I started my journey toward natural hair waaaay back in January, and I am finally where I want to be. Nearly three weeks ago, I strutted into a local salon with a head full of two-textured hair, and I walked out au naturale. Well, almost. I still had about 1-inch of relaxed ends in the front because the new growth there wasn’t quite long enough as the rest of my head. Still though, I felt like a new woman, literally.
The whole way home, I kept running my fingers through my curls, only barely able to believe that they were all mine — not modified by chemicals or trying to be anything other than what they are. I felt more free than I ever could have believed. For a while.
Then I got home and had to look in the mirror. Understand, friends, that I had been seeing myself with straight hair for 20 years. As I mentioned in my first hair post, without even realizing it, I had wrapped my perception of beauty up in my hair. Bone straight meant flyy as hell. New growth meant ponytails until I could get a fresh relaxer. So it took some time for me to appreciate my new look.
It didn’t help that I still had those relaxed ends, albeit only an inch or so of them, taunting me from the front of my head every time I looked in the mirror. Because of those ends, I felt like my first attempt at styling — a twist out — was a disaster. While most of my hair curled and twisted happily, the straight ends stuck out like sore thumbs, refusing to be coaxed into submission.
As happy as I was about my decision to BC (big chop), I was even more disappointed in myself about the way I was trippin. For a few days, I really felt like I wasn’t attractive. At. All.
Thankfully I have a husband who was only too happy to take on a new role as cheerleader. He loved my new hair from the very second I had it cut, and he wasn’t shy about letting me know that. His optimism and compliments helped a lot, but to make the transformation complete, one final step was required. A few days after my cut, I pulled out a pair of hair scissors and I went to town on those relaxed ends.
Yes. I cut them off. Myself. And it was the best thing I could have done for my hair. Yes, the front of my hair is now slightly shorter than the back, but my hair is so tightly curled that it’s almost impossible to tell the differences in length. And I feel better because all the processed hair is gone.
Since then, I have learned not just to accept, but to love my newly natural hair. In fact, I’m having a full on love affair with my low maintenance TWA (teeny weeny afro). I can wake up in the morning and run my fingers through my hair with some coconut oil, fluff and be done. That is the best feeling in the world.
More than anything else though, I feel like I’m seeing myself — really seeing myself — for the first time. So everyone, meet the new Jennae. She’s happy to be happy in her own skin, and finally, in her own hair 🙂