My 'Accidental' Transition from Relaxed to Natural Hair.

Accidental because it really wasn't planned (cross my heart). As I'd said in my last post, I stumbled upon a video which opened up my eyes to the immense growth potential 'black' hair had - eroding years of doubt and unbelief in my own hair's potential.

I was also at a point where I needed something to consume my mind and this discovery couldn't have come at a better time.

When I discovered Sunshyne at Hairlicious and consequently various hair blogs, forums and sites; my hair was about neck length, scraggly, had broken bits all over, was overly porous, and was just a right old mess really. I was determined from the pictures and videos I'd seen, to make a 'magical' turnaround with my hair and so, armed with the information I was feeding my mind with, my master card and all the excitement of a 5 year old at Disneyland, I got to work.

Now, the one point that was stressed over and over again in pretty much all the blogs et all was 'stretching' your relaxer i.e. extending the time frames between touch ups. This really wasn't  a problem for me as I'd already cut down on my touch ups till I was doing them about 4 times a year.

However, pictures of ladies who seemed to have grown magical lengths after stretching for 6 - 8 months at a go, was too much of a lure for me, therefore in April 2011 I embarked on my first 6 month stretch.

Before this time, the term 'Product Junkie" was pretty much alien to me but my oh my! I sure became a poster child for product 'junkism' all in my bid to incorporate as many of the 'great' products I'd heard were 'The Bomb!'

Light protein products, Medium protein products, hard protein products, reconstructors, pre shampoo treatments, daily moisturizers, moisturizing shampoos, clarifying shampoos, damage remedy shampoos, moisturizing deep conditioners, serums, oils - it was endless.

*Hair Tip 101 - ease your way into using new products particularly if they are all from different cosmetic companies. Sometimes using too many things at once will prevent you from determining which product in particular does not work for your hair *

I tried to keep up my protein treatments to prevent the line of demarcation between my relaxed and natural hair from becoming too weak which invariably leads to broken hairs; I moisturized and sealed everyday to help retain length, I co washed, did the GHE (Green House Effect) a few nights a week, and I was doing pretty well as I had less breakage, and what seemed to be better length retention.

I tend to be impatient sometimes though and at the 19 week mark on August 29th 2011, I was gagging to see my progress. So I bought my regular 'Dark and Lovely' box kit, went home, prepped my hair, applied my relaxer, shampooed, did a light protein treatment and followed up with a moisturizing deep conditioner and was a little pleased with my results!

Now, I thought I'd repeat the same process of stretching for long periods but this time, I wanted to get to the 8 month mark! <Yea I'm ambitious like that :)>  By March of 2012 at the 7 month mark, impatient me decides to go get a 'Dominican Blow out' at my local Dominican Salon but this time around,  I was very depressed with my results!

My ends were looking thin and tired and I didn't think I'd retained as much length as I ought to have! Torn between keeping raggedy ends (just so I could see the little length I'd retained) and trimming my hair to keep the rest of the strands healthy, I finally gave in to the mantra 'health over length' and got a trim. Not even a "your hair looks great" from some nice looking guy outside the salon could put a smile on my face on my slow, sad walk home - honestly you'd have thought I'd just been defeated at some life changing competition!

I decided to give it a rest and just wait patiently for April to do a touch up but at this time, I'd been seeing so many 'Naturals' on hair sites and blogs that I faintly began fantasizing about what my hair actually looked like ( first time I got a relaxer was when I was about 9/10 so I truly couldn't remember what my natural hair was like, its texture, pliability etc.)

When the 8 month mark hit, I was not a happy bunny with my ends and finally admitted to myself that I couldn't undo years of abuse to my hair in a short period ( err, obviously!) So I could either get another trim and continue my hair journey from there or *gasp* I could just chop off everything and go natural!

Ghen! Ghen!

So! On the 9th of May 2012 after many nights of  staring at the texture of my new growth, wetting it with water and conditioner to see how it curled (or if it curled at all) I walked purposefully back home from work, got a container of conditioner, doused my hair with it (so I could see clearly where the relaxed ends began) grabbed a pair of scissors and sitting cross legged in front of the full length mirror, I did a 'Big Chop' while 2 opposing voices screamed at me in my head - 'What the hell are you doing?!!!' and 'It might not be so bad really" was all I kept hearing. 

When I was done, I had a huge grin on my face and lit up eyes and for me, that was the only confirmation I needed!


  1. Hey Kemi,

    welcome to blogging!

    Great write up. Absolutely love it!

    I toyed with going natural earlier in the year but wasn't bold enough to go through with it. But I definitely agree with you with regards to not using too many products on one's hair. I had to learn to do away with that habit about a decade ago coz my hair had become very thing from all kinds of products. I had to study my type of hair and what best to use on it. I use mostly moisturizers now and my hair is the better for it! I also learnt not to leave the decision of what to use on my hair with the salon stylists. Most of them don't know what they are talking about. As far as they are concerned one size fits all. Lol

    Bless your heart dear!


  2. Pastor Lez!! *waving and giving a cyber hug* thank you so much! I feel you on that one size fits all myth. No two heads of hair are the same! When I took my hair into my own hands and started listening to and caring for it, I have had no cause to look back and I am loving my journey!

  3. Hey dear,

    Love reading what you write. Great blog.

    Well, thought to share that my journey was not deliberate either. I just wanted to get 'going bald' off my bucket list! After it grew back a bit, I texturized my hair and hated the 'limpness' almost immediately. So I did another major 'bc' in August of 2011 and haven't touched the creamy crack since. However, just started caring for and knowing my hair properly only about a year ago and seeing great progress.

    Will be visiting you soon for some Henna, Amla and tins....


    1. Thank you so much! lol@ your bucket list - I'm trying to imagine what else you have on it. My last relaxer was in August 2011! Great news on the progress you're seeing - it just makes it all worth it right? Please visit soon - we shall have our POS ready and waiting for you :)

  4. Hi Kemi , nice blog!

    I chopped off my hair just 2 days before my cousin's big wedding do in 2009. Everyone though i had gone cray cray. A friend was giving my nephews a haircut on that faithful day and I knew it was time to sit in the barber's chair and cut off my damaged permed hair. I had been toying with going natural and thanks to a FB group Natural Hair ~I finally got the courage. my natural hair has never been healthier.
    I treat it myself and have it in locks. yep, i have become an expert at locking but i do go to the salon eevery now and then. Some friends don't like it and think i shloud perm of wear a weave and i always respond by saying askor!

    I have pointed 2 of my sisters in the direction of your Lagos salon. they are coming to the good side. lol.

    Keep up the good work.

    Bukky El.

  5. Thank you so much Bukky!! I totally feel you on how your hair has never been healthier now that you took matters into your own hands - my hair is thicker, healthier and longer than it's ever been. Looking forward to meeting your sisters! Thanks luv xo