So I’ve always had super thick hair even with a perm. It was one of the many reasons I initially didn’t go natural. I was also able to regularly go to the hair salon and my stylist made sure that my hair stayed healthy. However attending Med School in the Caribbean where I didn’t know anyone that could do my hair (and also that slight issue of being a medical student and just not having that kind of down time) made me start re-evaluating my options.
Now going back natural was not my 1st thought. I looked at perm stretching, weaves (which I still love), braids, etc. It was after talking to my stylist about what to do that I decided to go natural. It was a healthier option for my hair especially with the climate. Instead of a big chop I decided to slowly transition, I’m not going to lie I may have been addicted to the creamy stuff (perms) and had to wean myself off it. I used my first year of medical school as my transition period. This allowed me to grow accustomed to the new feel of my hair and learn how to manage it.
During my transition phase I kept my hair in protective styles such as crochet braids, box braids, and weaves. These were a life saver as I didn’t have time for styles with much upkeep in school. I made sure to regularly moisturize my hair and in between styles I would do a deep condition. During my breaks I would go see my stylist letting her clip my ends and get rid of a little more perm each time.
I finally did the big chop after 1 year of transitioning. the permed ends were looking super raggedy and I was ready to see what my curls looked like without them. My first thoughts… What had I done??!! It was super short (the shrinkage on this thing is super real), and now I needed to figure out how to style it.
The first style I choose was Bantu knots, I loved this style on my transitioning hair but it didn’t seem to turn out as well on my fully natural hair, and so the process of finding what worked again began. The next style I tried was 2-strand twist. I loved the way my hair looked with these it enhanced my natural curl pattern and was super easy to maintain. Once it was time to return to school I decided to go with box braids (you know the time thing), it was easy to manange and I was able to keep my hair moisturized and my scalp clean.
As I’ve grown accustomed to my hair and have gotten better with my time management skills, I also do 2-strand twist a lot to give my hair a break from braids and weaves!!
Overall this was truly a learning experience, but I feel so much more ME and I love the versatility of my hair.