I have experienced a lot of growing pains. I would sometimes view my hair and fall in love with the progress I would see while I know I haven't posted here but its not to say I haven't documented and reflected on my hair journey. I am a journal writer and every so often I stop and reflect on what and why things have happened in my life. When you are busy going through whatever it is, it can be tough to see clearly. It really kicked a notch when I started seeing a therapist. I sought out therapy as I knew I needed to heal from my past but didn't quite how to go about it. My hair is not always the focal point but it is a BIG part of me. I sometimes feel I started this blog back in 2012 when it seemed like everyone and their momma blogged about going natural complete with pictures and play-by-play. This served as therapy for me. Rather than bore my family and friends, I knew I could document my thoughts with no judgment or interruption. I wasn't looking for an amen or a cosign but just an outlet.
Some highs and lows:
-Big Chop? I did a "frustrative" big chop for my birthday in 2014. Your girl had a FADE! Well not a fade for long as at the first sign of length the headbands and hair ties went up and in. I basically went unhappily from the hair salon (they cut my hair WET and BADLY) to across the street to a barbershop and cut the rest. I had no real plan but just knew I was NOT liking my current situation. I maybe went a few times before starting to growing my hair out of a small panic that "I look like a dude!" A cute shapely one but a dude all the same. I look back now at how freeing it was but I didn't want that staring back at me. I wasn't ready.
-Got on a trimming routine.
-Stayed out of "natural" hair salons. The few I did try seemed like money grabs with all the pushing of their own products or not really explaining what my hair could be up to. I didn't feel like I was getting support I needed in finding out who I was naturally and how to navigate my new hair.
-Ya girl got into crotchet braids!!!! This was the year it was just me and my hair. I also got my hair flat ironed a few times which was new. I had to let go of what I used to do or how it was holding me back and embrace what I thought my hair could be! I had the time and products as I can say this was PEAK product junkie for me. I was definitely on that quest for curl definition. I wanted to be 4a in my soul lol I tried it all but my thick coarse hair totally said nah lol Honestly I have calmed down and become more focused in what I use. I don't rush out to do the next trendy or popular product. I realize my hair is different and what I fundamentally understand about my hair is IT AINT FOR EVERYBODY'S regime or routine.
-Started working out alot. Didn't have to worry about sweating out my hair which was nice as it used to stop me when I was relaxed.
-Started watching youtube tutorials at this time. I would devour natural hair videos but I started realizing my hair wasn't always represented. So I would take what i saw with a grain of salt and tweaked the info I saw to fit me and my hair.
-I also had a sick relative at the time which took focus off me worrying about my hair. It was def bittersweet. Doing their hair when I could barely handle my own was an eye opener. I still tried out of love.
-Peak youtube videos at this time. I started paying attention to you-tubers with my hair type and problems. Hair gurus have come a long way as it felt like all you saw was the loose wavy Denise Huxtable
hair that would get attention. I do not have Denise Huxtable hair. I don't even have Rudy Huxtable hair lol
-Crotchet braids continued. The ONE style I did wear let me think I had "Denise Huxtable hair but it was short lived. I'd never worn weave for fun when I was relaxed. I also wore glued in hair that made me look like myself. Towards the end of my relaxed tenure I think I mentioned I wore tracks to cover up problems which created more problems so go figure!
-Travelled out of the country- OHHH CANADA! Traveling while natural was great. I looked and felt cute but a run in with a unscrupulous hair stylist again ran me off. (if you are CONTINUOUSLY late to your appointment with me and THEN charge me a buck fifty for services and dont tell me until after the fact??? You can KMA!)
-Embraced a haircare regime with visible results. At this point I am the twist out queen! I started addressing my moisture retention problem head on. Eventually baby twists became mini twists which produced great results.
-Broke up with Coconut Oil. GIRL BYE!!!!!!!
-Clip-Ins!! While clip in extensions are nothing new, they were new to me as a possibility. New in a sense, it let me try something merely for looks which was outside of this box I'd fashioned myself over the years. My hair was growing which was I never thought that in my natural state that I could wear something so freeing and it was temporary! Wearing textured clip ins let me see a new me. I'd lost a job at this time and was worried about having to interview with my new hair. I am still surrounded by not very open minds if your hair isnt the ideal mixed girl hair that you might see. There may be a natural hair movement all over the world, in some parts not everyone is so accepting. I dont want to be penalized or looked upon a certain way because of someones small minded beliefs. It is a reality and it happens. I am embracing my texture and the idea of big hair which i love, they actually allowed me to miss my natural hair a little.
As I type this, I definitely feel I have come a long way. I still have a lot in front of me. I well up with such gratitude about this whole experience good and bad.