September 2012 I will celebrate 3 years of being natural. Some women go natural for style. I went natural first out of necessity and because I desperately wanted a change. As an adolescent it was discovered that I had Eczema. For those that may be unfamiliar with Eczema, Webster defines it as an inflammatory condition of the skin characterized by redness, itching, and oozing vesicular lesions which become scaly, crusted, or hardened.
I define it as an embarrassing and shameful disorder that I couldn’t hide from. A parasite in my blood that caused my skin to crack and bleed if it was too cold, too warm, too dry. It was an unquenchable itch that would drive me to scratch and work myself into a frenzy. It was the ammunition that other school kids used to ostracized me and ogle at my legs and arms. I lived in Florida but wore jeans and long sleeve shirts to cover the dark black scabbed over patches on the surface of my skin. Through the years my Eczema has progressively gotten worse. Instead of being isolated to my inner elbows and knees it was now on my thighs, neck, face and on my scalp. So imagine me applying a relaxer to my scalp while in this condition.
The relaxer, shampoo, and conditioner would fry my scalp. It would burn. I would cry. As my Eczema got worse the effects of the relaxer worsen. I had bald spots. I had to wash my hair every 3 days, still do, failure to do so would mean open sores from scratched wounds. Don’t get me wrong my hair was full, thick and long. But the scalp was “tho’ up from da’ floor up!” After visiting a specialist he advised me to stay away from products which contained Lanolin. I did. In 2009 I decided enough was enough. I wanted freedom. I wanted to be able to apply my medication directly to my scalp as well. I walked into my son’s barber with hair passed my shoulder and walked out like this.
Since going natural the Eczema outbreaks have gotten a lot better. I am more conscious of the products I use on my scalp and strands. I’m able to stretch out my wash days to 5 days instead of 3. I don’t use heat on my hair and apply a variety of oils on a regular basis. My scalp still gets flaky occasion but the days of pain and torture are over. Look out for my next post on the products I use to keep my sanity.