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My Hair Journey

As black women located all over the world, I think it's important that we come together and share our hair journeys to inspire and encourage one another. As co-founder of Byooti, I am constantly advocating for healthy hair, however it has not always been this way. Here is my hair story.


My Hair Story
My hair has always been natural. From a young age I yearned for a relaxer; I would see women on TV with long straight hair, and wanted that to be me. As a child my sister and I would often fling pajama tops on our heads, pretending to have long weaves like Beyoncé, Kelly or Michelle. (My sister always demanded that I was Michelle, I'm still healing). My mother consistently warned against chemical processing or straightening and insisted that only once I had reached 16 years of age could I assume responsibility for my curls. I was excited for my long awaited chance to straighten my tresses. I couldn’t wait to turn 16.


Me, aged 3

I remember very clearly, in 2009 watching the film Good Hair by Chris Rock, this was a turning point. After researching, I decided that chemical processing was no longer something I desired.

My 16th birthday finally arrived and although I did not wish for a relaxer, I began straightening my curls bone straight. Every two-weeks I would visit my hairdresser to achieve a press and curl. For just over 3 years, intense heat became a part of my hair routine. I loved the look and how easy my hair was to 'manage'. Eventually, I noticed my hair starting to thin and I missed being able to achieve different styles with my natural hair, like braid-outs and a puffy ponytail.


In 2013 I began to appreciate my hair texture a little more, I became obsessed with natural hair, the different textures and styles, which I found amazing. I saw more and more women sporting their natural hair and it was decided - I went back to being 'natural’. But it was not as easy as it sounds.

Firstly, I made a mental decision to finally allow other people including my close friends to see my hair texture and that my hair will no longer be as long. Instead it would shine in all it's glory, in a shrunken state. It took me a few months to conjure the bravery. With the help of my sister who had always been natural and through watching YouTubers who were transitioning, I found the courage to embark on my natural hair journey.



I often rocked braid/twist-outs, but it was always in a pony tail with a side fringe. Soon, I began experimenting and would look forward to wash day for a chance to change my hairstyle. I fell in love with the YouTube online community where I would find recommendations for products and advice on growing healthy hair. I now enjoy wearing all of my hair out for the world to see, hairdressing, advising others on hair care, including protective styles and effective products.

More than anything this journey has taught me about self love and care and I now have a deep appreciation for curlier hair textures, for which the beauty is immeasurable.

Love,
Chinyere

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