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To Chop or Not to Chop

I’ve always been the kind of person who likes trying new things. I like switching it up whenever possible and my hair is no exception. Me and my hair have been doing a dance between relaxed and natural hair. Both have their benefits and honestly I love my hair both ways. One of the conveniences of being relaxed is not having to go through a lengthy detangling process and using foam rods helps lessen the amount of manipulation I had to do to my hair. It’s easy to moisturize and having to shampoo and condition took very little work. The biggest down side was the need to keep getting a relaxer. In order to reduce the amount of processing and manipulation it became necessary to stretch my relaxers. This resulted in my having to deal with two textures in my hair. At the roots I was natural so I had to be careful about how I handled my hair. Still, chemical processing aside, my hair was for the most part healthy.

Well I tired of the two textures and decided to transition over to natural. I wasn’t brave enough to big chop but much to my chagrin it was a lot of maintenance involved in transitioning. This was before there were so many people embracing being natural. I honestly I had people thinking I was crazy because they didn’t understand why I would do something to my hair that requires so much work. Don’t even get me started on curl patterns. If you aren’t a 3 curl or higher, it’s not even worth being natural since it’s not “good hair”. Despite that, I loved my hair. It’s texture was so soft and puffy. If I had one complaint, it would be that my hair is a moisture monster. It thrives on moisture and it disappears almost instantly. Oh and don’t judge this pic too harshly this was a while ago. The struggle was real 🤦🏽‍♀️ but my fro was poppin 💁🏾‍♀️🤷🏾‍♀️🐑!

After a while I went back to the relaxers. I didn’t feel like dealing with the long wash days and detangling process. I don’t regret it because at the time it made sense for my schedule. I had to balance school, work, and extra curriculars. My hair had gotten so long it would take me around 4-5 hours just to make sure it was saturated in moisture. I wasn’t as educated about natural hair and I genuinely thought I needed to heavily deep condition every night. Talk about being #teamnosleep.

Fast forward to 2018 and guess what…I got bored again! It’s only so much I can do with relaxed hairstyles and I missed the diversity of my natural hair. Being a 4b/4c naturalista allows for all types of styles I just can’t do with bone straight hair. I had even allowed my hair to grow out and it was back to my shoulders again. I like keeping my hair short because I’m ever so slightly a tad bit lazy. Longer hair means more work so…short hair it was! My mom convinced me to let it grow out (nostalgia and all that) and boy did she love it. Unfortunately for her I needed a change.

The plan was: transition again, let my hair grow out to a more comfortable length and cut it! Muhahahaha.. well that didn’t happen. I let it grow to about maybe an inch before I chopped it. Well to be honest, I let the lazy take over again. Anyone who has transitioned before can tell you it’s delicate work. That line of demarcation is not joke. As soon as it got too cumbersome I snip snipped chop chopped. I don’t regret it one bit BUT I won’t lie and say it was easy.

Hair so often is what women use as a way to help define their beauty. Trouble is, now I barely have any. I’m not a small girl so having hair on this head was a risk. I felt so naked…so bare…so confused. A part of me felt empowered by it but I wasn’t completely okay. I didn’t know if I could wear it in front of people. I was NOT ready for that judgement. I really had to take a look at myself. What was I so afraid of? The people I love not loving me back? Because of my hair? Yes I realize how ridiculous that sounds but that’s how I felt. I slowly let them see it. Instead of being afraid of it I flaunted it. The amount of love and positive vibes made me realize I had nothing to be afraid of. I saw that convincing yourself is the first step to convincing others. If you love yourself in it, you don’t care if others don’t.

We can’t all be picture perfect but we can be true to who we are.

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