In 2011 I stopped relaxing my hair. I was tired of the breakage and did not see the benefits of adding harsh chemicals to it anymore. After that I just alternated between straight and natural hair. I barely liked my natural hair back then. The only reason I even decided to keep it natural was because I did not want too much heat damage. It was too big. Had too many kinks. Didn’t all curl the same way. I just couldn't deal with it. Straightening it made it better. Made it manageable. Made it beautiful.

But the beginning of 2014 came and I had no access to a straightener.

Imagine my horror. I was forced to leave my mane be. I couldn’t straighten it. I refused to go to the salon because Lord knows I’m not spending $40 each week. It wasn’t easy dealing with my natural hair. There was only so much I could do with it. It barely reached my shoulders! I was forced to either leave it out or put it in a bun. Keep in mind I didn't use any natural hair products. Please cry for me.

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I don’t know how exactly it happened, but I recall my friend telling me to check out this natural hair blogger because her hair was long and gorgeous. I decided to check out her videos on Youtube, and at that point I was introduced to my current hair inspiration, MahoganyCurls. My natural hair educational journey began with her and spread to so many different bloggers, mainly natural hair bloggers, including everyone from Shameless Maya (#lifegoals) to Beauty by Lee. From then on I learned about everything including twist-outs and what a protective style was.

Seeing all these women do so many different things with their natural hair inspired me. It showed me that my hair doesn’t just have to be put in a ponytail, bun, or left out. These beautiful women showed me that my hair could be just as versatile as straight hair. It was truly life changing. From then on, I threw out my old products, adopted some for natural hair and tried different techniques.

I don’t remember the exact moment when it happened, but I do know I started to accept my natural hair more. I did not care when it got wider or shrunk. I no longer felt the need to straighten my hair. There is no way to describe how I felt the day I washed my hair after having it straight for about a week. There was just something so amazing about feeling the cool water hit my scalp and feeling my hair break free from this organized state. The interesting thing about it all is that about a year ago I would have not felt the same way. In fact, I would have been scared to wash my hair when straight. Being able to feel my curls in all their untamed glory is such a unique and wonderful experience.

Loving your hair is far from easy, but it is possible. For once in my life, I finally let my mane be my mane, a wild beautiful beast. Like a lion, I wear my mane with pride. When you tame a beast for that long, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks free.

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