I went natural approximately 3 and a half years ago....Whilst my hair was relaxed, I used an alice band or just had my 'Trade mark' quiff. I had to wait till I left secondary school to relax my hair. After years of pleading and begging my Mum gave in, and I relaxed my hair before she changed her mind.
I relaxed it after the marathon, and cut a huge amount off, but got bored and started to have protective hairstyles again. Most of the time I did my hair myself, as hairstylists complained about my new growth. I decided not to relax it for 7 months and cut off the relaxed ends. Once I did that I stopped going to salons altogether, I got tired of hearing "Why is your hair natural, just use kiddies relaxer". I didnt think of it as going "natural" many years after relaxing my hair, I still remembered the kinkier texture and preferred it. To be honest my "Big chop", was an absolute DISASTER! I looked like a hedgehog, as I didnt have any experience in trimming natural hair, and was yet to stumble on the natural hair pros dishing out advice on youtube. The next day, I put it back into a protective style for 6 weeks and VOILA! I loved the texture when I took out my ghana braids, washed and conditioned my hair.
My hair seemed to grow in leaps and bounds each time I took it out of a protective hairstyle. The texture seemed to vary, maybe according to the way I washed or conditioned as I started to try several techniques, baking soda, bicarbonate of soda, co-washing, apple cider vinegar rinses....but once it was in a protective style, it stayed that way for at least 4 weeks.
My afro got larger and larger, so I started to have braid outs instead of twist outs, as I liked the effect on longer hair. But after a week or so, of having my hair out, I would put it back into a protective hairstyle, I was scared about breakage.
I was a bridesmaid twice in one month and could'nt think of anything to do with my hair at the last minute, I straightend my natural hair twice in one month WITHOUT HEAT PROTECTANT. I knew that my hair was damaged, I didnt wash it for a few weeks and would wear it with alice bands, I knew once I washed it, it wouldn't revert back to its natural curl pattern.
Whilst my hair was in super long braids (think Caron Wheeler from Soul to Soul, Janet Jackson circa 1993 in Poetic Justice) I would have top knots, high buns, Heidi braids and my all time favourite style, the alternative Heidi braid.
Last year, was the first time I tried the invisible parting, with "Brazilian" straight hair courtesy of the guys at http://www.lovehaironline.com/ , perfect for naturals or those that want to give their relaxed hair a break. I will also give a tutorial on how you can achieve this look.
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