I've been natural for about five years, but my natural hair journey really only just started about a year ago when I decided to stop wearing wigs. I had given up relaxers because they were making my hair thin, so I transitioned out of my relaxed hair. But my natural hair was always covered up -- first with weaves then with wigs, which were more convenient. I found wigs practical, and during the first year that I launched Un-ruly.com, a site dedicated to Black hair, (all types of Black hair and styles -- straightened styles, natural, box braids), I had written about my right to choose my appearance and wear wigs or weaves if I wanted to.
"My natural hair journey really only started when I decided to stop wearing wigs."
But somehow last year, for some unknown reason, I just got tired of wigs. They are convenient; I love not having to think about my hair or plan out a hair style at least 24 hours in advance. But I just had a moment where I simply wanted my hair to breathe. And I finally just started asking myself why I else I wanted to wear a wig. Did I think I looked better with them? The answer to that question was yes. My boyfriend put it simply for me: "If you felt 100% confident in your own hair, you'd wear it all the time." I agreed with him. If I felt bomb-dot-com in my hair, I would for sure rock it all the time. That's when the introspection began.
"My boyfriend put it simply for me: 'If you felt 100% confident in your own hair, you'd wear it all the time.' I agreed."
Since admitting that to myself, I only wear wigs out of necessity, i.e. a last minute trip to London where I won't have time to braid my hair at night. And if I do wear wigs, I wear a texture that closely resembles my hair, like my favorite new clip-ins, because that's another thing. Part of liking your hair is really taking the time to get used to the texture. (Getting used to the length of your hair is a whole other battle and conversation.) And as I questioned why I wore wigs, I questioned why I chose the textures I was choosing. Simply being aware of those questions, put me more in control of my choices and made me more aware of the fact that I needed to take specific steps and time to get to know my hair more.
My natural hair journey, is really just beginning now. I'm giving myself the time I need to explore natural hairstyles that I really feel comfortable in. I'm taking the time to find a regimen that suits my lifestyle and my need to keep things simple. I cannot and I will not say that I 100 percent adore my hair and feel great in it. The struggle is still very real for me. I've had one too many hair emergencies to say that yet. But I know that in time, maybe a couple years from now, I'll be at a different part of my journey and telling a different story.
This post is part of HuffPost's My Natural Hair Journey blog series. Embracing one's natural hair -- especially after years of heavily styling it -- can be a truly liberating and exciting experience. It's more than just a "trend." It's a way of life. If you have a story you'd like to share, please email us at MyNaturalHairJourney@huffingtonpost.com.