How I Really "Went Natural"
Hi, my name is Candace (also known as Kween Kandace). I'm a native to North Carolina and I officially started my natural hair journey 2 and a half years ago. My decision to go through with the "big chop" came after I noticed my hair falling out from the scalp. Yes not just breaking off, I was balding. Exactly what type of alopecia/hair loss I was experiencing, I may never know. I refused to go see a physician because I had already began my search into the field of holistic and alternative medicines (and I am also pretty stubborn). I was convinced I would find a remedy somewhere amongst the herbs.
People often wonder how my hair fell out in the first place. Well, I've dealt with issues of a problem scalp all my life. I had terrible dandruff starting at a young age all the way to the point of needing a prescription shampoo. Now that I reflect back on it, this may have been due to my many failed attempts at chemical relaxers starting at a young age. I begged my mom to have my hair chemically straightened. Whenever I tried to get relaxers before high school, it would only burn my scalp and leave it fiery red and irritated. Finally at age 15, my hair began to respond to the relaxers and I gained permission to dye my hair too. Thus began the perpetuating cycle of chemical treatment after chemical treatment for the next 6 years of my life. Throughout high school, I noticed changes in my scalp. Although there was less dandruff, there were a few tiny bald spots here and there probably due not only to the relaxers but also from the constant tension from straightening and styling my hair and hair dyes.
I stopped getting relaxers in 2011 and in January of 2012 I decided to dread my hair. Even though I had given up the "creamy crack", the color treatments were still ongoing until September of the same year when I starting noticing severe thinning to the point of baldness across the back of my head and around my edges.
The days I had dreads were so short-lived. By January of the following year, I was cutting my dreads and shaving my head bald. My scalp was a flaky, itchy mess. My natural methods of treatment for my scalp started with apple cider vinegar, which is great for your hair and can help to balance the pH. I was applying it directly to my scalp with a cotton ball daily. Check out this link to discover other ways to use ACV on natural hair: http://blackgirllonghair.com/2012/01/6-ways-to-use-apple-cider-vinegar/.
My favorite thing to use on my scalp were essential oils. There are numerous oils out there and they are all multi-purposeful. Tea tree oil was one of the first ones I used to help combat the dandruff. I used castor oil as the carrier for most of my essential oils because I read somewhere that it can penetrate up to 3 layers of skin. I also stumbled across an oil called neem. While neem does not smell the best (it's oniony and garlicky), it works wonders! It worked really well for my dandruff and it also helps with hair growth. (Read more about neem for hair and scalp health here: http://yournaturalhair.com/benefits-of-neem-oil-for-natural-hair/) The trick to using the neem was applying it at night then washing it out the next day so you wouldn't have to go out smelling like it. I also used rosemary with a carrier to help stimulate the hair follicles and lavender to help promote more luxurious hair growth. After a year of consistently using ACV and essential oils, my bald spots grew back in. The newer hair is a silkier texture then the rest of my hair but one lady made a point that I started the process over and called it "baby hair".
Since my hair has grown back, one of my favorite things to use in my hair is shea butter so I concocted a product using that and other things that are super beneficial for scalp health and hair growth and protecting against breakage. Shop here: khemistreenaturals.com/shop for my new KROWN WHIP - Root & Kurl Nourishment available now!