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A Journey Of Self-Discovery.. Happy Anniversary Natural Hair! (VIDEO)

 

1801309_10203163671953680_1076503584_oA Journey Of Self-Discovery..
Happy Anniversary Natural Hair! (VIDEO)

5 years ago this week, I did something pretty freaking drastic; I cut off what remained of my chemically straightened hair. I know a lot of you might be thinking, “Big deal.. a different hairstyle.”

WRONG! Hair is a BIG DAMN deal to women; even bigger to African American women. When you add being on TV to the mix, you can begin to understand the magnitude of the act.

See my whole TV career, I’d been trying to conform. That meant hair that stayed in place and looked like everyone else’s. In order for me to achieve that, I had to get my hair chemically straightened every 5 weeks or so.

Related: My Target Moment: How I Left TV News Behind

Well, a few years ago, tragedy struck. After a brief illness that landed me in the hospital, I went back to chemically straightening my hair. What happened?  My hair got dry, broke off and fell out! It was a mess!

That’s when I decided ENOUGH!

Needless to say, it’s been an incredible journey of self-discovery and one of  self-love. And I’ve learned a lot about what works best for me;  prior to this,  I was a middle-aged woman who had no idea how to care for her own, natural hair.

Now, fair warning.. this video is a bit on the long side. I DESPISE long videos but there was a lot of ground to cover here.

You have been warned.

 

 

As I said in the video, I’m more than happy to answer any questions you may have about my natural hair journey. You can leave them here and I’ll get right to them.  In the meantime, here’s a quick look at my growth over the last 5 years and the lessons I learned!

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2009

PicMonkey Collage

I’ll be honest, when I first cut my hair, I didn’t love it. I wasn’t feeling the length and I felt naked much of the time. Looking back now I see it really wasn’t that bad.

TIP: EMBRACE EVERY STAGE OF THE JOURNEY! I wished I had enjoyed my short hair more.  You can by accessorizing. Flowers, barrettes, headbands, scarves, try it all!

Read more: Hair Despair! 8 Tips To Help Your Hair G-R-O-W!

2010

PicMonkey Collage

By the time March of 2010 rolled around, I was a good year into my natural hair journey. I had given up on shampoo and began embracing natural oils. One of the things I learned was that I do NOT need a curling creme or enhancer; my hair has enough curl on its own so I just use a leave-in and some gel.

TIP: Keep in mind your routine may change due to a variety of things like seasons, hormones even the length of your hair. Don’t be afraid to switch it up!

Read more: Want Your Natural Hair To Grow Like THIS? Here’s The Secret!

2011

PicMonkey Collage

This was the year I discovered color. Color-treated hair needs TLC. As you can see on the left, my  hair color had oxidized from the summer sun. That’s my natural color on the right. If you’re hesitant to try color, go with a semi-permanent or henna.

TIP: Go easy on your color treated hair. Wear hats or even a special sunscreen for hair to keep the color fresh.

Read more: Hair Care: My Top 5 First Year Growth Secrets!

2012

PicMonkey Collage

One of the banes of my natural hair journey is and has been the fact that my bangs don’t grow very fast. In fact, the whole upper part of my hair (the part that takes a beating from the elements) is slower-growing. This was the year I learned to manipulate it so that it at least looked like it belonged on the same head.

TIP: Use flat twists to stretch hair. Flat-twisting my bangs gives my hair a more uniform look. I flat twist while my hair is wet and place a gray perm rod on the end of the braid to make it curly.

Read more: 5 More Things I Learned And Love About My Natural Hair

2013

PicMonkey Collage

2013 was a big year for my hair. The summer before, I had my hair cut into a bob as I tried to find ways to make the bangs look more integrated with the rest of my hair. But now, the back of my hair, which has always grown longer and faster, took off! So instead of fighting, I decided to go with it and rock the layered look.

TIP: TAKE A HAIR VITAMIN! I used to take Aphogee and have been off my regimen a while. I do notice that when I’m taking my vitamins my hair just seems to grow a little bit faster and feel healthier.

Read more: Ask Rene: My Husband HATES My Hair!

WHAT’S NEXT? PicMonkey Collage

I have absolutely NO IDEA what comes next! My goals in the coming years are to help my bangs and the hair at the top grow a little bit longer. Honestly, I’m not sure how much longer I’ll let it grow and I can’t decide if I want to continue with a layered look or go for one length. I do know that I’ll do more protective styling simply because it’s easier to handle my hair when she’s all put away.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to the next 5 years!

Questions? Leave ’em here.. I’ll answer what I can!

 

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2 Comments

  1. Joyce Campbell

    March 5, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    At the suggestion of my BFF, I have started following you on FB. I’m 7 months in on this natural hair journey and what a journey it is. This is more work than having relaxed hair. There are so many products out there you don’t know which ones to use. I think I’ve finally found the right “cocktail” for my hair. Anywho….Question: I wet and or co-wash my hair EVERY DAY!!! I work out 4-5 days week and I sweat literally from head to toe. I have to co-wash or at least let water run through it. I’ve been told this is a good thing and I’ve been told it’s a bad thing. I can’t say I’ve read anything about it, so I would like to get your personal opinion on the subject.

  2. Dani en la Ciudad

    March 28, 2014 at 8:12 am

    Rene

    Watching your journey and hair transformation has been educational and inspirational. Your tips to love, protect, moisturize, and feed your hair are ones from which we all can benefit regardless of our hair’s natural texture. We’re looking forward to the next five years, too!

    Danielle

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More in Beauty: Hair News

Combing the aisles at Target in search of the best deal on Cheerios, it hit Rene Syler like the stench of a dirty diaper on a hot summer’s day. Not only is perfection overrated its utterly impossible! Suddenly empowered, she figuratively donned her cape, scooped up another taco kit for dinner and Good Enough Mother was born.

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