The Journey Continues

When I transitioned from relaxed hair to natural hair back in 2007/2008, I didn’t tell anyone. I had completed my undergraduate degree and moved to Tampa to start my adult life in corporate America. It was an exciting time for me.  In 2007, I was 22 years old and had been doing my own hair since I was 10 years old.  I had always worn my hair bone straight, in it’s natural hue of black, in box or micro braids, and rod sets or roller sets. I had only played with rinses and a few highlights in college. I went to one stylist my senior year of college who, perhaps is the reason I’m not fond of going to the salon, damaged my hair. After that moment and moving to the increasingly more humid and rainy weather than I was accustomed to, I decided to do more protective styling and low maintenance styles. I also didn’t want to relax my hair as often as my job was remote and had me traveling all over Florida.

My job soon uprooted me to Atlanta in 2008. My hair at this point was getting back used to Georgia’s weather and I was into working out (bring back those days).  I had been in touch with a cousin’s girlfriend at the time (now wife, gotta love love) who was a straight natural. I had no idea what a straight natural was at the time. All I knew was that she worked out daily, had the prettiest Bantu Knots results, and was relaxer free. I told her how I wanted to continue not relaxing my hair but wasn’t quite ready to wear it big and curly. She introduced me to natural hair on YouTube. At that time,  there weren’t many girls on there.  I started following a few who I’ve actually become friend with.  After I cut off my relaxed ends I had a cute bob and wore my hair straight. I could straighten my hair better than any pro I knew. I would often be asked how I got it so straight, bouncy, and didn’t have heat damage. That is how Mskelabug began! As a starter page to watch hair videos and then to share how I straightened my hair. I had so many views and wondered why people wanted to watch little old me straighten my hair in my bathroom.

With all of the love came all of the “why would you go natural?”, “ that is not going to be pretty on you, it’s going to look like a Jherri Curl!”, “I knew her when she was a baby and she did not have curly hair, must be a texturizer!”, and when I wore it curly more it was “I like your hair better straight!” as though I submitted surveys asking for feedback. I’ve never done anything for anyone’s entertainment, especially when it comes to my own appearance. Being authentically me got me millions of views on YouTube, brand partnerships, networking, and great relationships with a lot of people. It also allowed others to embrace healthier hair choices for themselves. It’s ironic that the same people who questioned my hair choices are all natural now. Same can be said about those who asked why I was on social media 10 years ago before it was a thing to share your life (Vlogging is what we called it back then) and saying it’s not like you get paid to be on there. Analytics and studies now say we were ahead of our time being our authentic selves and now everyone is catching up. It’s okay to follow the beat of your own drums. Most of the time, it sends you in the right direction!

I was active on YouTube for a few years.  For me, I could only show my subscribers so many times how to do a three strand twist, my rod sets, how I straightened my hair, etc. I liked the ease of direct access to post and respond to people on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. I did miss the interaction with the loyal ones who always commented so I would always attempt to do a video every few months to check in. If  I’m honest, editing is time consuming for someone like me who likes one takes (which most of my videos are) and direct/quick easy options. Social Media has it’s waves of do this not that, this works better, etc. Trends come and go! I never thought of natural hair as a trend but recognized how quickly my peers had began pushing their own products. I did consider but by this point, I was  heavily involved in a new career and promotions. That’s a post for another day. I was also into more protective styling with Knotless Braids, wigs, clip ins, and changing the color of my hair. All still DIY! I was bored but loved and have always loved the versatility of natural hair.  A little over two years ago, I was living in Louisiana and had started one of many attempts to loc my hair. I didn’t let them stay in because I knew that I wasn’t quite ready. 

I’ve been researching locs for the past five years or so. Research to me is so important when it comes to locs because for me, this time around, if I decided I wanted to relax when I was transitioning it would’ve been a lot easier.  I still could go back to being a loose natural but the route back would be a little more tedious. I had to decide which type of locs: traditional, micro, sister.  Do I want square, triangle, or free parting. What are my goals for how I want them to look once they mature?  Growing up I had my late Aunt Dorothy who always wore natural styles. She was literally the first person I saw in micro braids as a kid. I knew as a child that I would loc my hair one day but when I wasn’t sure. Remember, I’ve been doing my own hair since I was 10. I decided to go with Microlocs and will interlock. 

Saturday, January 9, 2022 I began my installation process. It took me approximately 19 hours and I did take a few breaks. I did not interlock because of some hesitations, but after speaking with some loc’d friends I am reconsidering. I have a lot of locs! I may end of combining some in the near future.

So join me as my healthy hair journey continues.