Living No Lye | My Natural Hair Journey by CoCo Danielle
What are your reasons for going natural?
Initially, being down-right frustrated with my hair is what sent me running in the natural direction. I was tired of spending money on bundles of hair, paying someone to install it, only to take it down in less than a week due to the extreme discomfort of itching. After each take-down, my hair appeared to be more damaged than before. So to avoid the sew-ins, I'd buy wigs, which allowed for even more discomfort than the sew-ins! I was tired....so tired. I knew that the only way I'd be truly happy with my hair is if it were actually my own growing, healthy hair.
How did you transition (or did you BC)?
In July of 2011, while rinsing out a relaxer, my hair began to fall out in clumps. The effects were a golf ball-sized bald spot in the crown of my head and thinning edges. I was devastated. The hair that remained was dead. After several failed attempts of trying to revive it, I lost all hope. Three months later, soft, beautiful defined curly hair had replaced the bald spot. I loved it! That was my very first time that I saw the true potential of my hair. I wanted my entire head to look and feel that way, so I grabbed a pair of scissors and cut my hair down to the new growth. This day marked the first day of my natural hair journey.
What emotional struggles, if any, have you faced since going natural?
I can honestly say that I haven't faced any emotional struggles since going natural. Just seeing what my hair was capable of looking and feeling like made me feel so authentic, so ME! I felt like I had spent years trying to change what I was meant to look like, trying to straighten the hair that ultimately aided in uniqueness. I vowed to never take so much from myself, in any aspect of my life, ever again.
What's your go-to style?
Definitely the wash-n-go. What's funny is that I can recall my mother telling her girlfriends when I was younger that "all I have to do is wash her hair and go!", in a bragging sort of way, she was saying that my hair didn't require much effort to maintain. Ironically, the wash-n-go is now the one style that I can always count on to work for me. Of course, there are steps in between the wash and the go, but it is still pretty simple to do and I absolutely love it, especially during the spring and summer months.
What’s your favorite product and why?
Right now, my favorite product is Shea Moisture's Jamaican Black Castor Oil Strengthen, Grow & Restore Leave-In Conditioner. It adds tons of moisture to my hair without leaving behind residue. It leaves my curls super soft and defined. And it helps that it smells AMAZING!
What piece of advice would you share with someone who is just starting out?
My advice for those just starting out is to set realistic hair goals for yourself. To save yourself the frustration, it is very important for you to know that genetics play a major role in how your hair turns out. If your goal is to have hair like your best friend, and genetically your hair is meant to look like something else, then it will never look like your best friend's hair no matter which product you use. Simply put, stay true to the you that makes you YOU. :-)
My question to the readers is: Would you sacrifice the length of your curls for the health of your curls if faced with heat/chemical damage? Why or why not?