Transitioning To Natural Hair : My Journey In Pictures!

Photos by Tabitha Tongoi

Photos by Tabitha Tongoi

...to many things. To America from Kenya, to a new culture with its strange foods, social habits and singy-songy accents, to life in University and of course, to a life without Kenyatta Market (a.k.a Mama Nani's Salon down the road from your house). 

Let me also, insert here:  transitioning into womanhood, and with that, to a whole new level of beauty standards. Can we have a round of applause and a standing ovation for African American women! Dey no joke oh! *End of Naija slang*

African American women are some of the most trendy women I have come across. Many-a-middle-class-Kenyan lady (myself included :-/ ), can walk around with thread-thin or half-threaded eyebrows and a weave fit to be a mop, but not so my African American sisters. Meticulous in their beauty standards is what they are. 

Okay, so on to my transitioning phase already! Transitioning in the natural hair world means RETURNING (thanks Julz) to your natural hair texture from your chemically straightened one. 

I had a texturizer when I came to America. I had also died my hair honey-blonde. This was the time in Kenya when EVERYONE, as in, I mean every self-respecting fashionista was rocking red or brown short kinky or texturized hair. I was, of course, squarely sitting in that boat! I am, after all, a self-respecting fashionista ain't I? Hahaha!

Anyway, as always, the first week of a perm/dye-job is awesome, then comes the breakage and dryness. 

A few weeks into my first year of University. My natural hair was growing in, and my relaxed hair, was falling ouuuttt!! 

You ask: Is that a hole in your hair at the back?

I say: Yess ohh!! Haha!

Patchy, broken, heat-damaged, colour-damaged, frail, thin, two-textured hair. Most of my hair was on the floor or on my comb. Sigh!

After a while, the struggle had become all too real. I had kinky, type 4 hair at the root and thin, coloured and texturized hair at the tips. 

My default move was to do braids as my natural hair grew out. I did these ones myself. Trust me, I am an A student at YouTube University!

I also learnt how to do three-strand twists. I wore these braids when I visited my brother for the Christmas holidays. 

I am also the chairlady of team forehead!! 

I am also the chairlady of team forehead!! 

*I hear some ladies in the diaspora have had to wear their braids for upto 6 months for fear of not knowing how to handle their hair sans braids. That's none of my business though. Insert Kermit Meme.*

Not to worry though, today can mark the end of spraying-lots-of-perfume-to-mask-the-smell-of-moulding-braids. That's what I am here for. 

How was your transition from your home town/country/continent? What hairstyle of choice did you pick for the move? 

Thanks for stopping by munchkins! 

Feel free to follow me @cravingyelllow for more hair inspiration! 

xoXox, 

Tabitha.