Thursday, March 20, 2014

Natural hair journey - One month post Big Chop

After 5 years on my hair journey, I felt it was time to switch gears and try the natural route.  It was a sudden decision, but one month later, no regrets. Quite the opposite...

I learned everything I needed to learn about relaxed hair and see that it is a suitable hair style for many people but not every one.

I will not relax my daughters' hair. If they decide to do it, they will be much older and decide for themselves. I won't impose my choice of natural hair on them either when they are old enough to go do their hair themselves, I won't stop it. They will have to be old enough to work in order to go get their hair done. Of course, I will be available to help them care for their hair the same way I will if they remain natural. 

In the meantime, I have time to indoctrinate natural hair in their minds. Although, I have to say, my eldest already wants straight hair. She's 8. 

I don't have preconceived notions about relaxed hair or pejorative opinions like you can't go out in the rain, you can't work out, you have to waste time at a salon for touch-ups, touch-ups are expensive because you have to go every month. I have heard all the statements since I started my journey and they are all soooooooo false. In my opinion, the upkeep is the same as if you are natural, if you take care of it. 

I just think that most salons in my area have no idea what they are doing and that in the end, we are at the mercy of amateurs. So for fine haired women, watch out!

Natural hair is not for everyone (people hate when I say that)... But It's not...  Just like relaxed hair isn't or a twa isn't (learnt that one recently). What suits someone come from their taste, their abilities, their personal choice.  Everyone cannot like being natural, it's a given. 

Of course, natural doesn't make anyone ugly (some people may think that but it's not true). When I say it's not for everyone, I mean it's just not easy for everyone to maintain. You can be natural but your methods are detrimental to your hair's health the same way being relaxed and not taking care of it would. 

I was happy with my relaxed hair journey except for one area.  My hair would just not become thicker. This happened for many reasons, the main one will probably affect my natural hair journey as well but I am willing to take that chance anyway; hormonal imbalance caused by PCOS... It can cause many things for the women who suffer from it: infertility, miscarriage, acne, hirutism, weight gain and the list goes on. It can also cause hair loss (not breakage but massive amounts of hair falling from the root).  My hair could never become thicker because I would lose a lot from my hormones being out of whack. So even when I was gaining length, and I did do that, my hair had to be cut and evened out more often than I wanted because of my crown becoming too sparse. 

That said, and in spite of that, I was able to grow my hair to APL and for me this is a victory.  I didn't claim it because my hair was really uneven... My very first goal, however, when I started my journey was mid-back length. I admit that I failed to reach that length. And therefore must advise that everyone cannot grow their hair to that length. But if your hair grows to APL no effort, you should be able to reach MBL on your hair journey. 

For fragile, fine haired girls who suffer from extreme shedding caused by a medical condition, APL is reachable and a thick SL is almost guaranteed.  

If you see that your hair has been in the same condition or getting shorter and shorter over time, you need to go on a hair journey.  Like any kind of journey, you won't reach your goals without a plan. You need a regimen to better your hair's condition. You need to stick to that regimen at least 80% of the time. One bad day here and there won't hurt you, just like anything. But not following your plan will invalidate your journey. 

My new journey's goals are about the same as my old one. 

*length (to me length goes with health, the measure of my success will be how long I am able to grow it in 3 years)
*thickness (my hair should be much thicker unprocessed so I will not use any chemicals on my hair at all, no texture softener, no dyes, nada)
*personal growth (I want to learn from this journey just as much as I did on my previous one)

My plan

I have not determined my plan yet but it will involve the following actions for sure:

-deep conditioning
-no heat for now (very little heat once my hair grows out)
-low manipulation

For some people, the hardest thing is changing their habits to adapt to a modified version of their prefered hairstyle like the straight style for example. Knowing that heat is damaging to your hair, you must switch things up and try to use heat only once or twice a year. That will force you to find other styles or other ways to get your straight style like a silky wrap. 

Stay tuned for my natural hair posts!

Let's see if this new journey will bring me more knowledge. 

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