When I first started the natural hair process, I chose to wear locs. As I continued to grow and learn as a person, I wanted my hair to grow with me. The process of achieving a goal in life to me was very similar to how my hair grew. The beginning process was hard; I had to stay focus and dedicated. As time went on, my hair continued to grow and learn it's pattern. It became something beautiful. Then I started a new cycle in my life and cut my locs. I continue to keep my hair in its natural state, because it was now a part of who I am. My hair has its own natural hair pattern and continues to transform as it grows, just as I do!
Even though the process of washing and styling my hair has increased in time, I feel my hair is much healthier. I also feel like my skin looks better without the relaxer chemicals being applied to my scalp. I get complimented much more on my hair now then I did when it was relaxed.
My natural hair journey began around age 30. My relaxed hair was damaged and brittle so I decided to go natural and see if I could grow some healthy hair. Transitioning natural and working in Corporate America wasn't the easiest thing to do back then, so I went natural for about a year and then cracked under the pressure to conform and fit in the workplace. I ended up relaxing my hair after my manager called me into her office one day to inquire about how I was doing. She made it a point to tell me that I needed to get my hair done.
Since that time, I've attempted to go natural three more times with no avail. I still was not experiencing the healthy hair results that I wanted and I felt self-conscious about my tiny fro.
At age 40 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. During radiation treatments my hair began to thin out in the crown of my head. I made a decision to cut my hair really short and once again let it grow back naturally. So far it's been great this time around. The difference is that I was more confident and strong, after just surviving breast cancer. My perception about myself has completely changed. It's been about 8 months so far and I'm still loving it and it's growing and very healthy. I receive overwhelming compliments on how nice and thick my hair is.
I am now loving my natural hair!
My natural hair journey was not an intentional journey! After a few years of receiving chemical relaxers with my primary stylist, she suggested that I stop getting chemical relaxers because she noticed my hair thinning. So we decided that I would have weekly appointments to get a blow out and flat iron to straighten my hair.
After a year of no chemical relaxers, I was curious as to how my hair would look if I allowed it to exist in its natural curl pattern. So this is when my true natural journey began. I knew I could not do the “big chop”. I found another stylist to help me transition through the straight hair as my new growth came in. So for the next year, she styled my hair using flexi rods to blend the straight hair and the new growth.
I almost turned back to chemicals during this year because going through this transition required a lot of upkeep and maintenance. This was a high stress period because I stressed over how to make my hair presentable for work when the curls had fallen! Like many new natural hair girls, I was watching You Tube videos to explore various styles. I asked the 2nd stylist if we could try two-strand twists. She styled it as I wanted, but the straight ends would not allow the twists to look the way I envisioned from the You Tube videos!
My sister suggested I try out her stylist, who eventually became my 3rd stylist. During my first appointment with her, I told her that I wanted two-strand twists. She advised that to get the twists I wanted she needed to cut off the remaining straight ends. When she snipped the final straight ends, my hair twisted beautifully! That was the moment when I was 100% embraced wearing my hair in its natural state!
Wearing my natural hair has positively impacted my monthly budget. I went from over $200 per month when I was getting weekly blow outs to $70 per month. I no longer use my hair as an excuse to not exercise, which has been provided so much freedom to work out and enjoy outdoor activities. I love the shortened amount of time it takes me to get dressed for work. Saving time in the morning working on my hair has allowed me to exercise before going to work.
My hair is thicker, longer, and healthier! Since May 2013, my 2-strand twist length have grown over 10 inches. I am amazed when I wear the twist-out and see the amount of volume in my hair. I am certain that had I continued with chemical relaxers and flat irons, I would definitely not have any volume or thickness in the crown of my head now. I am grateful for the 3 stylists who assisted along this journey. They each had unique skills and abilities that helped me embrace my natural hair.
Cierra has been a part of Accented Glory since its launch in June 2013. Outside of being an "Accessory Diva", she's a millennial who's currently navigating adulthood. Click Not One Of Your Little Friends to check out her podcast!