Ever since I can remember, I would always have my hair in cornrows or box braids and whenever I would take them out, I’d get my hair relaxed (or texturizers), washed then put in cornrows or box braids again. I never really thought much of it since it was just a routine that I followed. Now looking back on it, I got my hair relaxed because it was easier to manage since it always made my hair straight. But I never really took care of it properly because I didn’t know how to. Type 4 hair is so different from other hair types and I didn’t have any resources to help me understand what to do with my hair.
Like (probably) any other person with natural hair, I found natural hair videos on YouTube. These videos consisted of tips on what products to use, how to do braid outs and twist outs, how to do protective styles and so on. While watching these videos all I thought was how much better I could take care of my hair if I decided to go natural and how it would be nice to see my curl pattern for once.
Deciding to go natural meant making a big commitment. Deciding to go natural meant deep conditioning every week, wearing a satin/silk bonnet (or scarf) every night, moisturising my hair daily when it’s in a protective style since 4b/c hair gets dry very quickly and using sulfate-free shampoo (to say a few).
Although I honestly didn’t think I could be bothered to do all of this, I tried. I went natural around December 2015 and I was doing well. Then in August 2016, I cut off my relaxed ends and my hair was extremely short. Fast forward 2 years later and my hair has definitely grown a lot (but also the shrinkage is real, so it looks like it’s been the same length for 2 years) and I love to embrace my curls. I mostly do protective styles because I still find my hair hard to manage but it doesn’t mean I don’t love my hair.
Maybe I’ll grow it out more or maybe I’ll cut it if I get fed up with it, but in the meantime, I’m comfortable with my natural hair as it is now.