The Big Chop

natural

My natural hair journey started almost 10 years ago. However, for the past 7 1/2 years I have had dreadlocs. Before locs, I always used relaxers, like most ethnic females, especially during that time period, especially in my area of region. I probably started getting “perms” at about 5 years old, I imagine.

relaxer aka perm: a chemical process which straightens the hair and makes it more manageble.

I cut my hair in December 2006. I wanted to try something different, but more so my hair was badly damaged because of bleach damage.

i bleached my hair and dyed it that ole’ that Keisha Cole “orange” and relaxed it too soon afterwards – really Angel?

This time around my going natural is a real journey for me. It’s about personal acceptance of my natural state; embracing my natural hair. It’s about change, and growth.

Cutting my hair in 2006 was detrimental; and more so a tragedy! I watched my hair break off for several months before I made the decision to “let it go”. I remember crying in front of the mirror at my breaking point, like “I’m losing my hair”!!

So by force and not choice, with limited information on natural hair care, I cut what I had left. My intentions were to just grow out my hair, not “loc up”. Nevertheless, growing locs was a journey in itself and it was a new time period in my life.

I moved to Georgia in 2007 and thru the influence of my sister’s and social circle, I was introduced to the beauty and style of locs and constantly encouraged to “do something to my hair”!

Most black women have received “perms” for a long time and it is of the majority; although “natural” has made it’s surface and is more normal and acceptable within the culture, world and workforce.

When I cut my hair, it was a new trend in my world. It was a big culture shock from my peers. Many stares and questions!

Even to this very day, not many people from my hometown wear their hair “natural”. The social norm is relaxers and/or weave (extensions) of some sort. And a lot of those with natural hair do not show it.

Fast forward, I dreaded my hair and I loved it. It was easy to maintain, I always got a lot of compliments. More people in Georgia have locs and natural hair, so it wasn’t abnormal. A lot of people in my family in Georgia have locs as well. So basically it was “all good”.

Well back at the end of 2013, I started to get frustrated with my hair, wanting to try something different. I was getting bored and I sometimes I didn’t feel feminine, and I thought adding some color would help.

So, I decided to dye my hair red. This took about 4 months to complete. My hair was black so that was one factor. Then I had dreads, so the hair is layers of thick and matted hair.

meaning, it takes more dye and time to penetrate the hair. Also, I wanted to decrease damage so I dyed it gradually.

Eventually I got the color I wanted and loved it! But I figured out red color with locs was hard to maintain! You constantly have to touch up it to keep it vibrant and it was a lot of residue, everywhere! Red continued to drain out even after I dyed my hair back black.

The color was also a little “loud” in appearance, and when I lost my job I feared my new job search may be affected due to my hair color.

But most evident, my hair started “breaking off”. Bleach damages! At least for me it does!

I was tired of it; I wanted my natural (loose) hair back. I wanted to freely wash my hair; I wanted the option of wearing more than one style. I also felt my locs were not as healthy as they once were.

they were definitely savable, but I just wanted a change.

Needless to say, having loose natural hair in 2015 is much easier than it was in 2006. There were not as many products or information back then.

i remember using vaseline and Wave Nuevo, which is for Jerri curls, lol and really wet.

I cut my hair on Sunday, May 24, 2015 and I loved it. After years of semi-thinking about cutting, it took me like 1 week to finalize my decision. I actually had a thought, discussed it with my husband, and did it. I believe my pregnancy hormones help me make a quick desicion as well.

I will admit there was some disposition about it, but not fear. I mostly considered my husband – whenever I would casually mention it, he would be like “no I like your hair the way it is”. Having locs is the only hairstyle he ever knew of me.

overall, he is 110% supporting me, but I don’t feel like he totally gets it, or realizes the potential and beauty of loose natural hair – like many people.

But this is not about anyone else, but me. I know some days will be hard and I will not grow long hair overnight. I also know beauty comes from the inside out. God made me beautifully without any preservatives. And I have learned that anything worth having takes time to flourish.

To my fellow natural sister’s (loose or loc’d) !!

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