DEMETRIA J. NATURAL HAIR JOURNEY
Natural Hair has always intrigued me in some way or another. Back in the 90’s, there was an explosion of sisters returning back to their “Natural” roots. A close friend of mine made her transition around 1994 or 1995. During that time my mother and I were in the same salon getting our hair fired dyed and laid to the side. Needless to say, I was ignorant to the process but yet I admired her fearlessness. Not to mention the vast amount of my favorite female vocalists such as Lauryn Hill, Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Joi, Grenique, Angie Stone, Karen Wheeler (Lead Singer of Soul II Soul) just to name a few were “Natural” yet fashionable. To say nothing of, Demetria wasn’t there quite yet.
Fast forward to 2012, I was in a complete state of transition (mind, body & spirit). During this period a previous co-worker started her natural hair journey. The curl pattern of her hair was so beautiful I quickly assumed that if I made the journey for myself that I would have the same exact curls. WRONG!!!! Assumptions can lead to a whole world of trouble. Therefore I decided to jump head first into the “Natural Hair” world with no knowledge of what I was truly getting myself into. YouTube became the source of information on how to take care of my transitioning hair. I mean washing your hair was completely different. In addition, you have to use so many products just for basic styling. Complete visual as well as brain overload. Not only was it overwhelming but also frustrating.
Of course, I ran to my local beauty supply browsing the shelves of all the products strictly for natural hair. First of all, I didn’t read about products having parabens, sulfates, alcohol, silicone or other chemicals. I just wanted to be natural (Laughs). The product of choice was “Beautiful Textures”. Filled with excitement I drove home to get started, followed the tutorials for washing/conditioning my hair. In fact, the first attempt to twist my hair was a disaster. My hair didn’t turn out exactly the many videos I had studied, no curl pattern like my co-workers whatsoever. The devastation was an understatement.
In the first place, my hair was previously relaxed in a short tapered hairstyle. Looked in the mirror told myself there was no way I was going outside or to work the following week with my hair all over my head. Therefore, I had my first and last relapse of the creamy crack (Hair Relaxer). The expression of disappointment on my co-worker’s face was enough. By the same token, I felt like a complete failure. In essence, I allowed the tapered part of my hair to grow in enough to wear protective styles such as twists & braids. In between each protective style, I discovered my curl pattern which will guide to the correct natural hair brands that would work for my particular hair type. The product of choice was “Cantu”. My hair loved this brand.
Tamiah Bridgett, IANT
Given these points, in 2013 I joined a natural hair group called “It’s A Natural Thang” which has been heaven sent. Being surrounded by women who were going through the same exact struggles I was dealing with made the transition seem bearable. Everyone shared their stories, the products they were using, provided DIY (Do It Yourself) recipes, posted pictures of their wash day routines etc. I learned about different types of moisturizing oils: Avocado, Almond, Grapeseed, Argan, Jojoba, (Black) Castor, Coconut even Olive Oil (yes the one you cook with). Tamiah Bridgett the founder/creator of “It’s A Natural Thang” is also a licensed Cosmetologist that specializes in Natural Hair educates everyone constantly. The love that she has for the “Natural Hair Community” is unparallel!
All in all, my hair has made many strides growing by leaps and bounds. I try my best to keep my hair hydrated & moisturized. With a busy schedule sometimes maintaining your hair can be a task in itself. For the most part, my hair is pulled up into a messy bun or a Faux Mohawk style for events or interviews. Being natural and lazy is a deadly combination. This is when protective styles are highly beneficial. Braided Updo’s, Marley Twists, Senegalese Twists, Box Braids are simple as well as easy to style. Having the freedom of being able to get dress without the hassle of styling your hair is an added bonus.
Pictures 1, 2 & 4 styles done by Nicole Hazlip (Beauty.by.Nik) Picture 3 style done by (Temwa Braiding Salon) Picture 5 (currently wearing) style done by Arlene Gonzalez (love_thelook)
Palmers Coconut Formula
As shown above, the current protective was just installed as of August 3rd & will be in for a few more weeks. The natural hair brand that I’m currently using is the Palmers Coconut Oil Formula Zero Break line. The cleansing shampoo leaves my hair with a clean feeling together with the strengthening conditioner for a soft finish. Last but not the reconstructor multi-phase elixir acts as a leave-in conditioner. Furthermore by the time September comes around I will more than likely switch up my hair care products just because I’ll want to experiment with another brand. You’ll have to stay tuned for that!!!