About Cathy Black
Naturalocity’s Personal Story
Natural/ Relaxer Time Line
Natural (Birth – August 1992)
Relaxer (September 1992 – November 1999)
Natural (December 1999 – October 2002)
Relaxer (November 2002 – December 2003)
Natural (January 2004 – September 2005)
Relaxer (October 2005 – December 2008)
Natural (January 2009 – Present)
*Suffered heat-damage November 2009
chopped off 4 inches of hair, however stayed natural.
My adult hair journey began on December 1st, 1999 due to my hair thinning, balding at the crown, breaking and overly damaged. It was then that I used electric clippers and shaved all my chemically relaxed hair to start a healthy hair journey. I never in my wildest dreams actually thought about taking an electric clipper with a 1/4 inch guard to shave my hair, but I did. I was bold and determined to seek a healthy natural hair path. As my hair grew, I was looking for information to guide towards proper hair care and hairstyles. I was a working adult; wearing children hairstyles such as plaits with barrettes were not an option. Within a year, I became overly frustrated with family members negative comments, a lack of resources and a lack of others wearing their hair natural. I wanted to be able to discuss and learn about beneficial hair maintenance, product recommendations, styling options or cosmetologists specializing in natural hair…not solely braiding. November 2002, I hesitantly went back to a relaxer. My hair never passed my shoulders and every 8 weeks I allowed my stylist to give me a relaxer and trim my ends. December 2003, I believe my stylist left the relaxer on my hair too long, when she washed the relaxer off and applied the neutralizing shampoo my scalp at the crown of my head felt warm. She recommended that if the spot continued to feel warm, apply Aloe Vera gel once a day and if it gets worse consult a dermatologist. Within a week all my hair fell out where the warm area was located, I had a quarter size bald spot on the back of my head. I remember going to a Christmas event where people were sitting behind me, I was so self conscience that people would see my bald patch and stare. When I returned home I decided to shave all my hair off and wear a wig to combat all the damage done by chemically straightening my hair.
January 2004, I wore a teeny weeny Afro (TWA) from January to April and then I wore micro braids due to limited information on how to style natural hair. I wore braids for 2 years until I found a natural hair salon. I walked around with my hair braided with no additional hair added. At times I added hair for hairstyle variety. I went to different people’s homes and had them braid my hair. I was allowing anyone who said they knew how to braid, braid my hair. I was desperate. Then I found a local salon that specialized in natural hair, the only one I knew in my town. I was excited, scheduled an appointment; she recommended hair detoxify, shampoo, deep conditioning and styled my hair in two strand twists and flat twists for a charge of $110.00. I wasn’t happy with the charge and within two days my hair became fuzzy… I became more upset. Even though I had a healthy Afro I didn’t want to pay $110.00 a week and I became bored with braids.
In 2005, I went back to using a relaxer and until December 2008. I returned to a relaxer due to frustrations with braids and the cost of a natural hair salon visit. I started going to the salon every week to prevent any damage; however my hair continued to break. My hair never passed my shoulders. I started wearing sewn-in weaves to have long hair. My edges were exposed to allow better blending of the weave hair and my hair. After a year of wearing a full head weave, my hair was suffering underneath from lack of moisture, feeling brittle and breaking. I decided to go back natural January 2009.
January 2009, Big Chopped again disregarding the negative comments from family members, I decided never again will I chemically straighten my hair. My past advice from a professional cosmetologist and dermatologist were to eat healthy, take a multivitamin, drink plenty of water, exercise at least 30 minutes a day, protect hair during the night and refrain from damaging styles. Great advice but the chemicals in relaxers were halting my healthy hair progress; therefore I decided to use the helpful advice on my natural hair. I found a few informative and encouraging natural hair videos on the internet that motivated me to continue my natural hair journey and never to look back.
On Thanksgiving 2009, I listened to my mother to allow a hairstylist in her salon to straighten my hair with a flat iron. I was informed that this stylist straightens many natural hair clients and has had great results. I listened and allowed the stylist to straighten my hair. She washed, deep conditioned, blow-dried my hair, used a flat iron, used a pressing comb and curled my hair with Marcel curling irons. Can we say too much heat? My hair was soft, straight and curled on the ends. I wore my hair straight for a week and became bored so I washed it and my hair didn’t revert back to its natural form. I was feeling as if, “If I didn’t have bad luck, I wouldn’t have luck at all!” I was furious, I called the stylist and she asked did she apply a heat protectant before heat styling. Her answer, “No”. This was partially my fault, I should have asked. I chalked this up as, “Live and Learn”. Then I asked could she fix it and her reply,” You will have to pay for another service”. WHAT!!! Becoming more furious I said No, I will not. Needless to say I wasn’t happy and explained I wanted her mistake fixed. Her answer was to pour lemon juice on my hair…different solution, same results my hair didn’t return to its natural form.
I visited YouTube searching for help, I found that steam put moisture back into your hair and there was a chance it would revert back to my natural curl pattern. I boiled so many pots of water. I poured the boiling water in bowls for a hair steam treatment utilizing conditioner, steam, and a towel over my head and bowl of water to help fix my damaged ends caused from heat damage. For two hours I did this to try to fix my damaged hair. No luck. Plan B, a local gym had a steam room; I received a free membership pass for a week to use the steam room daily. I was sweating my butt off for 30 minutes a day for the sake of regaining my natural healthy hair back. My hair didn’t revert; in disbelief I cornrolled my hair, wore a wig to contemplate my next hair move.
January 2010 I remember looking in a mirror with a pair of scissors and started trimming my hair. Trimming turned into cutting every straight strand off my hair, now my length was approximately one inch all over my head. Back to the drawing board, this time I found YouTube Natural hair Vloggers talking about many topics surrounding Natural hair care and I was so inspired.
There is so much love and compassion to help other Natural women to start and continue their Natural Hair Journey and I wanted to be a part of the movement. I have a passion for Healthy Natural Hair and want to be among others who want to help, inform and motivate others. My desire is to have beautiful natural hairstyles, blogs, videos, literature to help others along their Natural Hair Journey, apparel and other items for constant remembrance, excitement and encouragement for becoming and/ or staying Natural on www.naturalocity.com
My goal is to have women continuously reflecting and realizing that they made a wonderful decision to wear their natural beautiful hair without relying on chemical straightening products by offering memorabilia, apparel, information and other tangible items. Also, knowing that you are not alone there are many women in various cities learning and appreciating their natural hair. We are among City of Naturals Representing Beauty. We are Naturalocity! Naturalocity is a confident woman who decided to rock her beautiful natural hair creatively from edgy to conservative styles, fearing no one’s illusion that chemically straight hair is superior. Naturalocity is YOU.