My Return to Natural
Hello Janomi Gems,
Welcome to my first blog post! As the founder of Janomi Hair, LLC, I'd like to feel close to my clients and to let you know we're on this natural hair journey together. Thanks for reading my story!
I first returned to natural in 2001. I had been wearing braids (which we now call a protective style) for awhile, and I was starting to like the feel of my new growth. I took down my braids one day, and decided to do a big chop. Back then there was no natural hair movement, no social media, and there were very little natural hair products. I had no clue how to take care of my natural hair, but I liked it!
I saw my mom that morning, and I expected her to love it. She has worn short natural hair almost my whole life. Well, she didn't love it. She didn't even like it. She preferred my neck length relaxed hair, and she was vocal about it. Strike 1! I visited my long time hair dresser later on that day to even out my cut. She suggested a texturizer because my sides don't curl. Strike 2! My boyfriend at the time suggested that I let his mom press it with a hot comb. Strike 3! I liked my hair, but didn't get much support with my decision. I wore my twa (teeny weeny afro) for 2 days and got braids again.
Fast forward to 2002. I was still natural, but never wore my hair loose. I planned on wearing it loose when my hair got longer. That never happened! I had a friend help me take down one of my braided styles and she cut my real hair along with the synthetic hair. My hair was severely uneven, so I decided to relax it again after 18 months of being relaxer free.
I wore a relaxer for years without giving it a second thought. My hair wasn't damaged or breaking, and it was a pretty good length. I thought it was pretty healthy. I relaxed about every 8 weeks, and got a blow out every 2 weeks. A blow out on top of a relaxer... I'm surprised my hair follicles aren't dead!
I'll skip the almost 10 years in between to keep the story short. I became curious about my natural hair again around 2010. The growth of my relaxed hair became stagnant. It never seemed to grow past my shoulder blades. I tried a healthy relaxed hair journey that didn't garner any results. Still, I wasn't ready to return to natural.
But then I had a baby! My hormones were all out of wack from becoming a mommy again and breast feeding. I had terrible night sweats. I would wrap my bouncy hair at night and wake up with stringy damp hair in the morning. Keeping up with my relaxer and fresh blow outs also prevented me from exercising and shedding the baby weight. I had a talk with myself and decided to transition in 2011. The plan was to transition for a year, gradually cutting the relaxed ends off over time. After five months, I could no longer deal with two different textures. I stepped out of the shower after washing my hair one evening in December 2011 and grabbed the scissors. Hello twa, I missed you!
By 2011, we were deep into the natural hair movement. I was in Heaven! Yay! The urge to return to our roots was in full effect! I'm a first generation Liberian American, so I was always in touch with my "Africanness". I have two sons, so I couldn't pretend that I did it to set an example for my daughter. I did it for ME, and it is the best hair decision I've ever made. No more worrying about getting my hair wet. No more spending half my Saturday mornings in the salon. No more scalp burns. No more wearing the same 2 styles every day for years. This time I didn't care what anyone else thought. It's just hair. I knew it would grow back, and boy did it!
It's been three and a half years since I big chopped. My stretched natural hair is now arm pit length, and my hair is healthier than ever. I embrace every curl, coil, and kink, on my head. I joke and say I have 4 abcz hair, and I love it! Natural afro hair is so versatile. There is no other hair on the planet like it.
My hair journey isn't over. l'm still learning my hair as it changes and grows. l posted my brief journey because I want Janomi Hair to represent the modern day naturalista. She's a mom, she's a wife, she's a student, she's the girl next door, and most of all; she's relatable. I don't ever want this site or any of Janomi Hair's social media pages to feel like some unreachable corporation that's only after your coin. I post advice and information, as well as develop products from experience and research. Like most naturalistas, I've gone through lots of trial and error with my hair, but I have had lots of fun along the way.
The first product, Janomi Essential Hair and Scalp Oil, was formulated as a solution to various hair and scalp needs all in one bottle. It was tested on women with various hair types. They provided feedback and made me aware of the uses of the oil that extended beyond its initial purpose.
Thank you for allowing me to introduce Janomi Hair, LLC to you. Stay tuned, there is much more to come!