Hands down, I can admit that my life and my body today is better than ever before. I truly believe that it all started when I decided to return natural. It was during this journey when my eyes were opened to all sorts of problems in my life and this world. How we were being brainwashed into certain looks (weaves, straight hair) and even lifestyle and health choices (processed foods, fast foods, vaccines, education).
My outlook on the world and my own life have changed drastically — it’s crazy how one concept such as growing out natural hair can have major implications on how you live out the rest of your life. You can say I went all in to the world of natural and what it stands for.
To me, being a natural means a lot more than having kinky or curly hair.
I became a vegan
A lot of research was done on my behalf during the first year of returning natural. I wanted to know more about the products I was using and how it could harm my hair and health. At this same time, I was dating my future husband and he brought to light the problems that food causes to one’s health.
I was already ready to dump the creamy crack and chemical hair products and now I wanted to get rid of the chemically-made foods as well. I understood well the damages food cause because years back, it was the root cause of my acne.
I then learned that the vegan diet had so many great benefits for your hair and body, so I adopted it — slowly, but surely. Today, I am a full-vegan who only eats alkaline foods (another thing I learnnmied about during this journey).
I pay closer attention to my physical being
I started to feel really great — I wasn’t poisoning my hair, nor my body and now I wanted to look as great as I felt. My hair was already improving in texture and shine.
I was always skinny, and for me that isn’t enough. I know good and well that skinny doesn’t mean healthy. In fact, I couldn’t jog a block without having to stop and start walking. I was the most unfit I’d ever been in my life and I wanted to change that, so I added working out to my lifestyle.
I’m now aware of all the toxins that plague this world
My eyes are fully opened to all of the poisons that are bombarding our bodies on a daily basis. The creamy crack was just a small piece of the gigantic puzzle.
We willingly infect our bodies with toxins regularly in the form of chemical hair products and cosmetics, conventionally grown foods (non-organic) and hormone-injected meats and dairy. Even the products you use to clean your home and laundry with are intoxicating you.
So I make better choices in every product I decide to use. I don’t even wear perfumes or use aerosol sprays. I have since converted to essential oils* to provide the smell goods in my home.
I only use herbs and oils for my hair care
As I transitioned away from toxic hair care products, I started using alternative methods to cleanse and care for my hair. I find that herbal shampoos and conditioners to yield the best results. They do a great job of eliminating build up, dirt and oils from hair, without drying it out. In fact, the herbs I choose to use to shampoo my hair also act as a conditioner. My preferred herbs to use include shikakai*, amalaki, bhringraj, brahmi* and areetha.
I’m not really into leave-in conditioners, since I have grown out my hair quickly and healthily without them, I’ve decided not to start relying on them now. I find that sealing my moisture into my strands is done just fine with oils. Sure, I like olive and coconut* oils, but I also like others like moringa*, marula, baobab and neem.
I embrace my natural curls more than ever
I used to be big on wearing my hair straight, but I have come to loathe the look. I actually prefer wearing my hair in its natural state, versus stretching it out into straight hairstyles. My days of using flat irons*, curling irons* and other hair manipulation methods are long gone. I prefer to experiment with styles using my hair’s natural texture.
The way I view the world is very different than the average person and I’m thankful for that. Because the things I now know give me peace of mind. I know that I and my family will have a healthier life and my children will grow up with a positive outlook on being an African American. Being natural is the best decision I’ve ever made and if I had to do it all over again, I would!