Relaxers: The Abuse Ends! My Napptural Journey Begins

Deciding to go natural
When I decided to to stop relaxing, I was like most black women who don’t know a thing about taking care of or styling nappy hair. At best, my goal was to grow it out and go back to a press and curl. But I soon discovered the joys of microbraids, which I ended up wearing for three-and-a-half years without a break. That’s because I loved them so much, and I thought I’d wear the braids forever. Then I relocated to my home town where braiders are in incredibly short supply. Well I found a braider who did an excellent job but turned out to be unreliable with regard to availability. I’d make an appointment, take my hair down, and then she’d call wanting to reschedule. What the heck was I supposed to do with all this nappy hair?

Abusing my naps
Since relaxers weren’t an option, I started doing twists. In between time I was pressing it, blow drying it, hot curling it…you know, in general just abusing the heck out of my hair. Then I’d try to go back and wear my hair in twists (the only nappy style I knew how to do) and for the life of me I couldn’t figure out why my hair looked so dry and and unhealthy.

Nappturality: Loving and caring for my nappy hair

Then I decided to get on the Internet, and I found a site called It was founded by a wonderful woman who goes by the online persona of Deecoily. What I love about Dee is her unrelenting, unapologetic, nononsense approach to educating black women around the world about how to take care of and love their nappy hair. This site definitely pointed me in the right direction. Thanks to NP as Nappturality is affectionately called by its members, I simply allow my hair to “do what it does.” I work with it as opposed to against it. As a result, I now shun all styling methods and heat tools that might alter or damage my nappy hair. Straight hair, to me is no longer the pennacle of beauty. I’ve broken those mental chains. I’m no longer just natural — I’m napptrual — my hair is nappy, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. 

My Mantra
When it comes to my nappy hair I simply try to Live Life. Love the Journey. Embrace the Truth. Be Nappy, Happy and Free. I think this is wonderful advice. Try it and you too can be nappy, happy and free! 

19 Responses to “Relaxers: The Abuse Ends! My Napptural Journey Begins”
  1. cheleskilove says:

    do you have a link to the MRI info linking a strange green hue emminating from the scalps of sisters with relaxers?looking for it……..

  2. nappyme says:

    Ewe…no I don’t. If you find it let me know. I’d like to see that myself.

  3. alexa says:

    Love this site!!! Recently cut my hair real low because it was damaged, or so I thought. Most of it is soft and curly. From reading Nappturology, I think the cuticle or cortex is damaged. I have been shampooing, and conditioning with cholesteral, and using some products from my local Dominican hair salon. I’m used to HAIR, and this is depressing me!! I’m hoping for a decent head of hair by March 2007. Do you recommend GDP, products shown on this site?

  4. nappyme says:

    Hi Alex! Welcome to Nappturology 101 and thanks sooooo much. This is truely a labor of love.

    About the GDP…it’s made by Aubrey. I think it’s general formula for all hair types. Yes, I recommend anything made by Aubrey and JASON brands.

    Don’t get discouraged with your hair. Do your research. There are sooooo many sources out there these days that can help you learn how to take care of your hair. You say yours is curly, not sure if you mean nappy or really curly. Like my napps coil to about the size of an ink pen spring. So I know most about highly textured really nappy hair.

    If you have loose curly hair, have you tried I betcha you’ll be able to find some good advice on that site. You gotta start being really proactive when it comes to taking care of your hair, because whether it’s loose curly or very nappy, bottom line is, you really have to treat it differently than you do naturally straight hair.

    So good luck, and I hope you continue to find good useful information on Nappturology 101. Thanks for stopping by and come back soon!

  5. verne says:

    I am almost in tears as I read this site. My daughter’s hair was already damaged from being permed, I tried growing it out but had no clue how to take care of it. I recently put in another perm. I feel awful. What can I do now? she has a lot of breakage on the sides and backwhile the rest of her hair is long. does your site talk about growing hair out after a perm or texturizer?

  6. nappyme says:

    Hi Verne, I usually only respond via my web site, but I wanted to make sure you received some personal attention.

