Hey There! It’s me again 🙂 … ladies if you haven’t had the opportunity, I encourage you to Click Here for Part 1 of my journey before viewing the current post as it will tie the entire experience together! Happy Reading! – C.Z.
Now, Let’s Continue!
A Planted Seed
Speaking with my friend about her experiences (both positive and negative) as a new Naturalista did not deter me from my decision to partake on my own personal journey. I was in this thing for the long run (but it was getting there that was the problem). I knew I was not brave enough to embark on any risky hair escapades (like shaving my head or rocking a super tiny afro) so long term transitioning would be my best friend. However, since knowing is only half the battle … I continued asking myself, “What will you do to get to where you’re going?” “How are you going to get back to Africa without looking like Mobley from the Jungle Book? (lol).” I initially tried flat ironing my hair in an attempt to transition by just straightening once a week and clipping off the relaxed ends every couple months or so. This plan quickly fell through as my new growth became more prominent and the slightest bit of humidity made me resemble a fur ball! I also tried protective styling by roller setting but it became boring and tedious, not to mention, I was unable to work out with either style.
Saved by the Sew-In
Desperate for a way to keep on a straightened path, I began researching info on sew-ins. I was so paranoid from the hair loss I experienced as a result of the relaxer/birth control/clip-ins that I was extra cautious when exploring this avenue of protective styling. I read so many horror stories but there were positive reviews as well. Many women stated the sew-ins actually helped them to retain length. I came to the conclusion that the results yielded from sew-ins depended solely on the individual, how the hair was taken care of, and how it responded to being completely shielded from the elements. At this point, I fully convinced myself to just go for it! I got my very first sew-in installed in the fall of 2012 and I was crazy addicted! I also let go of anything I was putting into my body that was not natural so I had my IUD removed as I figured any hormone or chemical strong enough to cause my hair to fall out (relaxers included) had no business entering my body. The Sew-in was my saving grace and I only purchased high quality extensions from Sheena’s Hair Emporium. My style of choice was a half sew in leaving my crown exposed and I tried my best to avoid heat as I wanted to prevent any potential damage to my new growth. I would keep my sew-in for a total of 8 weeks at a time, washing and deep conditioning once a week, taking it down and having it re-installed (I don’t recommend the last part as it’s important to let hair breath for at-least 2 weeks). It wasn’t long before 8 months flew by and I was becoming increasingly anxious to chop off the lifeless relaxed ends that remained on my head.
Saved by Sew-Ins
Just Chop it off!
One day after sitting idle at my desk as the work week neared it’s end, I got the bright idea to start You Tubing all vlogs pertaining to the Big Chop. I was so inspired by these young women taking the brave step of cutting off their relaxed ends only to reveal their natural mane in all it’s curly glory. I instantly made up my mind that Friday, July 8th would be the day I big chopped. I obsessed about cutting my hair until 5:00 arrived, then I jumped up and darted out of the office. I drove straight to my mother’s house because by 6:00, nervousness and reality set in and I needed a cheerleader but she was not home yet and I couldn’t wait. I let myself in and headed straight for her bathroom! I always envisioned myself being one of the women on YouTube playing some alternative song in the background while I proudly chopped off my own hair so I quickly grabbed my ipad, propped it up against the mirror and pressed record. However, about 30 minutes in and with the left side of my hair missing, my excitement quickly turned to tears and I realized I was in fact a punk but it was too late to turn back so I simply stopped recording and continued snipping away. In the end, all that remained was this little brown and foreign fro. I remember thinking “Hell no! I have no desire to play India Arie’s I am not my Hair or J.Cole’s Crooked smile I don’t feel empowered at all, I feel like … a little boy.”
So let’s not sugar coat it here, this is the ugly truth about the big chop … some will embrace it and others will freak out. Evidently, I chose the latter. I went through a mini depression for the weekend and refused to let my husband see my hair without a scarf on. I wanted nothing to do with it and refused to even wash it as I was afraid it would become one big matted mess. Tired of seeing me sulking, my sisters had witnessed enough, they forced me into the shower and threw in a bottle of conditioner begging me to do my first Co-Wash …
Click Here for Part 3 of my Natural Journey!
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