Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

Four weeks ago, I celebrated my first year of my natural hair journey.  I can’t believe a year has already passed but it is still the best decision I’ve made.  In the beginning, I always questioned how committed I could be.  Could I stop blow drying my hair?  Would I find the right products?  Could I learn to love my curls again?

I also really didn’t know much!  I didn’t know anything about microfiber towels or Denman brushes.  I didn’t know the correct way to diffuse.  I didn’t know how many other curly hair product brands existed besides Shea Moisture and Devacurl.  I was pretty clueless but I learned so much throughout this journey.

The photo above was taken last summer about a week before I had my first Devacut.  I was embarrassed walking outside with my curls looking like this and walking past other curly girls with beautiful, healthy hair.  I hated how damaged I let my curls get and knew it was time to do something about it.  After three years of consistently bleaching it blonde, I dyed it back to this lighter brown and I was ready for a Devacut.

Fast forward to now, a year later.

Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

When I started my journey, I remember a lot of girls saying it takes at least two years before you see your natural curl pattern return.  I did not expect my curls to look like this my first year in!  I expected many cuts and experimenting with a plethora of products before achieving the results I have now.  This just goes to show that with patience and commitment, you can achieve your hair goals.

Aside from quitting heat, deep conditioning and haircuts played a big role in restoring my curls’ pattern and health.  I’ve gotten two cuts in the past year – one at Devachan and one with Mona.

At Devchan, I did not do a huge chop, but the transformation cut really brings your curls back to life.  (Read about my Devacut here.) Strands that I thought would never curl again, started to curl.  Cutting off dead, damaged ends that were weighing down my hair, allowed me to achieve more volume at my roots, where before, my hair would just lay flat.

Before, During and After my first Devacut.

Following the cut, I started using Devacurl products which worked really well on my curls.  However, for the amount of product you have to use, you go through them quickly and my wallet was giving me major side eye!  So, I needed to find more affordable options and that’s when I signed up for curlBOX – a monthly subscription box that comes with five full sized hair products from one brand for $25 a month.  An affordable way to try out new brands monthly while finding out which products work and don’t work for my curls.

Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

This photo was almost a month after my Devacut and what a difference from what my curls looked like when I walked into the salon!  At this point, I was trying out different products and continuing to trim the dead ends and pieces that didn’t curl anymore.  I did a lot of trimming in my first few months.  Those pieces will never curl again, so just cut them off and let them go!

Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

This photo was a few weeks before my second cut, about 5 months later.  At this point, I went back to my natural hair color and stopped dying my hair completely.  My hair lost its shape, my bangs grew out and my curls were in desperate need of a trim.  This time around, I knew I wanted to go much shorter to truly cut off the dead ends that were still remaining.

Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

I booked an appointment with Mona (@TheMonaCut – Read more about my Mona cut here.) I gave her some history on my hair and showed her how short I wanted to go.  I would rather have short, healthy hair than long, damaged hair.  It will grow back!  So this time, I chopped off much more and cut my hair into a fro.  After this cut is when I began to truly see my natural curl pattern come back.

Mona’s advice to me was to deep condition a lot and I have been doing just that.  Lots of deep conditioning and hair masks.  Sometimes, I leave them in for 2-3 days.  I know people say that the product stops working after its recommended leave in time but I feel my curls are always more hydrated the longer I leave the product in.  Also, every time I wash out the product and then style my hair, I notice my curls becoming tighter and just looking even better each time.  The more I saw progress, the more committed I became.

Natural Hair Journey: 12 Months

Everyday my curls continues to amaze me.  Some days, I wake up and won’t need to refresh or I could make it to Day 6 but still look like its Day 2!  This journey has truly been a learning process and has taught me so much about curly hair.  This journey also taught me to love my curls again.  I feel so much more confident with my hair now than I ever have.

Embracing my curls has also introduced me to so many other curly babes in the curly community!  Curly hair events are honestly some of my favorite events to attend.  Just being  in a room with other girls who have or are going through their journey and are embracing their curls.  It’s so inspiring and I love it!

It’s not an easy journey.  There are good hair days and bad hair days.  It is normal to feel discouraged and impatient in the beginning.  You have to learn your curls and what works and what doesn’t.  There’s a lot of trial and error but like I said earlier, as you see progress, it motivates and excites you to keep going!  Don’t give up!  Just be patient and consistent!

I hope you guys have enjoyed these posts about my journey!  If you’re just tuning in or have missed a prior post, read my journey from the beginning and documented through my first year:

Natural Hair Journey: Three Months

Natural Hair Journey: Six Months

Natural Hair Journey: Nine Months


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