This is series of posts that share tales of “unfortunate” experiences on the natural hair journey. They are my stories and those of other naturalistas who have been willing to share. This story is a story told to me by one of my friends, written from her perspective. If you have a story that you’d like to share, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
You know that place in between being completely natural and completely relaxed hair? That time soon after your last “chemical relaxing” experience, when you are still unsure about this whole “natural hair thing” and you would rather move from protective style to protective style for convenience sake? Yeah that time was not fun for me because it was the first time that I realised the importance of paying close attention to your hair.
My hair has always been thick and voluminous. Some of my earliest childhood memories were of an adult, either my mom or my hairstylist, attempting to comb out my hair with a giant comb, and restating over and over again how thick my hair was and still is. I had just taken out braids a few days prior, and I wanted to do something different so I had them put a weave in my hair.
When my hair was done, I felt it was a bit tight but paid little attention to it, because it wasn’t That Much tighter than usual. So I just sucked it up and went home. It hurt for the next week, which was longer than usual, but by the second week I had completely forgotten about it. By the end of the second week I was tired of the hair and was ready to take it out. As I took it out, I began to notice that the hair at my edges had broken pretty much all around my head in a circle.
“Hmm… This is odd,” I thought.
I could start to feel my anxiety rise though as track after track showed me that much more hair than just my edges had come off. A lot of the hair in between each track (at the sides of each row, had cut, leaving my hair in a beautiful mess of split ends, and comically uneven hair).
My chest started to get tight, and I struggled to maintain a steady arm as I finished removing the tracks in my hair. I felt around for the full extent of the damage. It was bad, really bad.
“Maybe it won’t seem as bad when I’ve washed my hair? My hair is naturally thick and I do have a little new growth maybe when I wash it’ll be better.”
I went into the bathroom and took the opportunity to have a long warm shower, staying longer than was necessary, just to wash away my anxiety.
When I came out of the shower I knew it was a done deal. A lot of the relaxed hair had fallen off, probably partially because of the way the hair was done and it’s tightness, but mostly because it was much weaker in this in-between state than I’d factored in.
After staring in the mirror for a while I realised that I could continue to hold on to the remains of my past hair life, or I could jump right in and start a new.
I decided it was time for my big chop.
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