Chelsea’s Hair Journey

Chelsea’s Hair Journey

I grew up in the hair salon. My weekly appointments sitting next to my mom under the hooded dryer that was 10 times too big for my head were some of my best memories. I loved admiring the uncontrollable grins on women’s faces after they saw the finished look in the mirror. That bond and fellowship around hair is one of the deepest and most universal forms of shared intimacy in Black Women’s lives.

However, until I turned 20, I had no idea what my curls looked like. I got my first perm (chemical relaxer) when I was 4.

4yo Chelsea

By the time I was in college it was riddled with heat damage and breakage.

18yo Chelsea

I remember feeling frustrated that no matter how hard I tried, my hair just wouldn't grow. I also resented the fact that I was so dependent on my monthly relaxer. Without the regular touch ups, my hair was completely unmanageable. 

I felt inspired as the first generation of natural hair influencers (shout out to the OGs like @naptural85 aka Whitney White) began to build their Instagram and YouTube audiences. In November 2012, I got my last relaxer. From there, I never looked back.

Transitioning to wearing my hair natural took thousands of hours of research, trial and error, and creating concoctions in my kitchen. I remember constantly pouring over Reddit threads and YouTube videos hoping there would be some big secret that could get me my curls overnight. But I learned throughout the process that it's like growing a plant, you have to treat it gently, and most of all, be patient. After all of that effort and slight patience, I finally grew the courage to cut off the straight parts and commit to the process.

Although there were no shortcuts to healthy curls, over time, I began to develop a routine that worked for me. And the rest is history. 

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