My Story: Why I Decided To Go Natural
In the ongoing debate of which is better – natural or processed hair – there are many arguments for each side. But one thing is important: as long as it’s healthy. But more and more women across the country are opting to “go natural”. Why? We sat down with Summer, a wife, a mom/stepmom of 5, and CEO of Summer Alexander Research & Marketing on the anniversary of her “going natural” and asked her why.
LIKE BlackDoctor.org on Facebook! Get Your Daily Medicine…For LIFE!
Was there a defining moment that made you want to go natural? Yes, I have two daughters 16 and 18 years old and when they were younger they had heads full of thick beautiful curly hair. At around 8 and 10 years old a relative relaxed their hair without my consent and one day I looked up and their once beautiful hair was brittle and broken off with virtually none of the length they once had. This was both devastating and eye-opening.
In 2011 I made a decision that we would all take the journey together and even got my mother and sister to join us.
How hard was it to go natural? Mentally and physically? Mentally I didn’t find it hard, I was actually excited. I could not wait to see what my natural curl pattern looked like. Physically the process of transitioning was rough. I committed to a routine that required me to wash and deep condition my hair every 3 days! My hair is very thick and I found it very difficult and time consuming to detangle and style. I would often attempt styles I saw natural YouTube vloggers doing such as twist outs, braid outs and bantu knots, only mine never came out how I envisioned it would. Almost every time I would return to my default style – the ponytail bun.
Would you ever go back to processed? Although I support women with however they want to wear their hair, I would never go back to processed. In fact I find the term “going natural” a little strange when in fact what I did was return my hair back to its natural God-given state, seems like “returning natural” would be more appropriate.
As a young girl and then into early adulthood I always wanted to have long healthy hair but by my early 20’s I had given up on that idea. My hair would never grow past the very top of my shoulders and I never understood why. While relaxed my hair was thin, flat and always breaking. It has been amazing to see that since I’ve been natural my hair has grown longer than it has ever been in my entire life. Most importantly it is thick and full and healthy.
What would you recommend to someone who is considering going natural? Be patient and avoid comparing your hair to others. I would also suggest establishing a routine and sticking to it. I have used the same products since starting my journey and avoided the costly trap of becoming a product junkie.
Also I would encourage anyone considering going natural to wear your hair however works best for you. I more often than not wear my hair straight as does my sister but my mother and both daughters keep their hair in its curly state. Both ways are okay and should not be determined by anyone other than yourself. Maintaining your hair and keeping it healthy is what is most important.
What do you use to maintain your hair now? I use the same products I was using back when I started my hair journey and was still fully relaxed. I wash with ORS Aloe Shampoo, deep condition with ORS Olive Oil Replenishing Conditioner and moisturize with organic coconut oil. Also, I cannot forget my one tried and true natural hair bff – my Denman brush!
Visit the BlackDoctor.org Hair Care center for more helpful articles and tips.