My black hair journey going from permed to natural hair through the years. My inches of natural hair growth that resulted.
The Divine blessed me with having a head full of thick hair, tightly kinky, small coils. My mother has said that I have “three heads of hair.”
From as early as I can remember, my mother used to hot comb my hair and later a neighbor convinced me to perm my hair, around 13. My mother continued perming it with the cold cream Wave Noveau Perm.
“We have a generation that does not know and has never seen their own hair in its natural state. –Lisa Akbani
My straight permed hair
As I was in my latter years of high school, I began to notice that my hair was thinner than it normally was after the perm was retouched. I began to think about alternatives. Our actions are lead by our beliefs. “Every individual has to come to terms with what beauty is.” (A question of color, 1993)
It was a hard stand for me to take with my perspective of black hair in its natural state representing being “ghetto” and hard to maintain. I wanted to see if there was a different perspective. I decided to look up the topic further on the internet and in my library. I discovered ways to care for my hair if I would allow it to grow out naturally with basics such as oils including essentials, conditioner, and shea butter. I decided to discontinue perming my hair June 2008.
Note: It is hard for me to tell what length my hair was because I kept it in updos and braids. If your hair is short and you like it long, keep it in updos, to keep them guessing!
My few inches of new growth during transitioning
I found it took more time to keep the tangles from occurring and to create the styles that I wanted to create which were usually simple braids. My hair grew back in its full thickness at the roots, however the portion where the permed met the unpermed began to break, and my hair became short, for the first time in my life that I could remember. My hair had to shed its old state as my mind did as well.
A few more inches of growth
It has grown long again as well, which surprised me because the natural hair that I had seen before, usually was short afros or just short and dry. I am proud to be a representation that it is possible for an African American to grow long hair in its natural state and make it look good too! My self identity has become more defined with my search for knowledge and self reflection.
“Deciding to be true to yourself always takes courage, self assurance, and a degree of risk taking.” Nekhena Evans (Hairlocking: Everything you need to know)
Please note that my hair has grown slowly since I had a lack of a hair care regimen. I have learned a lot about taking care of my hair over these years. Check out Youtube and you will see this growth that took me 5 years, done by others in -2 years. If knowledge is power then wisdom is life changing.
My dark, black, shiny ropes of power remind me that all things are possible many times, we only need to change our mindset to make it become and manifest.
I hope to spark someone's inward curiosity to walk down their necessary paths to grow within. Black Love for the self and others is beautiful! Ashe.’
Evans, Nekhena. Hairlocking: Everything You Need to Know : African, Dread & Nubian Locks.
Sandler, Kathe. New York: & B Group, 1999. Print. A Question of Color. Independent Television Service (ITVS), 1993. DVD.