Why I Quit My Natural Journey After Only 5 years

relaxed hair
Once I hit my 5 year natural journey I felt like I could actually do this “natural thing.” I mean, there I was a fresh wash n go, and deep conditioning treatment, and I even posted a photo with the hashtag #naturalgirlsrock.

I mean, I was natural and proud, or so I thought. When I started my natural journey 5 years prior it was around a huge transitional period of my life. Not only had I just moved across the country, but I had also broken off an engagement.

I thought going natural would be a fresh hair start, because so much of my identity was wrapped up in my hair. Even today, I swear some people from my childhood still call me “the girl with the long hair.” I hated that. I wanted to create a new identity, and I thought the big chop would be the first step.

However, shortly after big chopping I became oddly obsessed with my natural hair and my natural curl pattern. I spent an obscene amount of money on a bunch of new products, and spent countless hours watching YouTube videos of natural chicks.

It was like an obsession, almost. So when the two year mark hit, and I posted that #naturalgirlsrock instagram photo, my page was flooded with likes and comments, and with each like and each comment I felt more and more annoyed.

Yes, I think natural girls rock, but I didn’t feel like a rockstar at that moment. My wash and go didn’t fall quite how I liked it, and secretly for the last 6 months prior, I had been craving a relaxer. I mean, it was as if I was holding in some dirty little secret, because I hadn’t even told my closest friends.

So 15 minutes after posting the natural girls rock photo, I deleted it. Then, the following Saturday morning I posted a photo from my stylist’s chair with the hashtag #relaxedgirlsrock too, and felt so liberated!

I mean, yes I loved being natural for those 5 years, but more importantly, I just love my hair and the versatility of it. Yes, I went back to relaxed hair, and who knows how long it’ll last. This post is for anyone who may be on the fence and or ashamed about wanting to get relaxers again after being natural. Go for it!

About Brittany Waddell

Just a Southern girl taking life by storm in NYC! Oh- and I'm natural too:) Be sure to check out my posts to learn some tips and tricks on how I tame my natural hair!

About Brittany Waddell

Just a Southern girl taking life by storm in NYC! Oh- and I'm natural too:) Be sure to check out my posts to learn some tips and tricks on how I tame my natural hair!


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  1. Lynnelle Renee'

    It’s not about the hair but about accepting oneself as their creator created them. I am truly thankful for the hair my creator gave me and aim to steward it well by not harming it and taking care of it

  2. Charmaine Young

    I’ve felt like this several times after going natural…I even relaxed my hair after being natural for 3 years…I still get the urge sometimes to relax now and I don’t see anything wrong with that…its up to the individual….thanks for this article!!!

  3. Tiffany Marie Banks

    Relaxed hair can be healthy just like natural hair can be unhealthy. It’s the maintenance that matters. I’m all about hair health.

    1. Malissa Jackson

      That is so true because I still managed to damage my natural after 3 years and did a second big chop! We just need to support each other. Bottom line.

  4. Valerie Vallion

    It’s your hair and you don’t have to explain anything or feel guilty as if you are betraying culture.

  5. Chelle Smith

    I think we get so much criticism from each other about how we choose to wear our hair. It’s like we’re not really black enough of we wear extensions or have a relaxer. I’m a licensed Cosmetologist and i say do what works for YOU!!! I love hair extensions and that’s my choice, I’m still black, and definitely NOT trying to be white. Besides my extensions are Malaysian hair Enjoy your hair, have fun & take care of it.

  6. Celeste Jackman

    Good for her.seriously. If she is comfortable and thats what she wants go for it. I like natural but sometimes i have thought about it

  7. Chandra Sparks-Cunningham

    Too many times I hear or see other naturals criticizing those who choose to relax their hair, wear weave, extensions, lace fronts etc. I have locs, and it’s been a labor of love, but thirteen yrs later, I still get stared at. Lol Anyway, needless 2 say, we all have the right 2 do what we want with our hair. Relaxers damaged my hair 2 the point that I cringe when I see them, however, I’m open-minded enough 2 know that they don’t or won’t have the same effect on everyone. With that being said I choose 2 rock my locs and embrace my hair journey, and let the next sista do the same. #TeamNatural #BlackGirlMagic

  8. Francesca Matthews

    I’m all for individual choice. But to see what the chemicals could possibly be doing to our bodies, it’s worth the second thought. Do your research first, please.

  9. Nia Hester

    I don’t see any problem with wearing straight hair but I don’t know why you would go back to relaxers since they have been linked with health issues in our community. You don’t even need it to achieve sleek straight hair.

  10. E.C. from D.C.

    What is it about the 5 yr mark? Lol
    I’m a bit past my 5 yr mark and thinking to go back to either texturizing or full on-relaxer (but like sensitive or regular grade relaxers or maybe kid’s super relaxer).
    BUT I’ve gotten a flat iron first and will see how that goes before I actually see if I fully want to go back to texturizers or relaxers again.

  11. Hootie

    After 5 years natural myself, i permed my hair. I would wear rollers for 24 hours. Then my curls would be so beautiful. One hour later i had a full afro. .

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