Monday, December 20, 2010

3 Years Natural - Time to Reflect!

Today marks three years of being natural.  Time to reflect!  In honor of my 3 year anniversary (BC Date 12/20/2007), I am sharing some of the ways I have changed since being natural.  I hope you enjoy my moment of reflection.

I should start by saying, that the picture above shows the very last time I wore extension and the last time I went to a hairstylist (she damaged my hair, but that another story for another day).  I was natural in this picture, but not ready to learn how to style my hair.  This picture was taken January 2008.  I took the extension out a month later and that's when the fun and learning pains began!

Product Purchases
The obvious part is that I turned into a product junkie, which is true, but I also developed this fear of running out of my favorite styling products since I am unable to run to the corner store and purchase them.  Most of my products are purchased online and some are purchased at stores about 30 miles away from my house, so that means I buy in bulk.  My husband was kind enough to bring this bookshelf into the bathroom, which I use to house all of my products :-)  About 90% of those products are for my hair and the rest are skincare products.  Before going natural, I had one shampoo, one conditioner and one moisturizer.  Everything could be purchased from the store up the street, so I never worried about running out.  Ahhh, those were the good ol' days!  However, I must say I'm pretty proud of my collection of goodies!

Hair Accessories
Pre-natural, I had two hair clips - one black and one brown and I had a couple of scrunchies.  Now, I have a container full of scarves and headbands to compliment my afros and afro puffs (top).  I have another container full of colorful clips, flowers and bands that I wear with my twists (right).  I'm looking to grow my scarf collection since I have many colors that are not represented here.  Please let me know if you have any recommendations of where I can purchase satin or silk scarves.

Additional Accessories

Now you know I can't accessorize my hair and leave my ears, neck and wrists bare.  Pre-natural, I had two pairs of earrings - a pair of diamond studs and a pair of gold hoops.  I had two bracelets (one gold and one silver) and 2 necklaces (one gold and one silver).  Now, I have a jewelry cabinet full of jewelry with almost every color that I wear.  I have a particular fascination with chokers and wrist cuffs and it's nothing to see me wearing several bracelets, bangles or mixing wristcuffs with bracelets to complete my look.  It may be a bit much at times, but I have no shame!  It's something about big hair that commands accessories!  Although, I have more than enough jewelry, I'm always finding great pieces to add to my collection.  I'm almost out of space!

Specialty Items
I already had the 3 items on the left, which are my boars hair
brush, Denman's brush and my favorite comb. The 3 combs
on the right are the new additions to the family.  I'm hoping
these seamless combs will help minimize damage.
I've learned that natural hair is naturally dry and it's very fragile, so for the first time I have purchased specialty items for my hair.  I now have several handmade combs (seamless combs) and I just purchased a hair steamer.  I will be using these items for the first time when I wash my hair in a couple of weeks.  Something to look forward to!

Here's my new pride & joy. My Heutiful Hair
Steamer.  My hair loves steam and so I'm
looking forward to trying this soon.  I think
we will have a beautiful life together ;-)

Greater Awareness
So those were all external changes.  Internally, I have a greater sense of awareness.  I am now more aware of the perceptions and misconceptions that comes along with natural hair.  Some, I will dismiss and others I will confront but this situation raised curiosity within me, which caused me to read a couple of books so I can understand some of these perceptions. When trying hair products, I now read the back of the bottle rather than the front.  I'm more aware of what ingredients to look for and what to avoid.  I incorporate essential oils at every opportunity and I feel that I'm a more informed shopper.  Since becoming more aware of what I put on my hair, I also became more aware of what I put in my body.  Of course, it doesn't make sense to be so concerned about the ingredients in my shampoo and conditioner and not take an interest in the ingredients of the food I consume.

Overall, it has been an incredible and informative three years and the learning process continues!  I don't offer much as far as styling options and product reviews primarily because I'm not overly adventurous with my hair and I'm not trying new products as much as I used to.  Additionally, I believe that the transition is more mental and emotional than it is physical and so I tend to focus on those aspects.

I love sharing my experiences with you all, so I thank you for taking the time to read my blog!  Also, thank you to those who have emailed me with comments and/or questions.  Please feel free to use the comment section here as well.

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