May 2nd 2009, in the wee hours of the morning, I took my last set of cornrows out, grabbed my hair shears and commenced to clipping my relaxed hair off. I was nervous. I had not cut my own hair since the age of 15 when I chopped off 5 inches of hair for a short bob. My natural hair was not as easy to maneuver as relaxed hair and I was sure that even though I successfully cut off all of my relaxed hair, my hair was most likely uneven. Sure enough when I blew my hair, I knew my next move would be the barber to even my afro.
Relaxed hair, for me, was easy. I went to the hair salon every 2 weeks for a shampoo, condition and doobie wrap. Every 6 to 8 weeks I got relaxer applied to the roots of my hair and my ends trimmed. I wore my hair out most of the time and in a pony tail other times. Simple. The longer it grew, the lazier I became and I did very little to maintain it.
I cut my hair because I really liked the natural look. I noticed that my relaxed hair which was always full was beginning to thin - more than I was comfortable with. I was also experiencing some damage in the crown of my head. But truth be told I did it under the urging of a man. I admit it. I did. But the desire was within me long before he showed up. What I worried about most and what delayed my hair transition was my career - how I would be accepted and possibly promoted - and of course how I would manage daily. I knew my natural hair was no where near as straight and silky as relaxed hair. I never wanted to look crazy and unkempt... never.
Well I have looked crazy and unkempt a time or twenty. My 2 year journey has not been as easy as I would have liked but I have loved my decision from the very beginning. The man who urged me is no longer in my life. Some folks have chosen to share their opinion of my hair and tell me they like me better before. Fortunately I work for an institution that is diverse and within my 2 years I have been promoted.
I have always loved hair, doing hair and especially braiding and styling natural hair. I have experimented with my hair, keeping it mostly in his naturally coarse state but I recently blew it out for a banquet I attended. I tried something new with my hair new just this weekend. After taking out my 2-strand twists, I rolled it with satin covered sponge rollers and released after about 7 hours... I like it!
This is my 2-day hair, Monday hair, slept on...
Today is my natural anniversary! Something as small as embracing the natural me was such a great feat. I love my freely, natural, sometimes curly, always unruly, very coarse but totally me hair! And yes it really is time for a cut!