My hair journey began when I started having issues with my health. Like many I had no idea what I put on my body was as important as what I put in my body.
My health became a constant cycle for me while serving in the United States Air Force. From medical concerns to the stress of juggling parenthood, career, household, fitness, and my own goals took its toll. My efforts to support my health included my hair and skin. Moving every few years to different regions in the United States and overseas caused me to adjust how I managed my hair and body.
The trick for my body was to find a form of exercise that was productive by did not trigger fatigue or other symptoms. Fixing my body proved to be the hard part of the process. However, the trick for my hair was to adjust my regimen to accommodate climate change. We tend to think that we can continue performing the same way we move to a new location or the next level. Unfortunately, this is not the case. We must be willing to adjust our thoughts, behaviors, and inner circle.
I thought I had it all figured out. I used the methods that worked for me in the past, workout, eat better, and of course, try new hair products. I tried this and intimately my health was drastically declining, and I needed answers. With my health failing, my hair thinning, and my alopecia continuously flaring up, I decided that I needed to make a change. I was committed to living better, being better, so I began to research what could be affecting my health. To me, my entire body was my concern.
My research led me to alarming data. Several studies have linked the ingredients in African American beauty products to this infertility, fibroids, and ovarian cysts.
December 14, 2014, I cut my relaxed hair off. The final length of my natural hair (big chop) was ¼ of an inch. These are pictures of my progress. I created a hair regimen that I followed weekly. I decided to use this time to heal from the inside out. I promised to give myself a two-year grace period. During this time, I would not relax, cut, or dye to myself. I researched alternative natural hair care and safe body products, good quality, and didn't break my spending plan. To my dismay, I was not able to find anything that I loved.
Pictures of my hair when it was
thinning and my alopecia
So, I began to make my hair and body butter. As the years passed, I began to give my butter as a gift. People loved the product and wanted more. One day in a store, my son told me that I should begin selling the product and supplied a whole business plan. I launched RESPiREbyDESiGN.com as a birthday gift to myself while living in the United Kingdom.
I often hear people say, "my hair does not grow.” Often, growth isn't the issue; retention is. I will discuss this further in my "Hair Say What" blog series. I only had to trim my hair three times between 2014 and 2017. See the photograph below:
I decided to use this time to heal from the inside out. I promised to give myself a two-year grace period. During this time, I would not relax, cut, or dye to my. I began to research alternative natural hair care and body products that were safe, good quality and didn’t break my spending plan. To my dismay, I was not able to find anything that I loved. So I began to make my hair and body butters. As the years passed I began to give my butters as a gift. People loved the product and wanted more. One day in a store my son told me that I should begin to sell the product and provided a whole business plan. I launched RESPiREbyDESiGN.com as a birthday gift to myself while living in the United Kingdom.
In 2019 I decided to add color. I did this once a year for two years. I loved the color. Unfortunately, it caused breakage. 2020 I retired from the military and wore my hair loose and big for twelve months. By January 2021, my hair had reached my goal BSL. I decided it was time to decide loc cut or cut my hair.
January 20th, 2021 the nations leadership changed, my discipline changed, and I began my loc journey began.