twists, straight styles and updos.
What are some struggles your natural hair presented for you ?
It took me a while to get used to my natural hair. I had always had long hair and in fact, there was absolutely nothing wrong with my hair when I decided to go natural. It was long and healthy but getting used to short hair was quite interesting. Especially when it came to negative family comments.
Did you ever feel like you had to compensate for being natural? ((Wearing make up or dressing up))
I didn’t feel that way because I’ve always been classified as “girly” but again it was more of answering the questions of people who didn’t understand. I constantly got questions about why I cut my hair and when was I going to straighten it. It seemed as if I always needed to have an answer prepared but after I while I learned that everyone doesn’t deserve an answer.
What are some words of wisdom/advice/ or inspiration you have for any one that may be considering following in your foot steps in to the natural world?
I would tell others to embrace who you are and take bold footsteps in the person you want to become. Ignore many of the stereotypes of being “natural” and the “looks” you may get from strangers or even those who are close to you. Being natural is about embracing your natural hair, but it is more about self-acceptance.
Where can you be reached via social media?
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Hey there! I’m Melissa, co-founder of Trials n Tresses, natural hair and beauty lover, binge tv watcher and lover of life. When I am not creating content for TNT, I’m busy teaching the future of society.