True Essence is a self-care Instagram page run by my good and close friend Portia. We thought it would be great to have her guest post on my blog to share her hair story and new embarkment on caring for her natural. I hope this can inspire anyone who is just beginning or others with a similar hair texture to take that first step to begin their journey too.
– Emma’s Curls
My Truth. When I first started my natural hair journey, I didn’t even know I had begun. It was an unintentional embracing of my natural afro hair.
From a young age, I was continuously relaxing my hair, my hair always felt like a chore and was surrounded with negativity, ‘I can’t do much with my hair’ ‘Its too thick to control’. I think this image was created from the dreaded wash hair days, you know what I am talking about; the days when the hot comb came out and the thought of the comb fighting with your hair. Also, growing up, the lack of information on afro hair care and having caucasian friends that could do anything with their hair, echoed this feeling of ‘I can’t do much with my hair’’ It’s too thick to control’. Without me knowing, this embedded a dislike and constant neglect which has followed me to my adulthood.
October 2018 when I first started wearing my hair in braids. At first, it was for the aesthetic but pretty early on I started to notice the protection it provided for my natural hair. Then one day I thought let me pause on relaxing my hair for a while, not actually consciously making a decision to not ever relax my hair again. Little did I know I was being guided to my natural hair journey with the help of my friend Emma, who brought me along to hair related events where I discovered the natural hair community. I can’t pin-point the moment for me, I just know by the end of 2018 I had made the decision that I would no longer be relaxing my hair and I would do a year of back to back box braids to help grow out the relaxer.
Fast forward October 2019, my hair felt thicker and I could see my natural texture growing healthier. However, I found the edges of my hair grew weaker from getting my braids done too tight. At the time I felt I had come so far on my hair journey and that everything would be ok to just go with the flow. I really thought I could do everything else but pay attention to the needs of my hair and somehow it would be fine. I soon learnt how wrong I was, my hair needs a lot of TLC. I really underestimated the focus and care needed.
Like many others, I want to feel happiness, confidence and love towards every part of me. Let’s be honest, we as women want to feel beautiful and hair plays a big part. I have realised this along my journey, although I wanted to embrace my natural hair I forgot the key factor of learning to LOVE and SELF CARE my natural hair. When I say this, it is more than the appearance I mean really love and care for my hair. Taking the time to moisture, protect and to style it. Often I neglect my hair and make it the last thing on the to-do list. The next steps for me now in my journey is to take the time to pay attention to my hair and realise it is as much a priority as anything else I have in my self-care list. I need to and I want to rewrite my hair story, changing a perspective of a chore to a routine of love.
Here to you readers, I propose my new truth, my new routine going forward:
- Wash my hair 10 days – Try out a new product
- Oil scalp 2-3 times a week- Try out a new product
- Moisture hair daily – Using the Curly girl method
- Always wear a nightcap – Make sure it is on tight
- Research once a week- Educating Portia
The truth is the unconscious dislike for my hair has remained present for years and now it’s time to strip it to the basics, learning not to neglect my hair and build a routine into my everyday lifestyle. If you are reading this and realise you haven’t truly begun your hair journey either because you haven’t taken the time to rewrite the neglect that has been programmed in your mind over the years. Don’t ever be ashamed, we can embark on this journey together, even if it means starting with the basics. Let’s take this step to be a step closer to embracing our truth.
Thank you to Portia for writing this guest post. Please share your story in the comments! You can also follow Portia’s self-development journey over on Instagram at True Essence