My Hair Story


Before: Relaxed Hair


Before: Relaxed Hair


Transition: Braid-out


Transition: Plaits under a Head-wrap

On March 1, 1999 I stopped relaxing my hair. As I became more self-aware, I came to appreciate authenticity and my African roots. My relaxed hair was not suffering from any obvious physical damage. People often commented on how "healthy" it looked. But I knew deep down inside I was doing myself a great disservice by forcing my beautiful natural to lay straight...mimicking the hair type of an oppresive culture...giving in to the straight-hair ideal that has been the source of shame for my people for years and years. I decided "no more!". Forget the straight hair normalcy standard...what is wrong with my natural self? Sure, straightened hair can be a fashion "option"...but as far as I am concerned it is not an option for me. My hair is nappy. It is beautiful. It is Nubian. And best of all it is authentically MINE.

The BIG CUT took place December 1999. I had 4-5 inches of natural hair.

NOW! Natural Hair Style Gallery
Ultra Short Knot Twists
Acheived with 4-5 inches of hair. For each small section, a loc of hair is twisted until it coils back on itself. The end is wrapped around the base of the knot to secure it. Can be washed and re-twisted. Lasts about a week.

Jan. 2000

Jan. 2000
Cornrow Afro Puff
Acheived with 5-6 inches of hair. Front section of hair is cornrowed into an intricate design. Cornrows are secured with rubber bands and remaining loose hair is gathered up at the crown and picked out to acheive desired volume. Can be washed. Lasts about two weeks.

Summer 2000

Summer 2000
Knot-Out
Acheived with 6-7 inches of hair. Damp (towel dried) and oiled hair is twisted into medium-sized knots. Hair is allowed to set (3 hrs. to overnight) and the knots are unraveled. The sooner the knots are unraveled, the looser the "locs" will be. Note: My hair is not cut in layers. The style has a layered look because all of the hair is one length. Can be washed and re-twisted. Lasts about three weeks without locing.

Dec 2000
 

Traditional Two-Strand Twists
Acheived with 11-12 inches of hair. Done with towel dried and oiled hair (no gel, hairspray, or mousse). Sections of hair are gently picked out before twisting. Lasts about one week before washing and retwisting is needed. Herbal rinses can be used in between shampoos.

The updo is done by pulling the back and middle section of twists up into a "pony-loop" (using a small elastic cloth hair band) and then securing the front and side twists back into a small bun underneath the first. Pony-loops are done by making a ponytail, but not pulling the twists all the way through the band, leaving a loop instead of a loose ponytail.


June 2002


June 2002


June 2002


June 2002

Afro
I've lost track of exactly how long/big my hair is, so I'll stick to "12 inches" until it appears to be much different than that. The big fro ( in the first two photos to the right) is uncombed and lightly oiled.

The Afro-puff with scarf is slightly combed out (with a plastic pic) and tied back down toward the neck with a small black "neck scarf. A full rectangular scarf is folded in half and tied under the right ear to show the tails...a cute little accent.


July 2002


July 2002


July 2002


July 2002

Classic cornrow braids
This style is acheived with...well I don't really know how long/big my hair is now, but there's a LOT of it.
Not a "do it yourself" style (unless you've got skills like that), but a lovely and long-lasting one.

My stylist shampooed and blow dried my hair 'til frizzy straight. She braided the back half of my head into about four rows of individual braids (each starts as a cornrow and ends as a plait) that are hidden by the patterened cornrow/braids on top. She acheived this style with no extensions.


May 2003

May2003

More photos and styles coming soon!