My Natural Hair Journey Review

By | September 24, 2017
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What Is A Natural Hair Journey?

my natural hair journey review

Hello curious minds, let me introduce myself, my name is Michelle and I have been on a natural hair journey since 2013. Prior to that, I have spent a small fortune on maintaining and caring for a beautiful head of chemically straightened relaxed hair. As I am more mature than 21 yrs, I had been doing that for more than 30 yrs – that’s a lot of ‘moolah’ spent on doing hair!

Now, based on the information I had then, I made the best decisions. I have no regrets, however, based on updated information and more hair education, I decided to do things differently – I decided to leave the ‘curly crack’ (as chemical relaxers are often referred to on numerous hair boards) and embark on a ‘natural hair journey’, free of chemical additives.

When Did It Start


my natural hair journey review


It all started one day in January 2013 when I had to attend an engagement and I wanted to do something different with my hair. At that point in time, I wore my hair in a French Chignon most times because it easy and it always looked polished for the whole day – I did not like looking any other way than polished – this was and still is ‘my thing’.

So, I sat down and decided to just give myself a ‘bang’ – just to do something different. SO, I got my scissors and started cutting. I did the bang and it looked ok. Then I got to thinking – why not keep cutting? And I cut my below shoulder length hair up to my ears, then all off.

The truth of the whole moment hit home when I decided how will I comb my hair now? The last time I had short hair was in the early 90s when Punk was the ‘in style’ of the day!

I took a long look in the mirror, then went, washed, conditioned my hair, and then got ready for the engagement. Stepped out the door with a new look and a new attitude and have not stopped feeling great about my impromptu decision to do the often referred to – ‘big chop’!! I figured I would worry about styling and hair care maintenance after the party.

How I Transitioned

There was no ‘transitioning’ period for me per se, other than getting accustomed to my normal hair texture as it started growing out. I concentrated on doing a lot of deep conditioning and hair steaming. My hair was happy and so was I. The softness and the curl that started showing up for the dance, just made hair combing for me a delight, day in, day out.

It was a new era of ‘hand in hair’ syndrome (a term most naturals are aware of ). You just want to keep touching and caressing the new curls that formed close to your scalp – it felt so good!

What Have I Accomplished

Accomplished? I could make a long list however, I will list a few:

  • self-confidence
  • pride in my hair-appearance
  • creativity in motion when it comes to inventing natural hair products and hairstyles
  • saving more moolah for hair products by using things in my kitchen
  • a healthier scalp and hair
  • more awareness of better hair health practices
  • a beautiful head of hair, even having been around for more than 30+ years.

How Do I Feel About My Decision 4 yrs Later

I have no regrets. It was a great decision. I realize that the transition was due to information and education. In the last 10-15yrs, there has been so much information on the world wide web about embracing your natural hair. Not only online but in written form as well. Here are a few suggestions:

The main reason behind creating this website was to be a source of information for women and men who need to be empowered with information about hair, hair care, natural products, homemade recipes, and general information that can help anyone on their hair journey.

Benefits Of Being Natural

Before I became a natural girl, I used chemical straighteners and chemical color rinses for more than 30 yrs. When I look back, I wonder why I did not start earlier, however, I guess, like everything else – everything in its time.

Here are my personal benefits of being natural:

  • it is healthier for your hair and body
  • it is less expensive – when I compare the amount of money I spent on chemical hair straighteners every 6 weeks, in addition to a chemical rinse every 4 weeks, special hair treatments to reduce dryness, it did add up to a pretty penny, Of course, I am not saying that being a natural is not costly, not at all, however, the potential to do-it-yourself for so many hair products outweigh the cost of premade products – at least for me as I love to be creative.
  • I have creative license to try out various natural product suggestions and not worry about them damaging my hair
  • you have a lot of flexibility in terms of hairstyles – you can be curly in the morning and straight in the evening if you choose by blow-drying, flat ironing, stretching, or roller setting. Of course, I am not a big advocate of heat, but as with anything, everything in moderation.
  • it boosts my confidence to wear my hair how I please and to embrace my natural texture

Disadvantages of being natural

  • not too many hair salons who cater to natural hair clients
  • your hairstyle might be less ‘weather resistant’ depending on the style you choose to wear, and the season
  • as with anything else, you need to be aware of allergic reactions to products.

