I've always loved my natural hair. Styling and detangling has never been a problem for me. But at the age of 12 I begged my mother to relaxer my hair as I was about to enter high school and wanted to be like my peers. For years my hair stayed at the samee lenghth (APL), but was otherwise pretty much healthy. My senior year of high school I cut all my hair off to a pixie cut to established my 'grownness". I kept that style for a year then decided to grow it out in 2004. I managed to get to shoulder length before I went insane and bleach and relax within 3 days
I was only left with stubbles and one of the worst experience of my life. Thankfully I got no scalp burns.
However by Dec. 2004 I was back at shoulder length with super thick, healthy, natural hair. Being a new mom with a very active toddler, I had very little time to "tame" my hair at all times. I got tired of all the "so what r u gonna do with it?" questions. So, I relaxed again ("WTF is she crazy?!!"). Even though I really didn't want straight hair, it was the only way I knew how to keep maintainnce to a minimum while still looking "presentable" (<-read: straight or other contained styles; ie: twists, braids to please others). I grew bored with my straigh hair very quickly and by April 2005 I colored my hair and began to transition unintentionally. I just really hated having to do touch-ups and everything that goes with chemically treated hair. I wore braid-outs and knot-outs on air-dried hair to mask the difference in the two textures as my hair grew. I had no real plan on or goal for my hair at the time. I just knew I love and wanted big hair; which knot/braid-outs allowed me to have
By the end of Dec 2005 I had 6 inches of natural hair and 4 inches of relaxed hair left. Sadly 4 inches of the new growth has well has the relaxed ends were damaged from the color. So I cut the relaxed ends off and immediately started wearing braids while I grow and snipped the damage natural ends a little each month. I found hair forums and documented my journey using online albums (closed atm).I was re-introduced to my natural hair and reminded of how much I loved the versatility of it. Over the years I learned to develop a regimen and healthy hair habits. I've crossed many milestones and achieved length goals (still a work in progress). I did all the right things: Protective Styled, Exercise, Vitamins, Water, Protein Treatments... You name it! My hair was the healthiest it's ever been and even though I couldn't keep the scissors out of my hair; I was very happy with the progress.