The Beginning…
Wednesday May 15th 2013, 8:28 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized  |  9 Comments

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When we’re born, our parents do everything in their power to ensure we have the best there is to offer a child. The best toys, food, clothes, live in a wonderful neighborhood, and attend some top of the line schools. Can the same be said for our hair? For the first 5 years of my life, I remember my late mother would take exceptional care of mine and my younger sister’s hair. From what I remember, she never relaxed our hair and I’m guessing it’s because she knew how to manage not 1 but 2 heads of thick, luxurious hair. She would always keep mine and my sister’s hair in braids, comb it carefully and do her best to make sure our hairs were thriving. It wasn’t until she suddenly passed away (may she R.I.P) 3 weeks before my 5th birthday, and when all my siblings emigrated to the states from Sierra Leone, that the hair experimentation began. My eldest sister made the mistake of giving me my first relaxer at the tender age of 6 and ALL of my hair fell out.  I know she meant well but at the time she did what she knew. After my elder sister moved out, my father got remarried and my stepmother took over the hair braiding. Then things got worst, my hair wasn’t as long or as vibrant as it was when my mother was alive and she introduced heat styling into our hair regimen. She was the type of woman to do our hair every week, she was heavy handed and very rough with our hair. I remember crying every time she finished doing my hair because my head would hurt soooo bad. Let’s fast forward to when I 12 years old. The rest of my family emigrated to the states and my cousins would do my hair in weaves and braids and the relaxing slowly stopped for a while. I never really cared too much for relaxers because I hated the burn and terrible smell of them. But according to everyone who touched my hair, my new growth wasn’t “manageable” enough for them so a relaxer was required for them to even start combing my hair. So I grew up with thinking that my hair wasn’t good enough so relaxers became part of my life for the next 7 years.

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On March 5, 2011, my life changed forever. I got the worst relaxer of my life, I’m talking perm burn to the max. My hair broke off, my hair line was extremely thin and all I could do was cry. I wiped my eyes and decided from that moment that I would never relax my hair again and the transition began. When I stopped getting relaxers, I had no knowledge of natural hair. I didn’t do my research, I knew nothing about blending my two textures. I didn’t even know that what I was doing was called transitioning, all I knew was that I didn’t want to relax my hair anymore. I went 5 month without a relaxer and decided that I wanted to cut my relaxed ends and see this new hair that had grown through the past 5 months. It wasn’t until I was browsing youtube to see how to properly care for my hair that I came across videos, and blogs that covered the subject of natural hair and so much more. I decided from that moment that I would develop a regimen that worked for me and my hair started thriving like I was a kid all over again. My hair reached the length it had been when I big chopped in a matter of months.

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I decided that I didn’t want the color anymore and big chopped for the 2nd time on October 1, 2012. I went a month before deciding that I wanted color again and bleached my hair for the first time on December 8, 2012. Since then, I’ve kept my hair predominantly in protective styles except for the few days I let my hair breathe before I put it in the next style. This journey has been so rewarding in so many ways, connecting with all the beautiful naturalistas of the world and most of all, learning to embrace my natural hair and gaining so much self confidence with this journey. Before I let what someone said about my hair hurt my feelings. Now I realized that MY hair is MINE and if nobody likes that, they can kick rocks with flip flops and no socks, lol. I guess what I’m trying to conclude is that everyone needs to embrace who they are, relaxed, natural or transitioning because if you don’t truly love who you are, how do you expect someone else to embrace and love who you are? Until next time, peace out…XOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXO, Matilda.

 

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