December 28, 2011

Her HairStory – Lauren

During my transition in March 2007. I wore a half wig for most of my transitioning.

Spring 2010. Natural. Always straightened my hair because I didn't know how to care for it.

My hair journey probably mirrors a lot of hair journeys, maybe even yours. After begging my Mom, I think I was around 9 years old when I got my first “kiddie” perm, and boy, was I happy! FINALLY, I could get my hair to behave the way I wanted it to. FINALLY, it would be straight and easy to manage. FINALLY, I could wear my hair like my white friends at school.

I continued to get relaxers throughout my childhood and into my adult life. I swore I couldn’t live without them and that I never would. For many years I didn’t understand why anyone would want to “go natural.” It wasn’t until a friend of mine shared with me how she loved wearing her hair natural that I started to wonder what my natural hair looked like….And then, I did it. Horrified at the thought of BCing my hair, I decided to transition in late 2006. After the long journey of growing it out, I was happy to have my hair “back.” But now I didn’t know what to do with it! I mean, how was I supposed to get a COMB through that thick mess, let alone get my curls to do what I wanted?

So I did what many of us do when meeting our hair for the first time: I straightened it. Blow dry, flat iron. Blow dry, flat iron. Every time I washed my hair I followed this same routine. Sure, my hair would break off constantly and I’d have to sweep up the little broken pieces off the bathroom floor every time I styled it. Sure, I’d have to get trims every 6-8 weeks. Sure, my hair wouldn’t grow past a certain point. After all, growing up I’d always heard that our hair couldn’t grow long, so why should I expect it to? My hair was just acting normal, right?

August 2011. Two months from my October 2011 straightening length check.
Wrong! In February 2011, a friend told me about Kimmaytube and how she’d been able to grow her hair longer using Kim Love’s techniques. I scoffed at the idea of wearing protective hairstyles because, after all, that just “wasn’t me.” But a few days later I went onto YouTube and began watching her videos. I became addicted! Was the myth about black hair growth simply that – a myth? I’d always wanted long hair. Could I really have it?

November 2011. Seven months of my no-heat growth challenge gave me 3-4 inches of growth.

And so it began. In April 2011, I committed to wearing protective hairstyles and eliminating the use of heat tools for six months to see how long I could grow my hair. I poured through YouTube videos, blogs, articles and other websites, seeking to learn more about how to care for my curls. I invested hours and hours and found a ton of information, and in the process, I became passionate about natural hair. In late July 2011 I created a photo album on my Facebook page dedicated to sharing tips and information I'd learned on my natural hair journey. The response from my friends was incredibly enthusiastic. I received many compliments on my hair, but of particular interest to me were all the questions. I began sharing what I'd been doing, and I even acquired some clients. But in my heart I knew I should do more. I needed to reach the ladies on my friend list who were located at a distance. That is when I started my blog, ForHisGlory: A Natural Hair Journey in November 2011. I still want to grow my hair long (waist length, since it's almost there), but now my purpose is much bigger than me.

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