ABOUT NATURAL HAIR THAT IS!
On February 19, 2021, I decided to do a thing — “that thing” was to go “natural.” Prior to that, I had been perming my hair ever since I was approximately 16 or 18 years of age with only one break in between then and now (about 40+ years).
You see, I loved the short, sassy hair cuts because I felt they were extremely feminine, and super cute. However, to be quite honest, my hair never grew extremely long anyway. In 2018, I decided to make an “attempt” for my hair to grow out, and started wearing pin ups. I’m not even going to tell you what my best friend thought about that look; however, I’m sure she’d be just dying to tell you. LOL! In 2020, I wore braids the entire year, and had never done so until once, which was in 2019. From 2018 to 2020, my hair had grown out with the perm being mainly on the ends. My plan, at that time, was to get my hair cut and styled into a bob; however, there were a number of issues why that that wasn’t going to work out. First, my hair was pretty much paper thin. Second, I had thinning in the center of my head which had been going on for a number of years that we tried addressing although to no avail. My friend, and colorist, avoided perming that area for a bit, but that was pretty unsuccessful as well.
I always felt that natural hair just wasn’t my look. Personally, I didn’t think it was soft enough for me, but boy was I ever wrong. I love “rocking” my short natural hair. Someone once told me I looked “regal.” Hot diggity dog! LOL!
When I started this journey, I have to admit that my friend and colorist put in a texturizer. This made my hair pretty manageable, and made the transition a lot easier. I had no clue, though, in terms of what products to use. I didn’t do the necessary research; I just dived in head first. The reason being was out of fear. I was afraid if I thought about it too much that I would ultimately change my mind. I didn’t give myself much time to process what I was about to do before having my hair “chopped” off.
On the ride home from the salon, I sent my best friend a picture of my “new look,” as we besties generally do. She had been natural for eight years then, and was like “girl, let me help you out.” Thankfully, she took me under her wings. She had tons of products and we sampled a couple of them to see what worked best for my hair type. The Cantu products made a tremendous difference and the look was extremely transforming. She told me that I would be a “product junkie” because after a while, the products don’t always work the same. She was 100% correct. After about six months or so, I switched to another set of products that one of my other friends told me about. So far, so good!
The maintenance piece of it all was a little tricky as I was washing my hair ever other day and that was way too often. Doing so, left my hair extremely dry, even though I was using leave in moisturizers. I now wash my hair about every two weeks or so. I haven’t figured out a way yet, though, so that my hair isn’t “crunchy” for the first day or day and a half afterwards (i.e., if I wash my hair on a Friday night, by Sunday the moisture is locked in and I have the desired look I want to achieve). Oh, and let me just say this, “the shrinkage is real.” However, what I have learned is that if I put oil on my hair first, followed by the leave in conditioner and last the curl activator, my hair doesn’t shrink nearly as much. It’s a lot more manageable, has a sheen, and the front even has a little bounce to it.
My friend and colorist (who I might add is the best colorist in the world, and no this is not up for debate, LOL!) keeps my colors fresh. My friend has been coloring my hair for twelve years. Trust me, when I tell you, that I will not allow anyone else to do so and have told him that we are going to grow old together. He simply laughed, but agreed wholeheartedly. He is a “creative” genius, when it comes to color, and looks at my hair as an art canvas. He always gets the colors right (except the two times I asked for a color, which was too close to my skin tone); hence, I have “learned” to give him free rein. I did, however, request purple last year. I almost gave him a heart attack because he knows how conservative I am. He put the two shades on a napkin and said, “this is what it’s going to look like,” and then asked me was I sure. My response was “absolutely.” Purple has been my favorite color since I was twelve years old and, in my mind, there was no time like the present to try something new and fun. I got a wealth of compliments everywhere I went. The saying is “blondes have more fun,” but he came back with “and purple gets it done.” I couldn’t agree with him more although I’m currently blonde for the summer. LOL! What I also love about my colors is that after shampooing my hair a few times or so, they fade into another beautiful color, thereby, giving me two colors before my next color change.
I now realize that going natural is one of the best decisions I’ve made. I have no idea what I was afraid of. I love the look, and the ease of dealing with my hair, which has certainly thickened up as a result of being chemical free. The area that was problematic has even gotten better.
So, if you are fearful, as I was with going natural, don’t be. However, I suggest that you do your research. Natural hair is very liberating, but it’s not for everyone. If you like color, experiment with a variety of them. Color gives me life, and each one brings out a different personality in me. You just never know which version of me you’re going to meet. No, I don’t know if that’s good or bad. LOL!
I’ve added pictures, so you can see the various stages of before and after as well as my magnificent colors. I must say that I am truly enjoying my journey at this juncture of life!
No matter your look, always remember #GurlYouGotItGoinOn
P.S.: I now have a podcast that is featured on Spotify, Anchor as well as Apple Podcasts and a few others, which you may find under Grace Deveraux or “Take A Leap With Grace.” Also, videos and other “tidbits” are uploaded to my Instagram account, @Gracedeveraux, or my Facebook page, Grace Deveraux, each Friday afternoon. Please stop by and check out what I’ve been up to. 😊