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It’s been six months since I did the BC and, boy, have I learned a lot! There is so much to be gained by being a curly girl. Here’s what I discovered...

You become more confident

Post-BC, I had 1 inch of hair so confidence was key for me. Not only was I going against the grain, my face was exposed for all to see. I’d been wearing bangs before so having my face exposed in that way was a huge adjustment. For me that meant that third eye I get at certain times of the month and the occasional jacked eyebrow wax is on full display. I’ve learned to keep my head up and keep it moving no matter what…or don a cute hat (with a brim) then keep it moving.

You become more educated

Since my BC, I’ve become a product-label-reading fool. I don’t buy anything without checking ingredients. Thanks to my natural sisters and sites like NaturallyCurly.com, curlynikki.com as well as youtube.com, I’ve gained invaluable knowledge on how to care for my hair and how to find the best products for my hair type.

You become a mad chemist

One of the advantages of my PJism is that I’ve learned how to mix and layer products to get my desired look. Of course, after much trial and error and watching numerous YouTube tutorials, I’ve figured out how to get the defined curl that I like. An equal mix of curl activator gel and Eco Styler mixed in my hand first then worked through my hair seems to be the ticket for now. As we all know, what’s working now may not work in a couple of months so I continue to experiment and try new product combinations.

You have styling options for days on end

I’m still in the TWA phase but I’ve found that there are so many things I can do with my little 4 inches of hair. I’m a wash-and-go girl at heart but I’ve flat-ironed, twisted, coiled, slicked my hair straight back, donned headbands, scarves and hats on different occasions as well. Of course, braids are a staple as well when I need a break from it all—like now!

You become more creative

See above!

You discover a whole new world

Not only do you have unending styling options, you have new LIFE options as well. I love to work up a crazy sweat at the gym. Yes, sweat! When my son is in his swim class, I swim too. Yes, I get in the pool! And when it’s raining outside, I don’t have to break my neck trying to find shelter.

You learn who your real supporters are

I’ve been lucky to have friends and family who’ve been supportive of my decision to go natural. I suppose they’re used to my constant style changes. However, not everyone is so lucky. I’ve read some sad and disturbing testimonials on the blogs and message boards posted by some of our natural sisters who don’t have that support. Fortunately, we have a strong online community to turn to when there is nothing else.

The biggest and most important lesson in all of this has been to embrace my natural hair regardless of what it’s doing or not doing, what it is and what it isn’t. My texture is 4A so there is no use trying to get 2B ringlets…it’s just not what comes out of my scalp. On the days that I get frustrated with my hair, I take a break and wear braids for a few weeks. When I go back to my hair, I treat it to a new product and welcome it back in with open arms. It’s what God intended...I get that now.

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I have been cremey crack free for 4 months now and I love being natural. However I have had such a problem internally with finding my mojo/swag...lol. Thanks so much for your article I felt as if you were talking to me. Finding my confidence is still a big struggle for me on a daily bases as I continue to say to myself after the the big bc "Was I my Hair"? Because when I stopped using cremey crack I couldn't stand looking at my 2 diff textures of hair which led me to the big BC.. I'm on Naturally curly everyday reading and learning more about my hair and how to care for it...and for anyone with thick wavy 4a/4b hair when I read the article about not washing your hair with shampoo helps control the frizz and dryness... It really works!!!!! I wash my hair with conditioner and use leave in conditioner after.
Thanks you so much for writing this blog. I have been natural for only a year and i was just about to give in and go back to straighter. I have not had the kind of support that you have had and was feeling like i've lost myself since others were so against my natural look. But reading this today I feel like I now have to own my look like you have and rock this look with all the confidence I used to have. Thank you soooo much. PS if you have any more tips for taming the frizz please forward them to me.
Great article
one of the best blogs on the subject ever. this totally spoke to me. thanks!
Thanks for sharing your story. I just posted something last night about embracing my curly hair. I have been chemically free for 10 years and I found a good beautican who pressed my hair silky straight but I found it hard to wear my hair natural on many occassion w/o is looking dry or a puff. Plus my curls look like I have a jerri curl which is not cute. Anywho now Im ready to embrace the curls w/o putting it in ponytail but now Im ready to wear it down. Good luck on your curly adventure.
I just dit the big chop today! Actually its my second big chop, because the first time I didn't want to cut off the trims with the perms in it, but today I did it! I am looking forward to experience the "real" natural hair journey now that its all natural! Any tips for me please? Thanks.
I just did the big chop last week. I have about 4 inches of natural hair and i am in love with it.
The first and second time I went natural I wore cornrows 6 months straight while the natural hair grew in. I wasn't as confident as most of my curly sisters to rock a TWA. Even now, at my second time around, my fro seems a bit TW but I still rock it. I got my confidence from my dad to go natural, my mother does not like the idea though. I don't know why for sure but I think I got an idea. either way I'm gonna do me. I know more now about my hair and myself than I did when I first went natural. It's all about loving you and expressing that love and for those who can't see it or won't participate in it, God help them. Hair is love and love is hair.

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