My existence is a life-long treasure hunt.

October 2005 I did the Big Chop. Cut all the perm out. I cannot believe that was 5 years ago! 2005 was extremely eventful for me. I turned 21, I went through the after-effects of Hurricane Katrina, lived through Hurricane Rita, and started dating Crabby after years of friendship. AND went natural on hoes. Let’s go through a brief journey in time, shall we?

I went from this…..

This was me right after my 21st birthday in May 2005. The last months of the perm. My hair is actually shorter here than it normally was permed but you can get an idea of how it looked.

To this…..

I cut my hair in October 2005 but didn’t start wearing my hair out until December 2005. This is the first picture of my hair in it’s short, natural glory. New Year’s, stroke of midnight, January 2006.

To this…..

Ah, the days of my ‘fro were sweet, glorious, and all-too-brief, like a blossoming motherf***** blossom. This was Autumn 2007.

To this…..

2008 was the year my hair decided to try lying down. Sometimes it felt like it, sometimes it didn’t. But it was a turning point in natural hair milestones.

To this…..

This is me as of September 2010. Full head of curly-whirlys!


Side view. Toasted at a friend’s birthday party. I love how I look like Keyboard Cat here.

Pause it at :21 and tell me that’s not me in the above picture


This is how my hair looks flat-ironed, for a friend’s wedding, April 2010. The last time I flat-ironed before April 2010 was May 2007 for my college graduation. I don’t forsee flat-ironing anytime soon. It’s tooooo much work and heat damage. Although I Willow Smith’d my hair HELLA HOARD during the brief weekend it was straight, I shan’t do it again. Anyhoo, straightened, my hair reaches my lower back. THAT’S A LOTTA GROWTH FOR THAT ASS!


Here is the same flat-ironed hair styled up for my friend’s wedding. Don’t ask about anything else in this picture. All I’m going to say is Open Bar Long Island Ice Teas and Soul Train Line.

I owe the ease of my natural routine to Teri, from Tightly Curly. I HATE having to use a bunch of products, and anything involving a lot of maintenance (another reason why I won’t flat-iron) and here comes Teri’s website with the easiest routine ever. Alls I do now is wash my hair once a week, detangle it in the shower during this washing with tons of conditioner, leave the conditioner in, and let my hair air dry. I put it in 1 or 2 braids at night, take the braid(s) down in the morning, smooth a little watery conditioner over it, fluff, and jaggle on out the door go on about my day.

I talked to Teri often through G-mail while she was in the process of writing her book. I submitted my before and after photos of my hair after using her routine and she put them on her website! You should still be able to see me there if you visit. For more pics, visit my Fotki page.

Teri very sweetly sent me a signed copy of her book which I recently finished.

In it, she takes readers through her hair journey. The before and after pictures alone are worth seeing if you ever have doubts about going natural. She carefully catalogues each part of her process, how she learned what worked and what didn’t, and shares the difficult parts about trying different things and failing, but still continuing on to the pursuit of natural healthy hair. She then takes readers through, step-by-detailed-step of her routine, and the effects each step has on your hair. There are plenty of photo illustrations throughout, which is extremely helpful. She covers product choices, comb and brush choices, hair accessories, and various hairstyles that are simple to do once the routine is complete. If you are thinking about going natural, if you HAVE gone natural but feel stuck, if you are natural and loved it when you had an afro, but now that it’s longer and heavier you have NO idea what to do, and ESPECIALLY if you have curly/kinky little ones, this book is a lifesaver. I highly recommend it and it’s an enjoyable read! Teri is very meticulous and covers all the bases and if by chance there is something the book doesn’t answer, it is probably answered on her website which is user-friendly, has a clean layout, and is organized awesomely.

In conclusion, let’s all get crunk and do the stanky-leg on boxes of relaxers.

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Comments on: "5 Years Natural and Curly Like Me" (15)

  1. I don’t like you for various reasons but mostly the photo captions on this blog. Blossoming mother*********blossom.

  2. First, FINALLY a recent picture of the natural hair! Love love love!
    Second, can I tell you how heartbroken I am that there will be an open bar at my brother-in-law’s wedding in two weeks and I can’t partake! Serious case of the sads.
    Third, I didn’t know you KNEW Teri! You’re like, one removed from a celebrity which makes me two removed which means I should probably have a reality show or something!

    Yay for natural hair!

  3. Lmao!!! i’m dying but I feel you. Well YOU have been an inspiration and source of information to me during my natural hair journey so I shall hit you with the Pumps in the Bump body roll a la MC Hammer. One thing I stress to other naturals is not use a ton of products and keep it simple. Your hair will never learn if you keep piling stuff on it. Thanks for educating us.

