My 'fro has grown this year! The last photo is a blowout from this past summer. I haven’t done a blowout since, but I know my hair is even larger!
January 17, 2011 was my afro’s first birthday, folks! To celebrate, I made a video to explain why I went natural and why I make natural hair YouTube videos. I also feel it’s not enough to simply go natural. You've got to pay attention to your hair and learn something! Below is a list of things I learned my first year natural.
1. I need a “detangling my hair” playlist. Musiq Soulchild just seems to make the comb glide through my hair, and it seems like my coils like Bilal better than any conditioner.
2. Aloe vera does nothing to my hair that water can't as a spritz. But it is good to mix with leave-in conditioner and a bit of oil. When I want to stretch my hair just for the purpose of pinning it up, that mixture works great on twists. Mmm, fluffy.
3. I have relatively thin and fine hair, naturally. Thin, as in the number of hairs on my head is less than average and fine, as in the diameter or width of a strand of hair is smaller than average.
4. Because of #3, I CAN’T rock mini twists. It just can't be done.
5. Being natural taught me to love myself, so #4 doesn't phase me; I can move on to different protective styles.
6. Oyin handmade is one of the most amazing hair care companies out there. So is Kinky Curly.
7. I am extremely comfortable with my shrinkage and LOVE to wear regular afros or wash n' goes (the legit ones, like just washing and GOING, not 1 hour spent defining your curls). While I love my shrunken hair, it was easy to neglect it and not keep it properly detangled. That led to split ends, and ultimately cutting some hair again. I'm rocking stretched out hair now and re-twisting every night. Honestly, I resisted it. I didn't want to put in the work.
8. Strangers will go out of their way to compliment your hair. Especially people who realize the importance and beauty of what you did. A white woman with biracial kids complimented my twist out. A white chick with locs said she loved my hair. A black dude with a picked out 'fro wanted tips on how to wash it. These were all strangers on the city bus.
9. Coconut oil is God's gift to afro textured hair. I feel like it was made specifically for me or something. This stuff is the TRUTH.
10. Growing your edges back takes a really, really, REALLY long time.
The most important thing I discovered this past year is that I am never going back to permanently straightened hair. This is me. One year natural. Here's to the rest of my life!
WHAT DID YOU LEARN YOUR FIRST YEAR NATURAL?
See how my two strand twists have grown?
My natural hair loves henna. In the light it looks purple, burgundy, or maroon. Henna provides a very rich color on dark hair and also ups the shine and strength of my hair!
Check out my video celebration!