“You have such beautiful hair” they say. But they have no idea what I went through.
Big Chop #1 2009
To give you a scope of things, I was a 14 year old in 9th grade during this time. When I had a relaxer, my hair was still in pretty good shape. It still grew “long” which meant down to my shoulders. Then I had a thought – what if I became completely independent of a monthly service and did everything myself? So that’s when I started transitioning to become natural. After 9 months, the two textures became too much to deal with so I big chopped… as a 14 year old. Everyone gave me stares and talked behind my back. I even had black women that disapproved and mumbled things: “So are you going to get a relaxer again?” “This is just temporary, right?” “You gonna do this forever?”
Shaving Sides 2011-2013
After about two years in the natural world, my hair became a little too big for me to handle. At the time, the only natural hair guru I would watch on Youtube was Chime Edwards (and still do). She shaved the side of her hair and I loved it! So I shaved mine. I cut my bangs shorter and pretty much had a mullet. The only issue was growing it out again. I forgot that it takes a WHILE for natural hair to start hanging so my hair grew in very awkwardly. I had to twist down my bangs and sides so they wouldn’t look so awkward.
“You’re the girl with the hair!” 2013-2014
I started my Freshman year of college in 2013. My hair had some pretty good length to it and people started to identify me by my hair. I basically made my footprint on campus because of my hair. I liked that it drew attention but at the same time, it became the only thing people knew about me.
Why did I get one? Because I watched Youtube too much and saw this girl who had “good” results with the texturizer. I put “good” in quotes because texturizers loosen curl… therefore I was saying to myself that only loose curls are good. WRONG. I have only gotten one texturizer and I loved the results at first… but then I realized my hair had changed for the worse. It became dry, I had a lot of straight pieces, and worst of all, I was not natural anymore (duh). I felt like for some reason I betrayed myself. My hair looked like trash. I knew people noticed. I thought about keeping up with the texturizers but then I didn’t want to be tied again to a monthly process.
Big Chop #2 2014
So to get rid of all of my texturizer, I had to cut my hair again. Walking on campus my Sophomore year was weird for me. I felt ignored. I felt the questionable stares again. However, Sophomore year made me learn the most about myself. It also taught me the value of the hair I had. I started to cherish every inch of hair that grew in and enjoyed having conversations with people that wasn’t hair-related. It was fun to buy new products and truly nourish my hair.
I am now two years natural and enjoying every bit of my journey. My hair is healthier than ever and I am actually happy that I have experimented in the past. I am no longer curious about anything else except for long, healthy hair. I am planning to grow my hair indefinitely without heat or chemicals. People are now seeing the results of trial and error. People are now seeing what healthy hair actually looks like.
Transitioning Again 2016-?
Throughout most of my process in the course of seven years, I had dye in my hair. When I big chopped the first time, my hair was already dyed brown. I then tried to grow the brown out but later winded up dying the back of my hair pink. When I big chopped again, I went for a reddish/brown. Till this day, I am still trying to transition and trim out that dye. My ends that still has the dye is very damaged and dry from that process. Bleaching and dying my hair has been the worst hair decisions I have made. So in reality, I am actually currently transitioning a third time. I was on a schedule to trim my hair every 4 months but now because majority of the color is gone, I am now doing a trim every 6 months. My hair could actually be much longer today had I not dyed it.