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  • Writer's pictureKayla Grant

Natural Hair Journey (1/3)

Updated: Oct 10, 2020

In honor of Curlfest Atlanta, which will be my very first experience at Curlfest -- despite the fact that I am from New York and it has been going on for five years -- I thought that it would be a great idea to talk about my natural hair journey! My journey to accepting and learning how to deal with natural hair did NOT happen over night; however, with time I grew as a person and in love with my natural hair.

Why and When I decided to go Natural

I definitely did not start by completely cutting all my hair off and embracing my natural curly hair. I was completely convinced that the moment I cut my hair off I would look like a Chinese boy. Yes, you read right. No, it is not a mistype. I meant what I said. I believed that I would look like a 7 or 8 year old Chinese boy. The one with the bowl cut.

I got perms in my hair up and until I was in 10th grade, which was in 2014. I took my hair out of some braids and was talking to my best friend. I told her that I did not want to have to sit through another perm again and that I was tired of doing them because they burned my scalp.

Then, she asked me a very simple question that ultimately started my journey to going natural. The question was "Why don't you just not get the perm? You do not need it."

For a second, I was like what do you mean not get a perm. However, the more I thought about it, the more I realized she was right. It was not a necessity for me to sit on the cold hard floor between my mother's legs for about an hour and then go bend over the wash tub as she washed out the perm from my hair. So, I ultimately I decided never to get a perm again.

Even though, I stopped perming my hair, I had no intention start doing natural hairstyles and definitely had no intention to cut my hair. I continued going to this Dominican hair salon that was not too far away from my house. Every two weeks, I would sit through a two-hour treatment -- only for it to last for three days before needing more heat added onto it and I was perfectly fine with that.

After a year, I decided to try a natural hairstyle on my hair. The only problem is I had no idea what to do. So, I went back to the cold hard floor and sat between my mother's legs. The difference this time was she was doing corn rows in my hair, so that when I took them out the next day it would be curly. From that moment, I decided that I was officially going to become natural and learn how to do my hair.

At this point, I stopped perming my hair, so that minimized the damage done to my hair. I was beginning to actively treat it and transition to a completely natural point in my hair journey. After a while, the damaged ends were not allowing my hair to flourish and I decided to get the big chop.

On August 3, 2016, I officially cut off all of the damaged ends and went completely natural.


Click here for part 2.

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