I first went natural my sophomore year of college. One night I went into the dorm bathroom with a scissors and came out with a chopped up head of uneven hair. I didn’t know how to maintain my hair and I was insecure about the length so I wore half wigs to cover it up. I eventually put a light relaxer on it, not knowing at the time that when a product says “texture softener” it really means relaxer. The second (and final) time I went natural, I transitioned by letting my natural roots grow in before cutting off the processed ends.
My last relaxer was in March of 2009. I cut off my relaxed ends in August of that year. This time around I used the internet as a resource. I searched hair care forums and looked up endless amounts of information on styles and hair care maintenance routines. I saw a lot of naturals wearing their hair in small twists but I didn’t particularly like how twists looked when I tried that style in my hair.
I spent much of my youth (natural and even as a relaxed teen) in braids. I thought why not try out braids on my newly natural hair. I put in a set of mini braids and absolutely fell in love with the style. When I washed in braids the ends of my hair formed cute little spiral curls that I didn’t have with my loose natural hair. My porous hair finally felt soft and the strands cooperated with each other. I didn’t have knots or tangles and I seldom experienced damage (single strand knots or splits) on my ends.
I’ve worn mini braids for at least a few months each year since growing out my natural hair. Here are a few pics showing the progression over the past two and a half years. The first picture is from October 2009 and my braids were around ear length. I wore a lot of headbands to jazz up the style. I washed frequently so the braids unraveled and left me with cute curls. The image to the right is from August 2010. I experimented with some highlights. My hair was around neck length in braids.
The next two pictures are from February and November of 2011. Around this time, I made my mini braids the smallest they’d been. My hair was shoulder length in braids.
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