Newly Natural: Danielle Oglesby
I love my hair; it is a reflection of who I am.
1. What made you decide to go natural?
I decided to go natural simply because I struggled for so long with my hair. I have had my hair relaxed, pressed, flat ironed, colored, cut, burned, etc. Pretty much my hair has been neglected for a long time. I was looking to do something different. I have worn my hair wet before but I never considered it natural just my lazy hairstyle. One day I on 2010 (or 2011) a friend told me she was going natural. She did my hair a few times but I couldn’t keep up with it so I said forget about it. My last relaxer was in 2006 so my hair has been natural texture since then. Eventually I also got tired of my hair and I always wanted it to be straight. One day I went to Sally’s to buy a new flat iron because a few friends told me that mine wasn’t good anymore. I ask the clerk about which one to buy and she recommends the one n only Brazilian tech with keratin infused plates. I bought it not knowing at all that it would change the texture of my hair. I go home and test it out on one side of my hair and decided that I didn’t like it so imagine what happened next my hair on one side was almost completely straight (even after I washed it) and the other side was “nappy” So image my frustration when I want to do my wet look. So I start looking online and I went and bought the flat iron again to try to fix the other side but it didn’t work. My hair was awkward for a few months. One it started to either ware off or grow out Ii decided that I wanted to stay away from heat for a while and go back to my original texture. So here I am working very hard not to revert back to my old ways of pressing, flat ironing and curling.
2. How long did you transition?
I don’t really have an exact time because I am currently transitioning. I made my complete decision to go natural around May 2012. I didn’t fully commit until probably around the summer months like June and July.
3. Explain your transition/big chop experience.
Since I have had short hair before (with a relaxer) I didn’t want to Big Chop. I almost did a few nights ago but decided that I still wanted my length. Its not much buts its mine. I did cut off some of the keratin parts because it was bothering me. But then I realized that I need a professional to do that so it can be even. So right now I am experimenting with protective styles (braid out, twist out, Bantus knots, and roller setting) and keeping my hair moisturized and not over doing the products. So right now I am at the stage when I am still deciding on what works for my hair. So far Miss. Jessie’s Curly Meringue and Curly Pudding, Eco styler, Hawaiian silky, Cantu Shea butter, Liv and Hair one are the ones so far, but from there I would like to narrow it down more. I use them all for different purposes even though I know it seems like a lot. I don’t use them all at once. My goals for this journey are to have hair very healthy natural hair, I would like shoulder length (or longer like yours) hair. I would like one texture and I would like to learn everything that there is to know about how to maintain my hair and keep it healthy.
4. What advice do you have for anyone that’s thinking about going natural?
At the beginning I thought that going natural was just a fad or a movement. It is a lifestyle change. I was always an advocate for heat. I have two flat irons, a crimper, a curling iron, a curling wand and two blow dryers. I love the way that it made me feel with my bone straight hair. But I eventually realized that I don’t have to have straight hair to feel pretty or socially accepted. It’s really a mindset. I also thought that going natural would be easy. In some ways it is but it really isn’t. It takes time and patience and it’s not for everyone. I love the times when I’m watching a video on YouTube and Imp trying to copy step by step a very cute hairstyle. I normally fail but one time I wasn’t even really trying and I did it!! I was so happy! Some times I stumble upon hairstyles from just playing with my own hair. Another thing we all most realize that God made us all different and that includes our hair. I see lots of people (like you) with pretty long hair your styles look amazing and I get jealous and I begin to wish (and ALMOST) even obsess about my hair looking like that. I had to learn to love my hair with all its imperfections. It is mine and I love it (now) I realized that one day as long as I am diligent my hair will grow but it will never look like anyone else because I am me and that means I am special in my own way. I feel like natural is the best way because when a person thinks about the word natural it makes me think of original and that is what I want for me. I say good luck to anyone who wants to go natural just make sure they’re committed and are not afraid to mess up or fail. Because it will happen, BUT with practices makes perfect.
You guys always ask me how you can “get your curls back” after using tons of heat/straightening. Unfortunately, there’s no way to reverse that kind of damage. The only thing you can do is grow it out and begin to nurture the new growth so you can have a healthy head of hair once the damage is completely cut/trimmed off. For those who aren’t ready to cut off too much, here are some styles to try during the grow out phase.