    I’m so glad you found Nappturology 101 and took the time to post asking for help. It’s obvious that you’ve pretty much figured out that you need to stop putting chemicals in your daughter’s hair and start teaching her to love her natural hair unconditionally.

    But don’t feel too badly. Many, many people fail at their first attempts to go natural. It’s just not that uncommon. You have to consider that many black women have no recollection of their own nappy hair and have NEVER worked with it before. So, it’s totally understandable that you didn’t know what to do.

    But to answer your question, no I don’t have information on my site about transitioning out of a relaxer and unfortunately I haven’t yet taken the time to write an article or post transition resources. But the good news is your post spurred me into action, and I’ve taken some time to compile some resources for you that can help you embark on another transition. By following the advice in these sources and doing some additional research, odds are you’ll lower your frustration level by gaining some knowledge and skills that it’s gonna take to get your daughter through this next transition successful.

    I’m also gonna go out on a limb here and guess that you’re not sporting a nappy head of hair either. If you’re not, why not transition with your daughter. That way you both can learn to love your naps together.

    Good luck with your transition. Here are a list of resources, many of which come from If you’re not a member, now would be a good time to join.

    About Transitioning

    Transition Quiz

    Transition Styles

    Transitioning with Extensions

    Childrens Styles

    Napptural Children and Parenting
    Children’s Hairstyles

  7. Eboni says:

    I just love learing about all of you and your history. I’m am so inspired.

  8. Holly Tharbs says:

    i finally cut my perm off after 1 year and tring to start dreds and i love them so far my hair is not locked up yet but i love it and it is not short as i thought it would be

  9. nappyme says:

    Hi Holly! Congrats on becoming fully natural and good luck on starting your locs!

  10. Brilliantwon says:

    I have been racking my brain and my spirit about transitioning for a long time. I have always claimed to be a natural black woman, but I continued relaxing my hair trying to be like the very people who have taken so much from mine. I would have transitioned long ago, but I found myself pondering acceptence in the business world. I finally embraced my true self and embarked on this journey two months ago. This site and others like it have kept me strong because I have no one to talk to. I have shoulder length hair, and I don’t usually style it.Right now my problem is just that…… I don’t have any knowledge about style either of the two textures. Cutting my hair scares me because of my face shape, I think….

  11. nappyme says:

    Hi Brilliantwon! You know you’re not alone about the transition. But let me tell you, I work in an office with five other black women and guess what? Hon we’re all natural. We all are in professional positions. It’s funny cause everyone except me is sporting a really short cut and these women are absolutely gorgeous! I’m have to see if I can’t get a pic of everyone cause I just can’t believe I’m in an office with five nappy women. Everyone else is white and everyone loves our hair. We are having a nappy love fest up in here let me tell you!

    Now I will tell you that personally, I’m not a short-haired person. Don’t like it on me and probably never will so I’m not gonna tell you that you should cut your hair off and rock a twa if you don’t think you can do it. But there are a lot of options. I personally transitioned with microbraids but that might not be for you either. Make sure you check out all the resources that I listed above cause I think you’ll find all the information you need to help you transition to the natural you.

    Good luck Brillianwon and I can’t wait to see ya on the nappy side!

  12. Brilliantwon says:

    Thanks a bunch! I was going to transition it out, but I’ve never been big on styling any hair. I decided to make an appointment for Thursday to get the BC. My boyfriend says that he will support me ant that I’ll be beautiful no matter what…… He recently cut of dreds that he had grown out for 5 1/2 years, so he might actually be supportive. Either way I’m tired of playing the game…….

  13. Shelby says:

    I am in need of your help. I got a perm on my hair which really didnt need one, I got that so called “mixed” hair were I could go with my hair wet out of the shower. My luck I got a perm and my hair is falling out of my head especially around the edges. I dont know what to do. Should I try to cut a length that I feel comfortable with and then go into cornrows or braids? I am so stressed out about my hair I am probably making it fall out by being so stressed. Can you please help me!

