My hair story

As a teenager, I don’t recall particularly liking my hair but I do distinctively remember desperately wanting my hair to be relaxed. I remember going through a prolonged “unfair” waiting period stipulated by my mum before I could finally have my hair chemically straightened.  From my recollection, I think my mum had come up with an age restriction or something. Anyway, I recall thinking how “nicer” and “straighter” my hair would be and, how much “easier” it would be for me to manage and how much longer it would grow.  To be honest, as a teenager I was dissatisfied with my hair! When I looked around me all the black women I saw had straight hair, and I was determined to be one of them.  Additionally, no one had anything positive to say about my hair in its natural state, my hair was ‘difficult’ to manage and ‘difficult’ to comb.  I didn’t consider my hair to be the “ideal” hair or anything and in my opinion, at the time, all the pretty black girls had straight hair! I could go on but I won’t!
Relaxed early teen

Relaxed early teen

Having soldiered through my hair journey and having now arrived at a point where I love my hair, I’m saddened by the events and negative western ideologies which encouraged me to feel dissatisfied with my natural hair! I have the same 4A/4B hair now, what was REALLY wrong with my hair back then?  Absolutely nothing! My hair was not the problem! It was the lack of positive natural hair role models, the lack of positive words, the lack of good hair care instruction, the lack of beautiful natural hair depicted in the media, my lack of knowledge and those black hair magazines that sold the black version of the western ideal as the ultimate and only standard of black beauty. I would like to encourage mothers with little girls to teach their daughters how to love and care for their own natural hair and to instill a spirit of self-love and self-worth within them. Needless to say, my hopes for long, thick hair were never realised and I was instead rewarded with thin, lifeless breaking hair!
So having had relaxed hair for about seven years I went natural in 2001 because I seriously disliked the fact that although my hair was a “decent” shoulder length it was always so thin! I really wanted thick hair and my hair never seemed to grow very much passed my shoulders.  I was frustrated, disappointed and at my wits end!  I can’t recall what the exact deciding factor was or the defining moment when I said “no more relaxer” but my last relaxer was some time in 2001. Back then there was no thriving community of beautiful black sisters with ‘waist length’ or ‘tail bone length’ natural hair on YouTube.  I didn’t really know what I was doing, had no plan of how I was going to do it but I did it anyway!
Looking back, going natural was a defining moment not only for my hair but also for my self-esteem.  I didn’t do a ‘big chop’ – I’m not a ‘big chop’ person. I’ve always been into long hair, the longer the better.  The very thought of a big chop filled me with fear. I just let my hair grow out (transition) and wore it in a mini afro puff! Although my hair grew, I spent the next seven years struggling with my natural hair, finding the detangling and washing process a real challenge and as a result my hair did not retain length. Although it grew my hair was experiencing serious breakage and damage.
Relaxed late teen

Relaxed late teen

Fast forward now to 2011 where I somehow discovered a whole community of natural black beauties on YouTube! Beautiful black women with long thick gorgeous natural hair, lots of elegant natural hair styles and advice about caring for natural hair. That was the start of my seriously addictive obsessive love affair pertaining to black natural hair care on YouTube! This was another defining moment in my own natural hair journey and ultimately where I am today. I am so grateful to all the natural sisters on YouTube who have encouraged not only myself but a whole generation of black sister to embrace who they are naturally and to love what God has given them. All those ladies have helped me to reject what I thought was the only truth and standard of beauty and accept an alternative reality; a reality that was so different from what I saw and experienced on a day-to-day basis, but a reality that was possible if I only believed, invested the time and learned the true science of black hair.
I want to take this opportunity to thank all the natural sisters out there who taught me to love my hair and in so doing accept every part of who I am. Ladies you have inspired a whole generation of black women and you are the catalyst for this movement that will enable the next generation of little black girls to grow up seeing their mothers care for their own hair!
I’m so positive about the future of natural black hair, when I go to church I see an array of stunning black women of all ages with natural hair and I bet many of the sisters wearing braids and weaves are probably on a protective style challenge or something. I’m glad the tide is turning not only for natural hair but also on the currently broken and distorted definition of true black beauty.
2011 - start of my natural haircare journey

2011 – start of my natural hair care journey

April 2013 - me today!

May 2013

 

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October 2016

naturalcocodoll_waist length hair_length check_ natural hair_ UK blogger_ uk blog

September 2017

Click this link to find out more about my hair regime and daily maintenance products

Some of my staple products

Some of my staple products

 

 Click this link to find out more about my current journey to waist length hair

 

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