I could say time’s flown & a string of other clichés (all true!) that are just too easy in retrospect. I’ve spent this last year watching, touching, discovering my hair. My real hair, the way it pushes out of my scalp. More than half of my life had passed since I’d seen my hair.
When I’m writing, thinking or watching TV, I’d catch myself with my hand in my hair running my finger up & down a shaft feeling how kinky & uneven it is. And then I step back for a moment & celebrate that I’m enjoying the feeling of enjoying my hair when not long ago that scenario would spur thoughts of how far forward I could pull my relaxer…. this time.
My decision to go natural happened over years. What would I look like? What would people say? How will it look at the office? What if I didn’t like my hair? (not that I’d admit that to anyone). Climbing out of the shame of my hair has been liberating & humbling and for me & this was the only way that I could have done it. And it didn’t happen instantly when my relaxed hair was cut off. If anything that reset me to zero from the deficit that I’d been in so I could start over.
Natural brigade skip this paragraph… I sometime use shampoos with sulphates. I don’t sleep with my hair wrapped every night. I haven’t trimmed in over 9 months. I find the plethora of information that’s online valuable but also utterly debilitating. I know what needs to be done and I’m done with having my hair rule my life. I do as much as I possibly can with the resources that I have & ask my fro to forgive me for the rest.
This post is more serious than I planned, but I need to touch on one more thing. Unintended, (seriously, it was) it seems like my choosing this route has been another in list of zap signs I’ve sent to world & the cultural norms set for me. I’ve already lived outside of them for so long that it’s often only on a trip home that I’m reminded of just how far I’ve stepped outside of it. And how much I like it here.
My fro (& my) wish for her birthday (since you asked!) is three-fold:
- that all women (& I’m particularly passionate about Coloured women on this point) see wearing their hair natural as an option.
- that the natural brigade go home & calm down. It’s just ridiculous.
- that no matter how we wear our hair that hair health is the focus – everything else will follow
On a much lighter note & back to my fro’s birthday I eventually decided against a blow dry for the length check. I just pulled a couple of strands & physically measured them. It came out at an average of 18 cm’s. I didn’t do an actual measurement at the time of my big chop (BC), but my best guess is that it was around 1-2cm. Of course I want it longer but that’s good enough progress for a year…
My relaxed bob, just over a year ago…
Part 1 of my BC. Here I still had some of my relaxed ends on top (for styling) but later had this trimmed off too.
My fro today…
I’m loving the puff – much prefer my hair off my face…
Be kind to your hair!