  14. nappyme says:

    Hi Shelby,
    Welcome to NPP101.
    Wow, I’m sorry to hear about your hair woes. Problem with me giving you advice at this point is that I need some additional information…like clarification about how you’re using the phrase “falling out.” I think very literally, so when you say falling out, this makes me visualize that your hair is coming out at the root like when it sheds naturally. If that’s the case it sounds like you have a case of chemically induced hair loss. This would indicate some type of trauma to your hair follicles. However, if you didn’t experience any type of severe burning or scaring as a result of your last relaxer this most likely isn’t the case.

    Sooo perhaps you mean that your hair is breaking near the scalp very badly. If that’s the case sounds like your hair is horribly over processed and now you’re experiencing excessive breakage. Been there, done that on too many occasions. It’s a hard thing to deal with, I know.

    One product that has helped me stop breakage in its tracks is Nexxus Emergency. It’s a pure protein treatment and has literally saved me from losing a lot of hair from breakage. Make no mistake about it though, protein treatments are a temporary fix and if not used properly can be very drying and, therefore, defeat your purpose. Your main objective is to try and strengthen your hair with the protein and put moisture back in it so that it’s not so dry and brittle and prone to breakage. If you can do this, you may be able to delay the envitable while you wait for your new growth to fill in.

    But you have to know that eventually you’ll need to get rid of the damaged hair. So that means, yes ma’am, you’ll need to start gradually cutting out the damaged hair so that your new hair can begin to thrive.

    Then, you need to try to give your hair a rest from all forms of heat and styling and especially from any type of chemicals including relaxers. In fact, if you’ve at all taken then time to checkout my site, then you know that I am totally against using relaxers and heat anyhoo.

    Sooo what to do? In the past, I’ve worn wigs to cover up my damaged hair, and the last time I experienced horrible breakage, I got my hair braided. But if you’re experiencing hairline breakage, I think you’re going to need a good measure of new growth before you even consider wearing your hair braided with synthetic or human hair…if that’s something you decide to do.

    Cornrows sound good if you can do it without putting undue stress on your hair. Problem is, cornrows tend to be done too tightly and can also defeat your purpose.

    And yes, extreme stress can cause hair loss too. So you need to try and minimize stressing about this event in your life cause like all things, this is temporary and shall pass. Honestly, one thing you might consider is just going with a short fade. Really short hair can be beautiful and really freeing if you’re in the right frame of mind about it. If not, you might consider a wig to help you get through the next couple of months.

    I hope I’ve given you so good information and some things to consider and try. Good luck hon and let me know how you’re doing.

    God Bless,

  15. Lady Libra says:

    hey! i know you from i’m not a CNapp but i did love reading your background story… sad to say a lot of black women have similar stories – they feel their hair can’t/won’t grow and be healthy, but continue to abuse their hair with chemicals and force it to be something it’s not. just wanted to say i like the site and to keep spreading the good word. as always your hair is lovely, i look forward to updates! =)

  16. You are being read by hundreds or even thousands we just don’t comment keep it up we are thankful. Comment you all!

  17. I’m starting my journey for the 3rd time and the last. I started to read about what are in relaxers and perms, and I also started to lose my hair line about and inch that’s it for me. I’m three months without chemicals and happy. I was happy with my hair natural the last 2 times but I did not know how to appreciate it and I also abused it with too much braiding that dryed it out and hot combing it.

  18. nappyme says:

    Hi Charlotte! Thanks for the kind words. And you know that the third time is the proverbial charm so of course you’ll transition successfully this time around… I know you will. Good luck on you natural journey!


  19. Millie-Pat says:

    There are sisters that I know that never have problems with perms or relaxers and their hair grows and grows. There are sisters that I know that wear natural braids or twists and they have wonderful hair styles. I believe the type of hair and the quality of the products best determines what works or what does not work. With my hair, I can only wear braids for at the most 7 months, then I must wear my hair loose. I’ve learned to stay absolutely away from relaxers, I can not use them at all, otherwise it is major hair and scalp damage. I recently learned to stay away from petroleum based hair dressings, which I once used faithfully for 30 years. Thanks for the tips about organic hair shampoo, I decided to switch to Carol’s Daughter products. Now that I’m getting a new attitude about my type 4a/4c hair, I’ve stopped trying to have another woman’s hair on my head.

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