This time my pre-perm contemplation was met with a conversation with Q where she said "I'm thinking of going natural again." I think it's mainly that simple statement from her that has been my biggest motivator this time. (And she was inspired by two other friends that went natural.)
What's separating this time from every other time I've considered going natural is that I'm actually looking up info and trying to find out tips and products and expectations about how I can do this. I've definitely never done that before. So I've been hitting up a few blogs (SeeMyHealthyHairGrow, LuvNaturals, CurlyNikki and others). And been watching a lot of youtube clips with tutorials and tips. I've found several people talking about it that both make it seem doable and have hair types that are similar to mine. In addition they have styles that I can see me having. So this idea just might keep this time.
I'm definitely not doing a "big chop" so I'm focusing on info about a longer transition while trying to minimize breakage. I did a hot oil treatment last night that I think helped. It's kind of hard to tell because the state my hair was in immediately after felt more fragile and almost brittle. But when I blew it out this morning it felt stronger and even thicker.
Right now I'm just trying to get to know my hair and learn about it's needs and what products work best with it. Which will help me even if I end up getting a perm again. But I do have a strong motivator to not relax again, which is I know whenever I have children I will not relax their hair. And it would feel hypocritical to to do that my hair, but not to theirs. I dunno how Malaak Rock does it.