In our last Natural Hair Journey feature, we shared Robinn’s story. Robinn has been natural for 30 years, is currently wearing locs, and shared some excellent DIY conditioner and oil recipes.
Today, we have Christabel, a comparatively new natural, three years into her natural hair story.
I came across Christabel, posting as @bye_wig, on Instagram. Her feed got my attention because of something my sister and I experienced years ago when out at events promoting Naturally You!. So many women would come up to our table, look at the magazine, then after a few minutes, say “I’m natural under here…” referring to their wig or weave.
There’s nothing inherently wrong with wearing added hair, and it’s an important part of our history. However, there are times when our wig wearing is more about hiding than protecting, style, or tradition. Christabel recently realized that she fell more into the former category, and was in need of a change.
Here struts a woman who once believed that wearing her hair out would make her look basic. And like a 12 year old. A basic 12 year old. Although she “liked” her hair, she didn’t think it went with her ‘look’ and ‘style’. So, she relied solely on wigs to give her the desired look. She thought it was harmless. But she was denying herself…
Saying #byewig forced me to face my hair. There was no option of brushing it under the (virgin Malaysian) carpet anymore.
And so began Christabel’s self-imposed challenge – to go 365 days without wearing a wig, which she is documenting on her aptly named Instagram feed.
I wore wigs myself when I was growing my locs, and for me, it was less about wanting a different style and more about not wanting to show what was underneath. I was fresh out of school and thought my fuzzy, fledgling baby locs would prevent me from getting a job. I needed to look “professional.” I understand now that natural hair is as professional as any other hair, but it’s been a process for me as it is for most people.
Needless to say, I wanted to know more about Christabel’s experience and to share it with you! Read on for more about the woman behind @bye_wig, how she kicked her wig habit, and how it has changed her view of herself and her hair.
How long have you been natural?
I stopped relaxing my hair 3 years ago, however, I’ve embraced my natural hair properly for the last 5 months.
How and why did you go natural?
Initially, I went natural because I was wearing wigs and didn’t see the need to relax my hair anymore.
What is your current hair care routine?
I’m still trying to find the right routine for my hair, but at the moment I wash every three weeks and deep condition once a week. When I wash I prepoo first. I finger detangle.
What is your favorite thing about being natural?
The sense of confidence I have in myself and in my blackness. The sense of pride that I am rocking my hair. A newfound respect and love for my hair type that I have never ever had before.
What are your favorite natural hair care resources?
What would you want someone who is newly natural or considering going natural to know?
Start basic and do your research. Find people online who have similar hair textures to get tips. Don’t be overwhelmed by the number of products out there. Just get your basic L.O.C. (liquid, oil, and cream for the LOC moisturization method) and work it out from there. Embrace the uniqueness of your hair and that your journey will be different from everyone else’s. Don’t compare yourself to others. GET A ROUTINE!!!! Just enjoy it and you will reap the benefits.
Great advice Christabel, and thanks for sharing your natural hair journey!