I was natural for the first 17 years of my life. My mom had said that I could relax my hair for my Matric Dance (our prom equivalent) and I was so excited! Ever since I could remember my hair remained plaited and safely put away, and I never thought of wearing out or using heat to do a ‘length-check’. I wonder how I even managed to keep the hair on my head with how poorly I looked after it- I had no idea what it needed and how to help it be healthy and I would literally just leave it alone.
'I want to look my best'
Although my hair was long and looking really good and healthy right after I relaxed it for the first time, I believe that the combination of poor maintenance, a non-existent hair routine and a complete lack of understanding of my hair led to the start of its deterioration. Not knowing better, like most girls, I would apply direct heat on my hair whenever I went out over the weekends because I would ‘want to look my best’ (whatever that meant!). The funny part was that, although my hair health was taking a huge blow and my hair was suffering and crying for help, people would tell me how good my hair looked and how ‘long’ it was. And because my hair was outright breaking (or at least not that I noticed), I carried on thinking things were fine and that it will somehow one still grow long and healthy over a long time.
I think its breaking point was when I tried out a box hair dye and bleached highlights in myself at home- what was I thinking?! Over the years my hair would seem to rebuild and break down again, but I still never paid enough attention to know what was making the difference to my hair. I was very dependent on my hairdresser to reach my hair goals but it was only at the end of 2017 that I decided that I needed to start getting a lot more serious about how I looked after my hair in between the salon visits.
I think its breaking point was when I tried out a box hair dye and bleached highlights in myself at home- what was I thinking?! Over the years my hair would seem to rebuild and break down again, but I still never paid enough attention to know what was making the difference to my hair. I was very dependent on my hairdresser to reach my hair goals but after not seeing much fruit for some time that I decided that I needed to start getting a lot more serious about how I looked after my hair in between the salon visits.
“Healthy hair is not a texture but a condition”
So the healthy hair love affair begins
So, I seriously entered a loving and intentionally relationship with my hair, began my hair journey, and intentionally learnt about how hair works and to get it to its best and most healthy state. I’ve never looked back since and I’ve loved getting to know and look after my hair, and yes, I even love wash days. Contrary to popular belief, it hasn’t been a burden at all, especially when I’ve witnessed how it has grown and absolutely flourished! Honestly speaking, it of course took a bit of effort from my side, but the more I’ve worked on my hair and seen results the more I’ve been encouraged to continue on and on and the more I find ways to simplify my routine because I now can ‘hear’ what my hair is saying and can give it what I know it needs. I’ve never seen it this strong, soft and happy and I couldn’t been more proud of it. I’ve even discovered it to be very versatile!
I love my hair, and I’ve enjoyed proving that it can be healthy and long, with all the tools, techniques and principles I have learned and used along the way. I can say that I’m quite passionate about healthy hair and haircare, and have a dream to see ALL crowns flourishing and being celebrated, no matter the shape. I’m so glad I took my power back into my OWN hands and stopped just putting all my hope and trust in products and hairdressers. I’m so glad and proud of myself for not taking no for an answer and for taking the time and effort to figure things out for myself and I just love sharing what I’ve learned, paying it forward and empowering other women to experience the growth, confidence-boost and power that I have felt on this amazing journey of self-discovery.
What have been your greatest #hairjourney triumphs, we would love to hear from you in the comments below and let us know if you would like to share your own hair journey here on the blog too!