I read a lot of websites and blogs on natural hair, most of which come with a tale of the author's or webmaster's journey - most of which starts after a bout of enslavement to the regular relaxer/texturiser regime. Which many can relate to - as can I.
Many of them started chemically processing their locks by their own choice, while others had no choice - my initial journey started without a choice.
When I was 9, my aunt was so tired of spending half her weekend wrangling thru my large Afro (one that would often hide my entire face in a big jet black ball) that I was shoved at a hairdresser that chemically burned my hair so badly the first time that part of it was completely welded to my scalp!
Being from a tropical country and being an avid swimmer at the time, I did not acclimatise well to the high maintenance and by age 11, my hair began combing out in chlorine-stained chunks and could no longer be pulled into a ponytail - that was literally the last straw. I reflect many nights on the love and nurturing that my mother (who wears the ultra-short cut that I also currently don) bestowed on my hair even when I didn't love my hair for myself; she'd wipe my tears when I cried that my hair would never grow back and just encourage me to just let time do the healing. And that it did - with time and my mother's loving touch, my hair was shoulder-length by my 13th birthday.
But my battle with the cold white creamy stuff didn't stop there... stay tuned.