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  • Writer's pictureKayla Grant

Natural Hair Journey (2/3)

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.


Rocky Starts and an Epiphany

At the beginning of my natural hair journey, I did not know what I was doing. The only thing that I knew how to do was sit on the floor between my mama's legs, while she braided my hair back in cornrows.


There was no amount of youtube videos that could teach me how to do my hair. I genuinely feel like no matter what I did to my hair -- no matter how closely I followed those videos -- it never came out correctly.

Like Seriously. . . it NEVER came out correctly. . . at all.


Circa April 2017

Sometime around April 2017, everything clicked and came together for my natural hair. It was a couple of months after I fully cut off all of my damaged ends. At this point, I found a natural hair product that was cheap and worked well with my hair. My bantu knots started coming out PERFECTLY. I was able to do twist outs EFFECTIVELY.


It was truly an amazing time to be alive.



Then, there was a bump in the road. There was a lot of negative energy associated with my natural hair.


In 2017, I feel like the natural hair movement was really starting to pick up. African American people were starting to embrace their natural hair and in turn it was making them more comfortable in the skin that they are in. The problem is that social media was only portraying one side of the natural hair spectrum.

Going onto my social media sites and only seeing light skin and long "perfect" curls made me think that something was wrong with the way my hair was. Going on Youtube and finding the exact opposite of what my hair looked like made me feel like there was something wrong with my hair.


Social Media barely ever showed my hair texture. It was beginning to develop a negative image. Women with my hair texture where the "undesirables" in the natural hair community.



They were not the goals. When guys said that they wanted a woman with natural hair, they wouldn't be talking about my texture or hair. It made me feel as though I wasn't good enough.


Along with that, I was transitioning into college. I believe that all of the stress and mixed emotions that I was getting from that was staying with me. Any and all stress was still on my person. I was wearing it like a heavy fall coat.


Sometime in Fall of 2018


At this point in my life, I was in a happy place. I finally found a group of friends at Clark Atlanta University that I felt like I fit in with. I was starting to meet more people and fully adjust to life in the Atlanta University Center (which is the group of Historically Black Colleges and University's found in Atlanta consisting of Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, Morris Brown College and Spelman College) and I was feeling happy. I felt that with everything I went through my freshman year of college, I needed a change in my life. I wanted to let go of all of the negative energy that I held onto.


So I thought to myself. . . What better way to do that than by getting rid of one of the biggest negative images I held on myself to that date, which was having short hair was going to make me look like a Chinese boy. I thought to myself . . . Why not cut off all of the negativity and embrace change? So I did it. I cut my hair and welcomed a new era in my natural hair journey.



Short Cut Era


Now that I took that step and got the short cut. . . I was in love with it. In addition to that, I was getting so many compliments on my short cut style.


The only problem that I had in the beginning was learning how to style my new length of hair. I could not do a twist out or a braid out anymore and I was no where near home for my mother to help me.


Once again, I turned to Youtube. It was still not easy for me to follow. Everything that the YouTuber would do would not work on my hair. After a brief 30 minute breakdown about my hair, I decided to take a deep breathe and take my time. I think that that is one of the biggest things that I have learned throughout this period in my natural hair journey. Take your time with your hair.


Ultimately, I figured out how to do the finger coil style and although, it would take three to four hours, I looked great and it lasted up to a week or a week and a half. I was living! Especially, since with my longer natural hair, it would last for about three to four days and it took much more work to manage it.


My Natural Hair Between Oct 2018 and Feb 2019:



 

Click here to read part 1.


Click here to read part 3.


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