Ms Lala’s Natural Hair Journey

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It is always hard to express my thoughts when people ask about my natural hair journey. I did not “go natural”, my natural hair is a part of who I am. I am a wife, mother, educator, singer, sister, and friend and I have kinky coily hair that I choose to wear natural. The history of natural hair in the black community is too large to contain within these pages but I am one strand of that story.

How long have you been natural? In adult hood I have worn my natural hair for about 12 years now but I have spent more of my life natural than I have relaxed. As a kid my mom gave me a texturizer (okay it was a jheri curl), when I was in elementary or middle school. Once I got old enough, around 14, to do my own hair I grew it out and started pressing my hair to wear it straight. Later I relaxed my hair because I thought it would be easier to care for but realized it was a mistake and decided later on to BC.

Why did you stop relaxing? For me being natural is more than hair. It is a statement; it’s part of who I am. I realized that the relaxer was just not me, it didn’t fit my personality, style, or views so I chopped. I can’t say that I will never straighten or texturize my hair again but I definitely don’t plan on it. I also was tired of relaxing.

Did you have relaxer damage? I’ve always been into hair care so my relaxed hair was pretty healthy. It wasn’t nearly as long or healthy as it is now though. The relaxer always burned my scalp and that’s another reason I gave them up. I did have one bad experience with a particular relaxer in 1999 that left my hair thin. Even when I relaxed I tried not to use too much heat and I kept my hair moisturized.

pressed hair

My pressed & tightly curled hair!

relaxed hair

My relaxed hair

Did you transition? I transitioned wearing braids until my hair was about an inch long and then I chopped it off. I wore my hair in coils and twists most of the time when it was shorter.

How long did it take you to grow you hair out? I was able to grow my hair to my shoulders pretty easily but growing it past that length became a challenge. I was stuck at the same length for a while. It took me about 5 years to grow my hair to around waist length.

In 2005 my hair was seriously damaged from color and I had to cut it out little by little so this is how I was able to track how long it took me to grow my hair.

How did you grow your hair long? To summarize it I wore my hair in protective styles about 80% of the time, kept it moisturized, and left the heat alone. I also treated and continue to treat my hair gently and take good are of my ends because this is the oldest part of my hair. A healthy diet is also an important part of growing long hair. I notice a big difference in my hair growth when I eat right and take vitamins.

How long is your hair now? I have been maintaining my natural hair between midback length and waist length.                                         More about Ms Lala’s Hair Journey….

human hair braids

Transitioning with human hair braids







natural hair twists

3 years completely natural- I wore my hair in twists mostly







long two strand twists

6 years natural- my hair should have been longer but I had issues with breakage

10 Enlightened Replies

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  1. Diane Kizzee says:

    Hello Ms. LaLa

    I’ve been natural for over 10 years, I’ve really have never hardly since grade school
    wore my hair, it’s thin doesn’t hold a style long. I’ve wore braids from time to time.
    I wear wigs now and my hairline in getting bald, what can I do. I’m embarrassed to wear
    my hair. what can start me out with hair growth under my wigs or ? so I can get to a point?
    where I can shop top.
    My hair is very un even, I have cut the split ends but it has never especially the top been evenly long all the way around. Your comments and Tips would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.


  2. Mary Woods Reese says:

    Please elaborate on how color damaged your hair. People will try to fight you when you say color is bad for your hair.

    • naturalhairgrowth101 says:

      It made my hair dry to the point that nothing would remedy it. I had to cut all of it out. My hair broke constantly. I have heard that going darker doesn’t cause as much damage but I’m scared to try color again. I will use henna when I start going gray.

      • Nicol says:

        Good evening Ms lala, I am having an issue with my matted hair. Please help me with this in terms of what products to buy and use. I am a mixed Spanish with puertorican and Panamanian young girl. My hair is thick and curly.

  3. Nya says:

    Hey Ms. LALA, I have a question. I’m going to school in a really cold and dry area, how should I care for my hair and keep it highly moisturized? This place is Alberta Canada.. man it’s sucking the life and moisture out of my whole body alone. But I feel as if my hair is getting the most damage from it.

  4. Greetings. Ms. Lala, I am posting to show my support for your commitment to women’s health and hair care. I would like to further encourage you on your endeavors on this very effective medium of which you have chosen to express your creativity. Back in 2012 I wrote a poem I call “Kinky” as a celebration of natural hair and the power of words. There is a quote that suggests that those who control the images, control the minds of the people. Due to sites such as yours, the minds of many people are becoming more conscious of health and well being. What a great success. Your willingness to offer advice and tips and to be a presence in the various debates about how to manage our hair as well as your personal shared experiences about how to manage along the journey are empowering. Thank you for sharing.

    It is my hope that the track I produced for “Kinky” and the video I created would just for a moment make someone smile knowing there are others with similar passions who express their gifts to achieve the same effectiveness of inspiring healthy thinking and thus living in the lives of others. Please watch and enjoy the video: “WHAT’S HAIR GOT TO DO WITH IT?” in which I share my love affair with hair. I would love to stay in touch. I am looking forward to the journey. Take care.

  5. Amanda says:

    I too am on a natural hair journey. Best decision I’ve made in my life so far RE: my appearance! It was tough at first having used to my relaxed hair but the payoff has been awesome so far. Can’t wait to have a fuller ‘fro though..

  6. GJ says:

    Hey Ms. Lala,
    I love your website, I wish I could have found you, back in 2009 when my hair first started to thin. However, I am committed to taking better care of my hair, since I found your website.
    I do have a question on the Aubrey Organic Rose Conditioner product listed on your product list. There was a customer review on regarding the ingredients in their products. It says that the ingredients have changed so much that they should not be classified as organics. What do you think? Do you still use this conditioner? Here is the link

    • naturalhairgrowth101 says:

      I am not sure about whether or not the ingredients are all organic but I really like the conditioner. I use whatever works well on my hair. I don’t stick to all organic products so it doesn’t bother me either way. I even use it on my toddlers hair with no problems.

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