THE BLOG

How I Entered The World Of Natural Hair

24/01/2017 08:49 SAST | Updated 24/01/2017 09:07 SAST
Jessica Lewis

Jessica Lewis

My natural hair journey began in 2009. At the time, I lived in Germany and did not have access to a hair salon that specialized in ethnic hair, so I had to learn how to style and care for my relaxed hair on my own. Luckily, I come from a family of hair stylists, so I did have some of the practical knowledge needed to manage my hair as best as possible.

I used to order my relaxer online and go through the long process of relaxing my hair, which took hours to do, especially because I had to work tediously to prevent any mishaps while applying the relaxer. It was a lot of hard work, to say the least. One day I was doing some online shopping for the best flat iron that I could find, when I clicked on a link advertising one.

No big deal, right? Wrong.

It wasn't necessarily the flat iron but the model that was advertising the tool that I couldn't move on from. There were two photos: in the first photo, the model had straight hair, this was the before photo. It was bone straight ― I mean sleek. I just knew that this flat iron was going to be awesome! But then, I looked at the second photo and the model had curly hair. "How," I wondered, "if it's the same model?" I couldn't stop staring in awe at both of the photos. I simply couldn't believe my eyes. The model had bone straight hair, but then all of a sudden, her hair was curly, too – the best of both worlds!

Jessica Lewis

Out of curiosity, I clicked on the link taking me to the model's website. As the page loaded, I saw several of the posts were about natural hair and realized it was a natural hair blog. I read one post after another one. I couldn't stop reading, I was hooked. That was the moment that I fell in love with natural hair.

I spent hours reading my new addiction, Honey Brown Sugar, a natural hair blog by Wes. She's amazing and I fell in love with her and her hair. I also couldn't stop thinking of my hair being natural again; the last time I had seen my natural hair was at the age of nine! After doing some more research, I was convinced ― it was time to officially transition.

My initial plan was to transition within two years, but two months in I decided to do the big chop. At this time, my relaxed hair was beginning to weaken at the line of demarcation (this is where the relaxed and natural hair meets), so I felt it was time to move on. I was completely over my relaxed hair, it was time to move on and I was so ready.

Jessica Lewis

My husband gave me my big chop. We sat in the bathroom and he looked me in the eyes as he asked if I was ready. Without hesitation, I said yes. I can still hear the buzzing from the clippers. As I look down, I watched my hair falling to the floor, what felt like slow motion movement for each strand that went from my head to between my toes and the carpet. For a second, I doubted my decision and asked myself, "What in the world am I doing?!" Then, all of a sudden, my confidence skyrocketed. It was over. I looked at my reflection in the mirror and I felt liberated. I wasn't the same person anymore. It was a new me and it was the best feeling ever.

A few months later, I started my YouTube channel to document my natural hair journey, primarily so that I could see my own progress, but also to share information on the best brands for natural share that I was discovering, including SheaMoisture, which I still love and use religiously to this day! I did not find many videos on short, natural hair on YouTube, so I knew that I had to post content that could help women like me with their natural hair journey. The last thing I ever imagined was that my channel would grow the way it did. Before I knew it, I had 5 subscribers, and then it grew to 10. It doubled, and then tripled, and the numbers did not stop growing! Week after week the channel grew and when I reached 100 subscribers, I knew that I was helping people. We became a sisterhood bonded by a shared desire for liberation – the same one I experienced when I looked at myself in the mirror and finally felt like myself again.

Jessica Lewis

Today, I am still on my journey and my followers are my motivation. It warms my heart to hear the passion and joy from my supporters explaining how my hair journey has inspired and helped them. I never thought in a million years that I could do this. It's been 7 years since I started my channel and the only difference from then and now is that more people are watching. From learning information about natural hair from other great v/bloggers, to trial and error from my own experiences, I have learned that natural hair is beautiful and it comes in an array of textures and lengths. Looking back, I feel the quest for the perfect flat iron was one of the best decisions I have ever made. If it wasn't for that day, I probably wouldn't have gone natural. By the way, I didn't buy that flat iron.