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She was sweet but insecure
Her mind was rotting
But her heart was pure
She was afraid of the world
Too many times she had been hurt
So many times she had been made fun of
So many times she didn’t feel good or pretty enough
Not happy with her appearance
Or her own thoughts
Big facial features
Hair that grew
But not too long
At least not long enough
Not long enough to who?
She tried to look pretty enough
A diamond in the rough
But she didn’t know
She became so stressed out
That her hair did the same
She had to make a change
There were things she needed to cut from her hair and her mind
And you know what they say
A girl that cuts her hair, is about to change her life…
She had been “relaxed” for as long as she could remember. She grew up a part of a culture that was basically brainwashed to believe their hair was unruly, unattractive, and needed to be tamed and straightened permanently. Long straight or wavy hair was the standard for beauty and her hair was far from that if not relaxed every 6 weeks.
Her father decided to keep her hair healthy and growing by taking her to a professional salon every 2 weeks. Her stylist was very good at her job because her hair definitely started to grow and even feel healthy. The only problem was that the stylist clipped her ends almost every 2 (sometimes once a month) weeks also. Whatever growth she was having wasn’t really being retained.
To make matters worse she eventually decided she wanted to try out honey blonde highlights. Going to the salon definitely helped keep the bleached hair in good condition but after a while she just got tired of waking up early on a Saturday morning to be in a salon for hours.
She didn’t have any real knowledge on how to care for her hair on her own and didn’t think she really needed to. She had friends, and family that could always do it for her. Besides, she only wore it flat ironed or in roller sets.
(Below images; 2013-2015)
Natural hair started to become more popular and she had a best friend who had been natural for years already. This friend encouraged her to take the leap of faith but she was too afraid.
Natural hair wouldn’t look right on me, I wouldn’t be cute with shorter hair or an afro…
She thought to herself
Eventually she tried transitioning but after about 6 months of no relaxing, her sisters grew tired of doing it. They told her she needed a perm, the new growth was too unmanageable.
So she got a relaxer.
This happened several more times over a period of 2 years. A lot of external and internal stress then led to her not caring for her hair anymore. Even in “protective styles”
Taking her crochet style out after not taking proper care of her own hair she learned the consequence, her hair was breaking off and thinning
She hated her life, her hair, her crooked glasses and everything else.
What was she to do? Let it continue to split and break off? Start paying money to get it professionally done again? Cut it off and face those fears of not being pretty enough?
Enough is enough, she decided.
Without even thinking she grabbed a pair of scissors, looked into a mirror and cut away. But this was only the beginning. She still had heat damaged hair, and her hair was still relaxed, only shorter.
Giving herself this sort of mini chop allowed her to gain a boost of confidence that she would soon need a lot more of.
She was 22 years old, it had been a year since cutting her hair and she still wasn’t quite happy with results, even though she was flat ironing, and relaxing still. That should have explained it but again, she had no knowledge about hair care especially her own natural hair.
The only thing she could think of to do was go to YouTube. There she searched natural hair care, transitioning, and everything else she could stumble across on natural hair. YouTube was a great source because she learned a lot of information and got the inspiration to let it be and be free.
She knew she couldn’t transition for long because it was highly possible she would turn back to the creamy crack (relaxer) so instead she decided to big chop once more! She had about 6 months of new growth and was finally ready to take that leap
She even pinned it up and cut a small section down to the new growth for more motivation. Once she cut she couldn’t go back. See below:
Relaxed hair braid out (June 2016)
Now she was ready for the big chop! Keeping up with 2 different textures trying to transition was becoming too much of a struggle and she was just over it
I am she
She is the old me
I am the new her
With our new hair
Very happy and confident 1 year later
Dry, no product. You can also see Izabelle in the background😻
Freshly washed, no product. Looks like the water is beading. Could that be low porosity? I’ll have to test it out again, I did in the beginning of my journey (float test) and got high porosity.
I usually twist my hair after washing and leave my twists in for a week, then rock my twist out for a couple of days or as long as the style lasts me. Here is a comparison of a few months. And yes your twists will shrink too. (Dec-May)Returning natural was the best thing I’ve done for my hair and I wouldn’t go back to the creamy crack for anything! This whole year has been full of learning to love myself for who I really am and embracing every bit of my natural beauty. When I had longer hair I would constantly wear it down to cover my forehead, to hide most of my face because at times I hated it.
Free, and confident, that’s what I felt. I thought I would quickly be ready to throw on a wig but nope! Wasn’t about to cover up that new found beauty!
If my story doesn’t convince you enough to stop relaxing/or flat ironing your hair so often
maybe these pictures will:
Always remember that no two heads are exactly alike. This is something you need to keep in mind for growth especially. The average hair growth rate is about 6in per year. This can vary due to genetics, internal and external care and health, and how much you are retaining. Your hair could be breaking off just as much as it is growing which could make it appear to not be growing at all. Relaxers/heat will definitely contribute to that.
Not everyone will support and like your decision, even family will sometimes judge you but don’t let that discourage you because the results are beautiful!
I’m so excited to see where this next year of my journey, or even the next 6 months take me.
I hope you all have enjoyed and learned from this natural hair series!
Are you rocking your natural hair? Do you plan to big chop or transition? How has your journey been so far? Let’s talk in the comments!✨