Don’t Call My Hair Nappy

Like most women I have gone through many hairstyles.

IMG_1985 (Just a few styles)

I’ve always enjoyed changing up my look and trying out new things.

Back in 2012 I posted a status on Facebook (couldn’t find it for this blog) where I mentioned that I respected all of the women who are wearing their natural hair but that my hair needed a perm. I even hashtaged it #teamrelaxedhair

For myself, there was no way that I would ever go for an extended amount of time with a relaxer in my hair. I just didn’t think that I was confident enough for it.

Man, what some time and a few Youtube videos does to change your mind.

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The photo above is the last time that I wore my hair relaxed. I had it cut a few times before. So to get right into. This is my one year journey as a proud member of #teamnatural.

I decided to make the transition from relaxed to natural hair after watching a lot of videos on Youtube of women showing how they style their natural hair. I fell in love. Their hair was so beautiful and I wanted that. So I made up my mind that I would no longer apply relaxers to my hair and that I would not chop it all off. Yes, I could have done the big chop but transitioning was as much of a risk as I was willing to take. Plus I had made the decision to not cut it after the last time so big chop was out of the question.

Now I just want to fill you in on something. I am not a hair-nista. (Think I just made that up) What I mean is, I have always let others do my hair. I do not know the first thing about doing hair. So my journey started out pretty rough.

I love curly hair and I’ve always wanted it. My mom has really curly hair so I have always had hair envy. I watched a preview of a wig on Youtube and although it was pretty pricey ($100) and I don’t like to spend money, on anything, I bought it.

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I fell in love with this wig and kept my hair natural underneath. My hair was still pretty straight from the last relaxer so it was slicked down under the wig.

I wore the wig until I couldn’t because I didn’t know how to take care of it. (Remember, I’m not a hair-nista) That was about two months. From there I went to my braids.

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Oh the braids. I’ve worn braids like this since childhood (sorry no photos). This may just be my favorite thing to do to my hair and is perfect for anyone who can never figure out what to do. They’re so easy to maintain because they take no maintenance.

After I removed the braids about three months later I went to another wig.

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Now we are at the point where my hair has started growing out. I had also started taking the Hairfinity pills. IMG_1932

IMG_1034 This is my length check after removing my braids.

Getting a comb through my hair was torture, but I did. Only thing, I just slept with it crazy and not covered and when I would leave the house I would throw on a wig cap and then the wig.

Once that wig had ran its course I thought it would be a good idea to wear my hair wet.

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You may not be able to tell from the picture but my hair was very matted. I would have never been able to get a comb through it if I had tried. The reason, I never combed it. I got up in the morning, wet it and went about my business.

I know, big no-no. But remember, I am not a hair-nista. I cannot stress that point enough.

So for about two months, maybe longer I was wearing my hair natural but I was wearing it in a way that would discourage any African American woman from transitioning.

As women, if our hair isn’t right we do not feel good about ourselves. So you can imagine how I was beginning to feel. But I wised up. My cousin offered to do my hair and I jumped at the opportunity. But first I had to wash and comb my hair. I’ll share a photo later of my breakage.

I had attempted a bantu knot out but it was an epic fail (sorry I don’t have any photos). So my cousin did a protective style in my hair.

Faux Locs.

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Like my braids, they were so easy to maintain. They didn’t last as long as the braids but they were exactly what I needed to start the natural hair journey over. I like to this of this time as my do-over. I wore the locs for four weeks before they slowly started unraveling and I had to remove them. But after that I began watching tutorials on Youtube and trying different styles in my own hair. Many were epic fails but I did find what worked best on me.

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Perm rods and two strand twist done with the assistance of perm rods work really well on my hair. I haven’t been able to keep the twist in without rolling it with a perm rod. They always seem to come undone. Also the wash-n-go style really shrinks my hair. My natural curls are really tight so it appears as if my hair is really short. If you peek up from this spot the tenth photo is where I’m wearing my hair in the wash-n-go style. I had to pull it back into an Afro because it was very tight. The photos below shows just how tight my curls are when wet.

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During this process I’ve kept a record of my hair breakage after detangling.

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These are just a few photos of the breakage that I receive. The final image is what it looks like more often. The very first photos is what broke off after I left my hair untended for months.

I am back on the Hairfinity pills because I really felt like they worked before.

I want to try a few products that I’ve heard about but here is a list of my current products.

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I absolutely love this gel. It really helps when I am doing my twists.

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I am not a fan of this cream. It is very oily and I’m still not sure what it should be used for.

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This product is pretty good. My hair tends to dry out during the day and become pretty hard. If I spray this on my curls are really soft and not dried out.

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I know that I shouldn’t use this on my hair but at the moment I have no edge control so I use this to keep my edges slicked down.

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I don’t put grease on my scalp. Not sure why I stopped but this really helps. I put it on my scalp before taking down my twists. I also make sure that I have some on my fingers while taking my hair down. It makes my hair shine.

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I use this smoothie with the Eco gel when doing my styles. It is very thick and doesn’t do much when used alone.

That’s it. That’s my first year as a naturalista. It has been a tough journey and at times (especially in the beginning) I wanted to relapse and relax my hair but I think this is the best decision I have ever made. I am absolutely in love with my natural hair. I’ve also love making discoveries about my hair. Like the fact that my natural curls are very tight. Some may call my hair type 4C and I would agree.

I do not the term nappy. Yes, at one point my hair was nappy. I wasn’t taking care of it. I’ll own up to that. But at this point and any point going forward, don’t call my hair nappy. It’s kinky. And I love it.

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Author: TaQuanda Taylor

TaQuanda Taylor is a native of Rochester, NY. She studied at School of the Arts high school as a drama major. TaQuanda moved to Brooklyn, NY in 2007. In 2011 TaQuanda made an active decision to pursue a career in writing. She enrolled in the Creative Writing for Entertainment program at Full Sail University where she is working on her Bachelors degree in Fine Arts.

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