So right from the onset, let me just put it out there…I LOVE my Afro kinky coily hair in its purely natural, unchemicalised and unprocessed state. I bask in pure joy and sheer delight in wearing my natural hair out in all its crown and glory.
There was a time in my life when I could NOT have confidently uttered these words BUT fourteen years ago I took the decision to transition from chemically processed hair to my natural afro kinky hair. I have not looked back since.
The decision to go ‘natural’ was one borne out of necessity really as I had moved to Scotland from my native country of Ghana and the struggle to find hair stylists in Scotland who understood my hair type and could undertake the 6 weekly chemical ‘touch ups’ that my chemically processed hair needed was real. I remember 11 hour coach trips to London from Scotland just to get my hair done and having to keep my braided hair or weaves in for almost 3 months because as an undergraduate student at university, I had to count my pennies. Only time would reveal to me the damage I was doing to my hair from keeping the braids and weaves in for that length of time.
Also I noticed over the years that with each successive perm, my hair was getting thinner and thinner. What would happen is that, my hair would appear to be growing long, and then all of a sudden it would start to break off. That love/hate relationship with my hair was getting me down and something had to give. Going natural was the best option available to me. So every time I am asked what prompted my decision to go natural, my response is always that it was a decision borne out of necessity really more than anything else.
It was only when I started this natural hair journey that I realised the actual extent of damage that chemically processing my hair over the years had done to my hair. When I used to perm my hair, my hair never got past shoulder length without it breaking off and me having to start my hair growth journey all over again. Also as I mentioned earlier, the chemical treatments left my hair so thin and limp. It had to take me cutting all my relaxed hair off to actually realise what a beautiful head of hair God had blessed me with. In its natural state, my hair is now very long and way past my shoulders and also very thick.
Knowing what I know now, I don’t ever plan to go back to chemically processed hair. Also come to think of it, the chemical composition of these relaxers are so harsh. I shudder to think of what these chemicals passing through the pores on our scalp and into our bodies and blood stream is actually doing to our health. I perish the thought.
I have always had an extremely sensitive scalp. No matter how mild the chemical relaxer was, once that ‘creamy crack’ went onto my scalp, it felt like my scalp had been set ablaze. The weaves and braids, though it was a great protective style and had helped in growing my hair, had left my hairline completely thinned out and weak. Our hairline is so delicate, and once its’ been damaged, it takes what seems like forever to grow back.
I am at a stage in my 14 year natural hair care journey where I am totally at ease and at peace with rocking my kinky afro hair in all its crown and glory. As an educator working in a secondary school, it breaks my heart to see young girls make hair care choices that will be so detrimental to their health hair years down the line. For that reason, I am so committed to consciously setting a good hair example to them when it comes to how I present my hair in school. I want to set a good example worthy of emulation. Anytime I get a compliment on my hair from one of my students, or when a student decides to embrace their natural hair because of me, it’s one battle won and this makes my heart so glad.
I have learnt so many lessons about how to care for afro kinky hair and in the coming weeks and months I will gladly and generously share it on this platform. Whether you’re thinking of going natural or whether you are already natural and you need some tips on styling your hair or on hair care in general or whether there are some hair goals you want to achieve, there will be plenty of useful information on here that I trust will be of help to you.
Thank you so much for allowing me to share my natural hair journey with you in this post. I am really looking forward to sharing more hair care tips with you over the coming weeks and months.
Lots of love,
You can purchase an educational resource on Afro hair health by clicking the button below to purchase an amazing and very informative DVD by Chris Rock called ‘Good Hair’. Chris Rock filmed this project to teach his daughter how to embrace and celebrate her natural Afro hair.