My Regimen

My regimen today is very different from what it was 4 years ago when I started my hair journey. A lot of trials and errors along the way. It was all about discovering your hair – what it likes and what it doesn’t like. Yes, it has been a process, yet also enjoyable to see your hair reacting differently in so many ways and the ability for you to be able to make changes and improve along the way.

To begin with, let’s look at my hair cleansing method. I use VO5 hair conditioner quite often to cleanse or cowash my hair, as well as Indian powders.  I love the Moisture Milks line of fragrances.

It is:

  • inexpensive
  • has no silicones
  • easily available
  • comes in a variety of scents

I begin by thoroughly wetting my hair, then I will ‘lather up’ with the VO5 conditioner 2 – 3 times, paying attention to my scalp and giving a little massage as I wash. I rinse thoroughly.

I follow this step with a deep conditioner. I use homemade products or other premade deep conditioners that I trust. I have become an avid label reader when it comes to buying premade hair products.

I follow up my deep condition process with an oil rinse sometimes, maybe every 3-4 months to further strengthen my strands.

Sometimes, I apply a leave-in conditioner which I make, usually Aloe Vera and then I follow with my style options. When my hair was shorter, my ‘go-to’ hairstyle was finger coils, however, these last few months, I have been doing two strand twists and then pulling them together into a French Chignon in the back of my head – old habits die hard, I love my French Chignon.

I make about 13 twists. Before I twist each section, I ALWAYS apply my whipped shea butter to the hair and then twist. I find that this keeps my hair nicely moisturized until my next wash day. I usually wash my hair every 2-3 days as time permits. If time is premium, then I simply retwist after spraying a water spritz and also re-apply more whipped shea butter.

As I have been around more than 21 years, I have a tendency to have sophisticated displays of greys. To cover or highlight them, I use henna and indigo powder versus a chemical rinse. I love using henna, evn though it can get a bit messy. However, the results are always the same – fabulous and natural looking hair color.

I usually allow my hair to dry naturally. I do not use heat – direct or indirect – as much as I did while I was a relaxed girl. The only time I might use indirect heat is when I am doing a steaming or deep conditioning.

And this is my natural hair regimen. For now, it works well for my hair and I. Are you a natural girl? I would love to hear your story. Please leave your comments in the comments section.

Thank you.

michelle lake

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10 thoughts on “My Natural Hair Journey Review

  1. Sylvia

    Reading your article made me think back where I too, once, made a quick decision in changing my hair look and it was awesome, it felt great.

    However, my hair concern is at the opposite spectrum of yours. I am a “natural” limb, fine, straight hair woman 🙂 and I remember when I always felt horror going to the hairdresser because I never get the look I wanted.

    This is, luckily, long gone and I, similar like you, are on the lookout for natural products which are both, healthy for me and my hair as well environmental friendly.

    Really enjoy your website gained a lot of knowledge. 🙂

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hello there, Sylvia
      Thanks for visiting. Isn’t it a great feeling though – can I say, liberating? To just take matters into your own hands and just cut? LOL It can have repercussions sometimes, but hey, this is what life experiences are about.
      I have had my horror stories too, even as a natural girl, as your time permits, please read my article on my Dominican Blowout experience…definitely one for the books! LOL
      Yes, we need to take care of health and the environment as much as we can, because if we don’t. those after us will surely run into issues.
      All the best, and please visit when you can. So happy that you found my website a source of information.

  2. Carole

    Hi, Michelle, very good article! Experiencing is good in anything, Thinking out of the box! I remember having a perm for over 10 years then the same hairstylist asked me you have natural light curl, why do you perm? Really??? the same stylist I had for all that time…I told her you owe me 10 years of perms lol…but needless to say that was my last perm and my last time with her…..I am not very curly but that’s is good enough natural way. So again very great article!

