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Ayesha Gaibi’s Natural Hair Journey

My natural hair journey started out of curiosity more than anything else. For some reason, videos on the Curly Girl Method kept popping up in my YouTube feed!

At the time, I was straightening my hair weekly and having natural hair did not interest me at all and I hadn’t seen my curls since I was a child (back then, having curly hair had a negative reputation and made one feel ashamed and embarrassed about their hair), so those curls were just waves. I also had that mindset that straight hair was safe and acceptable in society.

A few months passed by and everywhere I kept seeing people wearing their hair natural. I started wondering what my hair would look like if I also went natural but at the same time, I was concerned about what people would say and how I would be judged because my hair is no longer perfectly straight.

I began doing loads of research on the Curly Girl Method and after seeing others’ changes, I made up my mind to go natural. On 15/12/2018, I stopped straightening my hair. My hair was an absolute mess but I understood that I needed to transition and that it would take a few months to get rid of my damaged ends.

My family and even friends had so many negative things to say about my hair. During the festive season, I kept bumping into people while I was out and about and many of them looked at me as if I’d lost my mind. Some of the things people were saying and how they reacted towards me, really affected me until I got to a point where I thought about straightening my hair to avoid further shaming. Instead, I took a pair of scissors and cut two chunks from my hair. I did this because I knew there was no way I could wear my hair straight so I was forced to see it through.

Three weeks went by and I became frustrated having to deal with two different hair textures. I tried using flexi rods but it was too time consuming for my busy life. On 15/01/2019, I went for my big chop and no words could describe how happy and free I felt that day. I remember telling my husband “I have never been this happy with my hair before”. I’ve clinically been diagnosed with OCD so when I say I felt free, I felt mentally free as well. From that day on, everything changed for me. I was happier and a lot more carefree, as I honestly felt as if my straight hair imprisoned me.

But my hair still wasn’t curling “properly”. It was still wavy. The curly girl method is pretty straight forward: You refrain from using products that contain sulphates, silicones, waxes and stay away from heat and chemicals. The reasons for these restrictions made complete sense to me, so I embraced the Curly Girl Method wholeheartedly and a whole new level of OCD kicked in LOL! Since curly hair is naturally more dry, using a sulphate based product is too harsh as it strips the hair and scalp of its natural oil/s. Due to the curves in curly hair, our natural sebum is often not able to travel right down to our tips and using sulphates on already dry hair causes it to become brittle.

As a result, curly hair needs moisture to thrive. Silicones in hair products coat our hair, leaving a film on each hair strand that prevents moisture from penetrating. It creates the illusion that one’s hair is moisturized but eventually the hair becomes dry, damaged and these silicones cannot be removed with water alone; therefore, a sulphate based product is needed to get rid of it. Following a routing with my hair, I deep conditioned my hair every week without fail, experimented with different products and techniques and I started cutting my own hair (I actually do this way more than I need to). I’ve now been on this beautiful journey for the past eight months and I am a totally different person. I am a better person because I feel empowered, I am no longer hiding behind straight hair and I no longer give a damn about what anyone has to say when it comes to my hair!!!!

My biggest supporter through all of this was and is my husband. The healthier and curlier my hair becomes, the more excited he gets and he celebrates these milestones with me. I’m so grateful that I am now able to take care of my kids hair as well and not resort to straightening. Products we love using on our Curly Girl journey is IntrinsiCurly Me and of course, Marley Grey Hair Care Accessories. My journey would not have been this pleasant without these two major industry players.

We LOVE reading your journeys – THANK YOU to each person who has taken the time to send us their Hair Journey. We may not be able to publish everyone’s journey, but it gives us so much more insight into where most of the struggles are and how we can improve our service to YOU 🙏