I stumbled across Juwayra’s blog Curly Heads & Dimples and I just had to have her share her story. I love that all our stories are so different, yet very much the same. Thanks for sharing your journey with us, Juwayra! – Mandy

I am mom to Azaria, Jaymee& Jody (12, 10, & almost 4) & wife to my handsome Alan for 12 years. Both of us have day jobs and in our free time (which is very limited) my husband plays the bass guitar for a gospel band called The Joshua Generation and I study part time. If I should be honest, doing life with a part time musician, an almost teenage daughter who is more dramatic than any soap star ever, a boy that suffers from “middle child syndrome” and a toddler that refuses to move past the tantrum phase and everything in between, life can sometimes seem to be spinning out of control but for me that’s NORMAL! I cannot imagine life without any of it. Then there’s my hair…another topic on its own and that’s what I’m here to talk about.

When I shaved my head way back in 2010, it wasn’t for the sake of returning to natural at all. Months prior to the big chop, I got a bit frustrated with the continuous relaxing and blow drying in an attempt to make me fit in with the rest of the world’s perception of great hair. I would at times think back to my childhood when my hair was a “problem” for my mom. Apparently it became too thick and unmanageable and in an attempt to make it more manageable and thin she first straightened then relaxed it. In a picture of myself at about age 5, for me the texture of my hair looked good. I didn’t see the need for straightener or even relaxer, not sure why my mom did though. So a few months prior to the big chop, I mentioned me shaving my head to my husband and friends and all of them thought I was either joking or being totally crazy.

Then on September the 2ndI summoned my sister in-law to help me chop my shoulder length hair and my husband with the clippers for the finishing touches. At this time, I’ve never even heard the term “going natural” so for me it was never about going natural at all. It was after my husband posted a picture of my bald head on Facebook that I got into contact with a lady that was on her natural hair journey. Only then it became clear to me that what I actually did was infact“go natural”. The more I read up on it, the more I wanted to know about it.

My mom threw a fit, she still does and often asks me when I’m going to relax my hair. She’s funny. Friends and family was a bit confused about the drastic step I took and reckoned that there was nothing wrong with my hair. If I think back prior to the chop, there was chemical damage and heat damage, reason enough to take drastic measures in my book.

I love the fact that my hair is healthier now and that it grows even quicker. I don’t need to stress about styling my hair a certain way for it to look good or for me to “fit in” like in the past. Whicheverway I decide to wear my hair at any time, it always looks good. I have more freedom to do what I want with my hair.  Ever since the big chop I somehow feel more confident. It’s like I got to know myself better which enabled me to do better and because of this, I care better for my hair. My regimen is very simple, I try to not make it complicated so that I don’t feel it’s more of a burden that what it was when I could just go to the salon for a quick blow dry and flat iron. I co-wash most of the time and only use shampoo when my scalp needs a good clean. I deep condition often to keep my hair moisturised. I seldom do blow outs cos my hair frizzes up easily and my hair looks better with a simple wash n go…which is totally my go-to hairstyle of all time. I stick to this because it suits my hair type best and besides, you can never ever go wrong with it. Also, for may natural girls, this hairstyle is not achievable especially those with 4b/c hair type.

If I were to give anyone starting on this journey or thinking about going on this journey advice, kit would simply be to 1) BE PATIENT & 2) GET TO KNOW YOUR HAIR.
Patience is a quality you need to have in abundance. For many people thenatural journey looks difficult and time consuming. If you do research online, you’ll come across many methods and tutorials that sometimes look so ridiculous that will give you that idea. This is why I would strongly advise you to get to know YOUR OWN HAIR first. Everything you do will be trial and error at first. Some things will work for you, some wont. Don’t give up, try again. Ask questions. Keep it simple. There’s lots of bloggers and even vloggers that knows what they’re talking about that will give you good advice. It doesn’t have to burn a hole in your pocket, check your kitchen cupboards.

With the fast growing natural hair community in South Africa, particularly Cape Town things are looking so much better than what it was a couple of years back. I can’t even believe that we actually have a natural hair community as such. It makes my heart very happy to know that big/curly hair is not a scarcity anymore but something many people with naturally straight hair longs for. This is something that, if done properly, gives you the some form of liberation especiallyif one had to put oneself through painful processes to have a certain image. Now the other day I received an inbox from a lady asking me what product she can use to make her hair “kroes” …Really? You get a product for that?Questions like this makes me think that there are a few people that has this whole “natural hair” thing wrong, don’t think they fully understand the “journey/movement”. Some people just think that it looks cool to have BIG hair. Yes, there are so many styles and ways in which you can wear your hair but all natural haired woman’s main focus/goal needs to be growing and maintaining healthy hair.I am also pleased with the amount of natural hair bloggers we have and events that’s being organised locally that will hopefully educate those who are on this journey or want to start this journey. 


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