Nearly Hair
“Nothing, is what it appears to be, when it's only with your eyes you see.”
― N'Zuri Za Austin

Tales From the Kinks: @OnyxxRose The blogger

Monday, April 4, 2011

My name's Vanessa and I'm a college junior. I love writing, reading, listening to music, and spending time with family and friends.

I went to the salon one day to get a relaxer after some horrible braids that I left in for too long. The stylist relaxed my hair from root to tip. My hair was so thin and lifeless! I then started researching ways to take care of afro-textured hair. After a couple months, all the videos I watched about how to take care of relaxed hair slowly turned into natural hair videos. I loved the versatility that I saw and that's when I decided that natural hair was for me.

The hardest part was styling. In the beginning I paid for braids, kinky twists, and even a sew-in. After I didn't want to pay for those hairstyles anymore, I did more braidouts, but it go to a point where my braidouts were looking a mess. I wanted to transition for as long as I could, but styling was becoming a hassle because of the two textures, so I decided that 6.5 months was enough.

When I BCed I couldn't believe who I was looking at in the mirror, lol, but I was so happy that I was finally natural. My boyfriend was completely supportive. The first time I tried transitioning I gave in and relaxed and I could tell he was disappointed and so was I. Now that I'm natural he compliments me on my hair all the time. It's nice to have someone love and appreciate your hair as much as you do. My dad wasn't as supportive though. He never really said anything rude, but you could tell that he didn't like my afro puff. I think he might slowly be coming around though. As for my mom, she loved my BC, so she was very supportive. I also received a lot of positive reactions from white people. They loved my hair and I found it interesting that some of them wished their hair was like mine.

I'm not going to lie-- when I first BCed I defintiely had to get used to my "new look." I also thought a lot about what people's opinions about my hair would be. The first time I wore my TWA in public I was VERY self-conscious, but I eventually got over that. Nowadays there really isn't a day when I feel less than beautiful because of my natural hair. Sometimes I just have bad hair days, but I think everyone-- relaxed or natural, has those kinds of days every once in awhile. There is nothing that an afro puff cannot fix. I can honestly say that I love my hair.

I think the number one thing that motivates me to stay natural is my blog. A lot of people tell me how much they like my blog and how helpful it is, but these same women are the ones who motivate me and inspire me to help others realize that having natural hair is nothing to be ashamed of. There are also plenty of supportive women on Twitter, Facebook, and other hair sites and forums. There is nothing more beautiful or attractive than a woman who appreciates and embraces her natural beauty. I have reached a point where I KNOW I will never relax my hair again. It just doesn't make sense (for me) after everything I've seen and learned so far.

My blog has come a long way...but it's definitely not on some Curly Nikki status, lol. I didn't think that I would have people telling me that they love my blog, it's informative, etc. I just want women to know that the hair that we have been made to feel ashamed of for so long is beautiful and manageable. I feel like there are so many natural hair myths and stereotypes that need to be addressed and demystified, and that is part of my goal as help dispel natural hair myths so that women are confident enough to rock their natural hair.

Going natural has made me more aware of myself and others. It sounds silly, but a hair change can make you realize how superficial and ignorant some people are. Before going natural I didn't think I could pull off short hair, but now that I've experienced it, I feel just as beautiful, if not more beautiful with natural hair as I did with relaxed. 

No one has ever really made a crazy comment about my hair, but I'm sure it will happen eventually.

My signature hairstyle is my puff! I'm into protective styling now, but if I could, I would wear my puff all the time! I don't know why I like it so much. The more it grows, the more I love it.

Currently my faves are: Aubrey Organics Honeysuckle Rose Conditioner as a deep is the truth! I also seal my moisturizers with a mix of castor oil and coconut oil and it also works well.

Right now my hair goal is full shoulder length by summer 2011. I'm really trying to retain all the length I can by making sure my hair stays moisturized, deep conditioning weekly, and protective styling to prevent knots and split ends.

The best piece of advice I've received so far is to be happy with the way that your hair grows out of your head. A lot of times some of us naturals get curl envy-- desiring a certain hair tecture, but yearning for someone else's curl pattern  isn't beneficial. Appreciating my hair for what it is has made this journey much easier and worthwhile.

For those struggling, I would say to do as much research as you can. I'm the type of person who becomes really curious about something and researches a lot to satisfy my curiosity. If there is anything you're not sure about...Google is your best friend. If you need tutorials, product reviews, videos on Youtube. If people are not being supportive of your journey, join sites like Hairlista or Natural Sunshine. Know that you are not alone and there are many women out there with the same questions and feelings as you. Any concern that you could possibly have about natural hair is online somewhere...take advantage of it.

Thanks for featuring me on your blog! I enjoyed answering these questions.

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