  4. Looks like you were doing that dance sandy and zucko were doing in grease. Love the hair pics.

  5. Can't Take It said:

    Check out all that hurr!! I see how you do, Dixie…and it looks awesome! I’m going to link the twin to this page because I’m not sure if she subscribes.

    I’m slowly….EVER so slowly(like, a snail stuck in molasses in the wintertime kinda slow) considering going natural. I’m so damn lazy about my hair, though 1)I hate doing it myself, and 2)if I do decided to go natural, it will not be locs, because I have no attention span and like switching up my hairstyles. Man, I hate choices like these!! *snarls*

    Btw…you look hawt!

    “HELLA HOARD”, though? iCant

  6. Your hair is soo cute and fluffy, I love it! Are you still using the 365 and the natures gate? Also, do you define every curl like she does? Thank you!

  7. that black and white photo of you though…*drools* lemme lay in yo hairrrr.

    THAT GUL HOT SHE ON FIYAH

    i want a full fro naow, but im not doing the big chop. i think i’ll prob weave it til my sides grow back in. iono son.

  8. I love all the pics! I’m a natural chick myself, but from birth lol. I need mine to get to growing a little longer and i’d also like it to retain some of its length when its curly and stop looking like a “curl” *pouts*

  9. Nonotthejacket said:

    Congrats, Gem!! I love seeing pics of you and your ‘do. I hope I can get to your length one day! I can’t seem to get past APL, but I think that’s because I’m bad with moisturinzing my ends. I’m always snipping out fairy knots… *grrr*

    *stuck on you looking like Keyboard Cat*

  10. Can’t nobody tell you your hair ain’t luxurious when it CLEARLY is! Shoo…

  11. I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!! Seriously, I have curl envy right now.

  12. I wanna lay all up in yo’ tresses.

    I’ve been to the Curly Like Me site before…I’ll admit that I thought she was too light skindeded to be coaching me.

    I know, I’m racist.

    I’ll revisit…cause I wanna whip my hair.

  13. Mackie: There is no more eloquent way to put it! Let’s hair hug.

    Desiree: Yaysies! But boo for the no natural bar. Ask bartender to make a really convincing virgin drink? Something extra fruity? I don’t KNOW Teri as in, we go grocery shopping together or anything but we did (and still do) correspond via e-mail 🙂

    Monique: That is a really sweet thing for you to say! I mean it, thank you soooo much. But now I have to ask you to GET THE HELL OUT for the Hammer Pumps n a Bump dance.

    km & PBG: X_X <—-here lies Gem

    Can't: ZOMG I'M E-MAILING YOU ABOUT NATURAL HAIR SOON SO EXPECT IT! And you can blame your uncouth friend Pixie for "hella hoard"

    Monique: THERE ARE TWO MONIQUES I'M CONFUSED! Thank you! I stopped using the 365 because I read some questionable stuff about their ingredients. I had an attitude about it too because it was so cheap! Nature's Gate was getting a liiiitttle too expensive for me so I put it on hiatus. I am currently using White Rain conditioner that sells for $1 at the grocery store. I'm on the lookout for a replacement though. I *usually* define each curl but I'm pretty sure I'm not as thorough as Teri is. I get impatient really easily. I definitely see a difference when I DON'T define the curls so I had to learn that lesson the hard way.

    kit: YAAASSSS *twerks something* *not sure what, but something* You KNOW I've been waiting for the day when you grow your sides back out and just stunt on all hoes in the vicinity.

    Krissy: What's your current routine? I bet some tweaks would get that look you're after

    Nono: Heeeyyy boo! I get the fairy knots too don't worry. Every now and then it seems natural hair reaches a growth plateau where it's all NAWL HO YOU WAIT A MINUTE. Armpit length is a LOT of growth so get crunk!

    Luvvie: *tackle pounce attack* Thank you for stopping by!

    ali: Thank you! How about my hair takes your hair on a date?

    Alicia: *spreads my hair out like a coverlet* gone head girl do yo thang. I just CHOKED at the rest of your comment. I swear her routine is really simple and it works with a lot of different natural hair types. Give it a whirl!

  14. I have crazy hair (water makes it happy, wet and wavy curly)
    I will just start using conditioner alone. I was using hair gel in place of conditioner and after awhile its extremey drying causing breakage. Sometimes I fall asleep without braiding my hair.
    I am dark skinned chocolate black with a little Indian (American Indian /India Indian) Carribean Guyanese admixture, so my hair with too much conditioner gets geri curl straight. I cannot wait till it grows long and heavy.

    I am kinky curly, straight and wavy. I do not know what texure i have its all mixed up and the hair is thin, it cannot get afro big. It would be nice to have an article about black and Indian mixed hair (with a tiny bit of white) and how to deal with it, its soooo different to black and white.

    No more flat iron for me EVER it caused exreme breakage even using it just once.

    Mixed black white girls dont believe its my real hair but it is

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