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Hello there, thanks for visiting my blog. So, a bit about me; I'm Natalie and I am a Christian, committed to living by God's Word each and every day. I am a proud mother to three beautiful children and creator of The Accidental Mogul - a blog designed to channel my ambitious juices and unleash the writer within! This blog is a reflection of me, so it contains a little bit of everything. I’ll be documenting my walk with my saviour Jesus Christ, as well as my natural hair journey, I'll be writing thought provoking posts, product reviews, hosting giveaway's and of course offering up a generous dollop of everyday mummy musings. I like to hear uplifting and motivational stories, so I’ll be interviewing inspirational people when I can to encourage and inspire others. Sharing experiences is what makes life beautiful, so let's share.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

My journey to natural hair

Image from MadameNoir.com
My last relaxer was on Saturday 22 January 2011. I didn't know it then but that was the beginning of my journey back to natural hair.

I got my first relaxer when I was 14. My younger sister and I had pestered our mother for what seemed like a lifetime. We were fed up of our frizzy, fluffy hair that didn't move and wouldn't sit down the way we wanted it to. Growing up in a predominantly white area there were no other young black girls we could relate to and it was the mid nineties when the likes of AAliyah (God rest her soul), with her gorgeous, side swept, long hair was the image ideal. Well she was mine. 

After my first relaxer I was amazed at how silky and long my hair was. I was a bit disappointed at how limp it looked, and the burns on my scalp but that was OK, I could deal with that. I had no more fuzz.

17 years of relaxers every six  to 12 weeks ensued,along with the no scratching the night before, the inevitable scratching because the relaxer was due and the subsequent burns and scabs as a result. When I look back I'm extremely sad that I put my scalp through so much trauma time and time again. I wasted so many hours, days and weeks, sitting in hairdressing salons wasting my whole Saturday, wasting my money on sub-standard services. Every time I went to a different salon they would have something completely different to tell me about my hair and what products to use; not too much oil because your hair is fine, no products with water, because it will dry your hair out, no this, no that and blah, blah, blah..

All of this information felt so invaluable at the time, but the day after a re-touch, my hair would be wrecked if I didn't wrap it properly or tie it up at night and despite all the recommended products I brought, my scalp would still flake like crazy, my ends would turn an awful, over processed shade of brown, and don't even get me started on the recommendations to dye my hair jet black to hide the off brown tinge. My scalp would be stained midnight blue for weeks. Not a good look. It was frustrating and annoying. How could you spend so much for the outcome to be so mediocre? It seemed the more I got my hair done, the worst it would be.

After each of my pregnancies my hair would shed like mad and I would be left with two bald patches on each side of my hair line. The only thing I could do was to cut it all off and start again, rocking a cute Halle Berry signature crop. This would be great, until the style started to grow out and I would have to relax more often due to rapid growth when it was short. As a result my hair would revert back to the over processed mess it once was. It was a vicious circle.

Now I am deep into my transition to natural hair and it began for a number of reasons.
As well as the points mentioned,  I simply became disillusioned with relaxed hair. I was fed up of spending the money, I had a third child on the way and I couldn’t justify the expense any longer. My hair was unhealthy and never looked or felt great. Plus my sister had begun transitioning six months prior and I was surprised at how kinky and curly and pretty her natural hair was. I had relaxed my hair for so longer I forgot what natural hair was like and that was despite having two daughters with afro hair. It was a joke. I had been blinkered for far too long.

So that was it. My mind was made up. At that point I hadn't put chemicals in my hair for 4 months anyway and my roots were manageable so I just continued to grow out the relaxer and it has been easier than I thought. I was so worried that I would have to deal with a matted, dry, frizz ball. (There have been times when it has looked like an afro, fuzz ball but I'm learning how to moisturise and detangle). How would I manage my natural hair in the work place? Would it be time consuming to style? Would it  look professional? Would I have the patience? I needn't have worried, everything has gone better than expected. There is still a lot to learn and improve upon, but I love my natural hair and its waves and kinks, it's so versatile I love it. Yes that's right I love it.

I feel free and empowered and unique.

At my work Christmas party I was even complimented for my cute little pin-rolled updo, something I would never have imagined. I wish I had embarked on the natural hair journey sooner, but now I'm here there is no way I'll ever turn back. 

(Unfortunately I don't have any good pictures of my natural hair at the moment. A new baby and no decent camera has been some of the reason. Now I have a lovely iPhone that will all change, so look out for pics of me rocking my natural hair in all its glory in future posts).
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