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hello Carole,
      Thanks for stopping by.
      Your story is a funny one, in some way. On the other hand, it just goes to show that sometimes, you NEED to tell your stylist your needs or they will just do as they wish – to them, it’s sometimes just another head of hair. I am happy to know that you too have embraced your natural texture and curls. It might take some time before we accept our natural tresses, but I guess everything in its time. I am glad you enjoyed the article.
      Come back and visit anytime.

  3. Melani

    Hi, Michelle. Your journey in finding natural hair care products is very interesting. I agree with you that natural products are always better to be used compare with synthetic products. I have ever read that some black hair coloring chemical can trigger cancer. Have you any information about that?

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hello there Melani,
      Thanks for visiting. Yes, reducing any chemical process, or product for you internally or externally is always a good thing for the body, skin, or hair. If we look around our kitchens and focus on using the products we find there for use on the inside and the outside, we would be so very surprised.
      I stopped using chemical hair rinses some years ago. I have not heard about any black hair coloring being a trigger for cancer, then again, this would not surprise me too much. You have piqued my curiosity so I guess I will go in research mode.
      Thanks for reading.

  4. Annie Collyer

    Hi Michelle,
    What a very interesting and well-written saga of your conversion to a natural look. I am pretty impressed with your having taken the shears to your hair for your ‘big chop’…love the term!
    I have learned so much about hair care from you in many of your posts. They always are a wealthy of knowledge!
    You asked for our stories…I’m a curly headed former dark blonde, going grayer. The gray look is not what I want, so I get a double process done…about 3 times a year, so not too expensive. But it does take moisture out of hair that is already a bit on the dry side, and curly-coarse in texture.
    When I was a child, I envied friends whose smooth locks would gleam under the classroom lights! (I had no idea whether mine gleamed or not, of course!). But I went through my idealization of no curls, and used flat irons for my ‘best look’.
    Finally I reached an epiphany and let it go curly. I don’t even coil anymore, just scunch and go. Every once in a while – maybe once or twice a year – I straighten, as a joke for my husband. He calls me Heidi on those days- lol.
    I too am comfortable with my curls- acutally I really like them a lot. It’s a part of growing into embracing who I am, as a unique individual. Funny how hair is part of that big picture!
    Thank you for all your great information, Michelle.

    1. Michelle Post author

      Thanks for your visit, Annie. I am glad that you resonated with the thoughts. Yes, your hair does play a role in ‘who you are’ – though it is not who you are! Yes, it takes a strong person to accept self and all that comes with it. You might want to read my article on deep conditioning, this could be something for you to do to increase your hair moisture level. Loved your childhood story too, th things we did then.
      All the best.

  5. ariel

    Hello Michelle, I just loved your courage!
    Even that you did it right before going out to a party! Wow!

    I have always loved the way hair can be in its most natural forms. And it seems that we are not ever satisfied with what we are given. LOL. The human condition.

    Since I have naturally curly hair there have been times when I thought, hmm, wonder what it would look like if it was straight? And I used a big brush and hair dryer to make that happen.

    I was told I looked very sophisticated. LOL. Not really my style. But that is the gift of our hair. As you stated we can be whatever mood we choose in the moment.
    And I am grateful you are no longer using chemicals.

    Since my hair is so very curly, I also chop it myself. Curls are forgiving they hide cutting mistakes. And I have saved myself loads of salon money.

    I am still not yet sure about the going gray, so I do touch it up ever so often to stay in my own blondeness. But I am toying with going gray.. just not quite ready yet.

    I have also come to really love my hair. I like it to look wild and out there.. and wind blown. My alter ego perhaps?

    It was such fun to read your journey.
    And somehow going back to natural, is truly coming back to the beauty of self, isn’t it?
    I so do enjoy your site. It is always an adventure!
    Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

    In peace and gratitude, ariel

    1. Michelle Post author

      Hello Ariel,
      Thanks for stopping by and thank you so much for your comments and truly kind words. Yes, I am so happy that I have reduced the use of chemicals in my life – hair and body included. It is only as you find more information that you can make more informed decisions. We don’t always do this, but it sure feels good when we do. Yes, natural curls are indeed forgiving as you say, they can surely hide a ‘bad haircut’. All the best on your hair journey and feel free to stop by occasionally.


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