Serra’s Hair Journey

“Going natural” some of us use the term so loosely, but as long as you know that we will all end up being different all in the same even if we choice natural hair; to keep our hair virgin. Virgin hair is what I called it before, but with popularity we are natural.
I personally am on a mission to go fully natural with all my cosmetics to be a true natural.
With regards to my hair journey, I’m still far from my ultimate goal of long, healthy hair, which I’d maintain with all natural homemade products.
When I was still young I’d gotten a relaxer by my mom but I can still say that I haven’t relaxed my hair a lot. I probably haven’t even passed 20 relaxers in my life time. And considering that most people I know get a touch up every 6 to 8 weeks, I haven’t experienced many relaxers sessions in those 12 years of on and off relaxers. I hadn’t ever liked the look of my hair relaxed. It was all silky smooth in those first two weeks when I’d stretch my washes to maintain the just relaxed look, but it would just end up fuzzy and just not my hair. I’d stopped getting relaxers between age 10 and 12 because my mom got sick and passed away. I used to also cut my hair a lot when young and do some s curls. My dad’s had a girlfriend around this time and her cousin would blow out my hair which was about shoulder length and sometime put rollers in my hair which I hated cause we’d sleep with them or have to suffer under a drier for ages.
By 14 I’d quit the relaxers, tonging and even braiding my hair at the salon. It was so painful to sleep and the burns hurt so much. I kept my hair in an afro mostly picking my hair with and afro comb every morning. This is really the first time I had actually looked after my own hair. I didn’t do much to it. I had only once attempted to plait my own hair at 11 and not again after.
In matric (grade 12) I’d gotten my last serious cut, I just wanted to trim a bit, like my sister had (relaxers through and through for her) but my dad went along and told the guy to cut my hair and while I protested the guy ended up snipping me to a few cm from my scalp, what is known as a TWA.
I wasn’t sure when this was exactly but winter period when we were on break before third term because I know by september I got my second half weave style for my matric dance (like a prom) which again lasted only 2 weeks and that’s the same as the first time for my dad’s wedding.
The next year in Oct on the 3rd was my last relaxer for an aunt’s wedding. Did it on my own with Organic Root Stimulator’s (ORS) relaxer which was the only brand that didn’t burn at all verses Ladine, Dark and Lovely and Revlon. (I hate Dark and Lovely in every way. It is and was never good to my hair). Even though I’d done my first relaxer on my own and managed to find a brand my hair agreed with, I still wasn’t feeling relaxers so much.
The next year I tried braids, and asked my sister to do them since she did her own all the time – take it from me, even if someone does their own hair doesn’t mean they are patient to do another’s.
I’d also experimented with hair dye. Once plum in high school on my fro (only visible in light) and again 2010. My sister used Inecto and suggested I go brown (my hair is very dark naturally) while she’d been using black. I did try this but hated it. She dissed me and said I looked hungry. If I was a picture taking person I’d have more to show. I let it fade away. I personally hate my hair being a visible hint of brown. I like my deep dark brown. I’m also dark skinned so it is better to stick to dark.
So skipping two years to April 2012, I found out I was pregnant. I’d been so strict to remove all kinds of products that I was using that may harm my growing baby. And I really stopped straightening my hair (with my then best friend Toni and Guy afro straightener) and stayed as I was. I’ve used a straightener three times since then for job interviews. I also realised I didn’t know how to plait. I then practised on my own head doing twists and braids.
January 2013 my baby was born (I’d gone with 4 braid plaits to the hospital) and had my c section. I took it out when I could sit up. I didn’t realise I’d have no energy to even maintain my hair then. I was so tired and busy (single parent) and my beautiful daughter took most of my time and attention.
I had extremely bad habits with my hair, not even the cream crack type. I had neglected my hair! In plaits!  Just plaiting over and over. Not detangling. When June came I tried to comb out my hair. My mane was nice and fluffy but I lost a lot of hair combing my hair out and trying to manage without my usual batch of products (which my cousins finished, and while being unemployed).
I’d eventually discovered youtube videos for naturals and all it’s wonder and learned of flat twist outs. Loved them a lot. And still do.
I’d braided waist long braids on my own trying to do the invisible method with kanekalon braid hair (Brandi hair, purchased at Pep) and they didn’t last long. Had to redo the perimeter by braiding then twisting. Then took them off. First fail. Wore them mostly in high bun (learned how to do them from the frequent braid wearer in the family, Nedina). [Comments while wearing this: “are you growing out dreads? Reason: twisted roots ]
Then again (while working at Milky Lane as short order cook) I attempted yarn braids. I went to Chamdor in Edenvale and purchased a meter of satin in gray and three bundles or acrylic yarn in black. I committed another sin and plaited straight after my twists extensions (hiding face). It was already sectioned and I only kept them in for 3 weeks (looking out). I then went into braiding my hair with the yarn, using Jamaican Mango and Lime twist and loc gel purchased from Clicks in Carlton, which was the first place I think it was available, to my knowledge, but the following week was at Dischem Greenstone where I worked (mxm). While in the look many people did look close and obviously found that my soft haired roots were very different and concluded extensions (what can I say, I come by the strangest of people who touch my hair. Strangers touching my hair!)
But my results 5 weeks later were the worst. I had twisted my hair into sections then braided the yarn over that and it matted up bad and locd (burying self deep in ground)
I’m no expert obviously but I’ve learned from my failed attempts to twist out, braid my own hair and others but I’m doing my best to research all the important information before going knee deep in the flood of information pouring out of the internet lately. I will learn more techniques from tutorials and would rather be patient and practice before committing.
I have learned the invisible twist method and did some kinky twists on myself and have braided Juliet’s yarn braids (or rather assisted and taught her how to). I’m also doing better at getting my daughter’s hair done as a toddler.
Now here in 2015 I will be a more natural, virgin haired mommy growing both mine and my daughter’s hair long and healthy.
For anyone who reads remember to always learn from your mistakes.  Healthy hair is something desired and achieved with good hair practices.
Thanks for reading


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