My Hair Journey (updates coming soon)

I had originally posted the actual hair journey videos on this blog page, and all was well...until I discovered that someone had taken the liberty of embedding ALL of my YouTube videos onto their own website. As a result, I had to remove the embedding privileges from my videos. Unfortunately, this also prevents me from embedding MY OWN videos on MY OWN blog, but I'd rather be inconvenienced than to have people STEALING my videos and posting them at will. [To the people who did this, you know who you are, and you know that what you did was foul.]

That said, for the rest of you, I apologize for my rant above. Here are the links to the YouTube videos, as well as a few pictures. Stay tuned for updates and more pictures showing the progress thus far!

Click on any of the images above or below to see a larger photo or video, and feel free to leave a comment!

Thin hair - still relaxed
The relaxed days
Recently (December 2012), my pastor prayed for all the women in my church who were having problems with our hair, from hair loss to slow growth, and all other problems in between. As he prayed, he recalled the words of the Lord in 1 Corinthians 11:15 that says, "But if a woman have long hair, it is a glory to her: for her hair is given her for a covering." During the prayer, Pastor asked the Lord to bless us with long, strong, thick, healthy, beautiful hair. Before he concluded, he prayed that God would give us wisdom, wisdom to know if there was something any of us was doing that was contributing to the hair problem, and wisdom to know if there is something any of us was not doing that we should be doing.

Preparing for 1st Cut (April 2013)
It didn't take long at all for me to hear what I believe God was telling me: The chemical relaxers are and have been contributing to my hair loss and thinning. In some spots, my hair has come out so dramatically that I can see my scalp. This was a devastating reality that I had to face up to, and the embarrassment that accompanies it has often caused me to want to keep a hat on, and wearing my hair back in a bun was for a while not even a possibility because of the hair loss at my temples (edges).
Before and after 1st Cut ( April 2013)

On Saturday, January 19, 2013, I had my last relaxer, and I am actively in the process of transitioning to natural hair. I haven't seen my "unrelaxed" hair in so long that I don't even know what it looks like. A close friend of mine told me she thinks I have the type of hair that when I put product in it, it will just curl up. Based on experiments with the "naps" at the nape of my neck, that seemed to prove true. However, I learned after the final big chop on December 5, 2013 (see the picture at the bottom) that, though my friend was right, the products I'm using cause the curls to be tighter than they were previously. By trial and error, and lots of experimenting, I'll eventually "learn" my hair.
Before and after second cut

On this page are pictures and videos of the first year of my hair journey. I'm still trying to figure out how best to chronicle this for you viewers, so please bear with me. What I can say, though, is that I have watched HOURS of YouTube videos, talked at length with friends who have natural hair, gathered a plethora of information and prayed, prayed, prayed for guidance from the Lord. I truly believe that this is the wisdom that God has given me - to stop allowing harsh chemicals to be used on my hair - and I am looking forward to meeting my natural hair for the first time since my teen years.

Excited to see curl pattern!
My hair care regimen
Hair care arsenal: Jamaican Black Castor Oil, Shea Moisture shampoos/conditioners/style products, wide-tooth comb, Denman brush

One day after big chop (December 5, 2013)