Naturalista Spotlight: Ashley

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I never thought I would ever brave the BC or even consider going natural! I always had long straight relaxed hair and had no desire to look or breathe in the other direction of the natural hair world. Change wasn’t on my agenda… and I had grown to love my long flowing straight locks. Was it wrong for me to have loved my chemically straightened hair? I believe not… in fact I am very fond of straight hair still and always will be. Beauty comes in all forms and we hold the key to defining it. However, I found there to be a difference between loving straight hair and being slave to the relaxer or even the feeling of I MUST straighten my new growth before my natural texture begins to show. I was one who got her relaxer faithfully every 4-6 weeks. Looking back that is exactly how I felt and never even knew the bondage my thoughts kept me from embracing something new!

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I had transitioned 6 months and although I planned to transition longer my relaxed hair and new growth starting fighting each other making it extremely challenging for me to hold on to both textures. During my transition phase I made a decision soon as our wedding was behind us I would decide to make a bold move and chop of all my relaxed hair. At this point of my 6 months post relaxer my natural hair wasn’t that long but was definitely making its presence known and starting to seriously peek through. I was ready and excited to see my natural texture. I couldn’t recall my texture as it had been so long since I was natural and honestly that kind of made me sad that I didn’t know the hair I was born with.

People ask me often why did you decide to BC? Well, I don’t know if it’s a simple answer really but having two textures became extremely challenging to take care of and I was ready for something new! I couldn’t wait to see what my natural texture was and plus several friends of mine who are natural told me that it’s so much easier to take care of and style once you BC. Plus I figured this would be the best way to learn about my texture and what works best for me when my hair was super short… so the BC became an exciting new experience on the horizon.

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I will never forget the day of my BC. I was beyond ready and nervous not only to see my true natural texture but how I would look with super boy short hair!! OMG! I had always had long hair and this was going to be a complete change for me. As my hair stylist cut off all my hair I was beyond shocked and couldn’t turn back now!! I had many things running through my head to process… I had new color, super short hair and tiny curls all over my head! We began to play around with it and proceeded to style with some gel and curl activator I had purchased. I was still in my shock phase processing all this new goodness. (lol) As my hair stylist sent me on my way to this new natural world that I was so unfamiliar with I began to understand the change I had just made… the big step I had just taken.

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When I arrived home I literally ran into the bedroom to show my husband… (lol) and said OMG I look like a boy… a cute boy! He reassured me that wasn’t the case and he really liked it and it’s just hair it will grow back. He was so right… was I just making a big deal over nothing or was it just so unfamiliar it would take time? I will say now looking back on my BC decision and experience it was one of the best things I have ever done for myself. I was free… not only of relying on my relaxer but crippling mindsets I had about natural hair in general.

I was very thankful to my hair stylist of many years for helping me through this process and would highly recommend going to a professionally to get your BC. Also, prior to my BC I had conducted so much research on transitioning, the big chop, different hair textures and products galore. I watched video after video on YouTube and read articles until I was blue in the face and just like you go to college to learn and perfect your skills before entering the work force. I challenged myself to do the same before making the decision to BC so I would know what I was getting myself into and be prepared. Now, even though I did a lot of research I still made mistakes and will continue to… just part of being a natural and human. 😉

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This phase of my journey definitely took some time for me to mentally process and get used to especially working with such an unfamiliar texture. I had to revisit all I had learned about relaxed hair and reprogram my brain to now to care for natural hair. Should you return natural? Or even BC?! I don’t know nor is it for me to decide for you… do your research and decide what route is best for you to take. My goal is to educate you on my personal experiences and maybe in doing so shed some light on helping you make the best decision for you. Let us not let fear keep us from trying something new!

Keep up with Ashley on her blog!

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