It’s 2016 and all around me seems to be nothing but naturalistas and transitioners. As much as I would love to feed into the hype, the truth is, I’m over that stage of life. When I was 14 years old, I made a decision to stop getting relaxers. When I discovered that my natural hair had curls and waves, I was in love from that point on and I wanted nothing more to do with the creamy crack and my relaxed hair.

Photo: Pinterest

Then came seven long years spent of me growing my hair out, loving my twist-out, hating my natural curl pattern, cutting my hair, dyeing my hair, locking my hair and doing anything to keep me and my hair on good terms. But what about when you get tired of fighting with your kinky curls? Or what about when the dye has dried your hair out and those twists outs have never looked the same since?

I spent half a year cracking down on all of the popular relaxed YouTubers. I found my select few (ulovemegz and sofreshdyamond) and I started from the beginning of their journeys. After months of in-depth research, fighting with myself about where I would stand in the black community after this and convincing friends and family that my hair wouldn’t fall out — I did it. I sat down on October 6th in my apartment and let my roommate take me back to the first 11 years of my life.

photo: YouTube

I started getting relaxers when I was 3 years old. Though it sounds crazy, my mother just couldn’t handle the curls floating around on my head. My time being natural let me know that I couldn’t either. My natural hair journey was a lesson learned and an experience that I will never forget. More than anything it’s taught me a major life lesson: do what’s best for you.

As much as I wanted to feed into what other people thought I should represent, I simply couldn’t. Logically speaking, I was damaging my hair more by remaining natural. I was consistently leaving it in a ponytail for days at a time or flat ironing it every second just to get some manageability.

Since I’ve been relaxed, I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time with my hair. I’m able to achieve many styles that I never could before, it’s convenient and my hair is actually healthy. I will never be embarrassed to stand in a room full of natural women and you shouldn’t be either. Know that your hair is just as beautiful, and most importantly — it’s a part of you being genuine to you.