The journey started when I was in primary school (middle school). My mum would relax my hair each term. However, the relaxer would only work for two-three weeks. I had very thick 4c hair with a lot of volume. When I got older, I would go to the salon for my quarterly relaxer treatment. The salon owner would casually state that my hair would finish her relaxer bucket and they charged me a higher price. Frustrated by my salon experiences, I swore off relaxers for the rest of my high school career. To reduce hair tension and frustration I kept my hair in braids. I did not know that this was a protective style for my hair. I stayed natural until matric ball. For the ball, I wanted long silky Beyoncé Grammy awards hair.
To achieve this goal, I relaxed my hair and that was a horrible mistake because the stylist ruined my hair. To fix this, I relaxed my hair again during my 1st year at Uni. I did not like the hair texture so I reverted back to keeping my hair in braids. I braided my hair multiple times a year throughout my Uni career.
I am committed to this journey. It is a journey after all, not a destination.
During final year, I did not have time to braid my hair so I left my hair out, to help maintain it and make it easy to comb I would straighten every other day. The heat damage!!!
I was distraught and I tried to figure out how to best heal my damaged hair when one day I googled “how to recover hair from heat damage” and I found an article on “Wikihow.com” about how Castor oil could repair damaged hair. That very night I bought Caster oil to repair my hair. I started researching more natural hair remedies in 2014 and found some helpful youtubers. Castor oil, pre-poo, co-wash, cleansing and the LOC method did the things. I loved the results and I had a simple routine that worked wonders on my hair.
In 2015 I was in my post-grad year and towards the end of the year I was going through the most with the course work and exam prep. I neglected my hair and after months of nurturing it, I lost a lot of volume because my hair was extremely tangled. During my session with the detangling brush, I decided to go back to my roots. I nurtured my hair throughout 2016 keeping it wrapped in headscarves and occasionally using protective styles to regain the lost volume.
Towards the end of 2016, I was tired of my hair, I felt like the process was going slowly. I was also tired of the effort to maintain the hair and the ups and downs. I had decided to cut my hair just to get a break until a friend convinced me to try dreadlocks. So December-2016 I locked my hair. 2017 started with a new me, new hairdo and a better outlook on life. For a few months I was the girl with locs and I loved it. However, after 4 months I missed my hair, I missed the pre-poos and running my fingers through my hair (to the extent 4c hair allowed). I missed seeing it. So one morning I woke up and unlocked my locks. I lost a lot of hair and I was discouraged. Headscarves stopped me from using scissors. I contemplated cutting it multiple times during 2017 and 2018 but I have committed to keep the hair because I love how it makes me feel.
In 2018, I have resolved to nurturing my hair again and fix it by going back to basics until I get the volume back. I am not over dreadlocks, they might make a feature but for now I am committed to this journey. It is a journey after all, not a destination.
About the author
Tondi is an accountant, hair, beauty and decor enthusiast.Champion of all things. #blackgirlmagic