Hey There! It’s me again ūüôā … 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‚Äôs 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

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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