My Journey to Natural Hair

I’m inspired to write thN Magazine - The Hair Issueis post by the one and only, Oprah Winfrey. More specifically, the September issue of O Magazine. I was so inspired, I decided to O Mag myself to use the photo in a recent workshop I presented. Take a good look at the picture. That’s me, not Oprah.

The September issue of the magazine talks about women’s hair. From gray hair, tools we use, a salon guide to the perfect haircut, coloring and even losing it, the issue explores one of our greatest assets — our hair. There’s also a section on women of color and going natural. So I thought it would be great to share my story.

One of the most fascinating stats I’ve read is how the sales of relaxers declined 40% from 2007 to 2012. It’s estimated for fall to 50% by 2017.*  Pretty shocking especially when so many black women, myself included, relied heavily on having our hair relaxed to get a straight hair look.

I didn’t decide to go “natural” because I hated my hair. Actually, it was quite the opposite. I loved my hair and still do. Mostly I was tired of of the process and cost not to mention the chemicals from the relaxers. I saved a lot because I did my own hair but it just became too much.

Nichole's hair
My relaxed/straight hair days.

I started transitioning (moving from relaxed to natural) in early 2001.  I didn’t know at the time how beneficial it would become until I moved to Vancouver later that year. If you know Vancouver, you know it’s a pretty rainy city.  I couldn’t have survived in Vancouver with relaxed hair probably because most of the time I didn’t care to carry an umbrella or a rain hat.

The hardest part of moving from relaxed to natural hair was the simple fact I didn’t’ know what I was doing and what would work on it. The last time my hair was natural I never fixed it, my mom did. This new hair was new to me and I was clueless. Luckily, through much trial and error I final figured it out but not without some hurt to my wallet in testing different hair care products that I felt were right for me.

natural black hair
Some natural hair pics showcasing my natural curls. Who knew?

Today, all I do to my hair is color it to hide the gray and use very limited products including coconut oil which is WONDERFUL. I highly recommend it for your hair to condition and moisturize and your face to cleanse and moisturize. Really, coconut oil is amazing and has a host of uses. Also, wearing my hair natural makes it easier for me to weather the Vancouver rain.  No longer am I running for cover at the first sign of rain as I was with relaxed hair. Now I take my time walking in the rain, completely stress free.


How do you feel about your hair? Share your hair stories in the comment section below.

*O Magazine, September 2013


  1. Ok, I have white girl hair so I know it’s totally different but I am also loving going “natural”. Growing up with a talented hair stylist as a Mom meant I got to do EVERYTHING and ANYTHING. I have been every colour under that sun from platinum blonde to blue/black.

    But 2 years ago I made the decision to stop it all (well, most of it) and let my hair grown naturally. I still get trims every 6 weeks and the occasional colourance (more of a hair wash, not a dye) and I LOVE it. My hair has never looked so good and I am always getting compliments.

    I’m finding other ways to experiment, such as different hair styles and fun colour clip-in extensions. I mean, my Mom is a hair stylists so I have to take advantage 🙂

    I’m looking forward to seeing some more photos of you and your amazing hair! 🙂

    • It’s special to have your Mom not only as your Mom but also your hair guru.

      For so many of us (women and some men) our hair is the best accessory. So any decision we make about our hair including what color, what cut, what bow/ribbon/headband/clip is a major decision. But after relaxing my hair for so many years it was easy to choose to stop.

      My next major decision will be when to stop coloring. I said I would at 50 to see how I look with my natural gray. We will cross that bridge when we get to it.

      Thanks Zoe for sharing. I’ll search for the picture when I had auburn hair.

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