I’m back home in London after my extensive travels just in time for one of my favourite seasons of the year. The one that signifies new beginnings! The sun is finally showing through the clouds- amazing how a bit of sun in London brings out positive energy and confidence… Enough confidence for me to take scissors to my hair and go for the chop!
I won’t hold the sun completely responsible for my dramatic irreversible action. After an amazing inspirational trip to Brazil (not at all seduced into opting for Brazilian hair extensions, but rather empowered by the beauty of baianas- women of Bahia and their take on natural hair) and a crazy fun Easter break in Ghana (reconnecting with my roots), I got back home to London with a heavy craving for change. Internally; getting back to into my healthy living pattern, and externally… A new look… a new short cut!
I’ve toyed with the idea of having short hair for a few years now. Funky, fun and retro with a splash of colour! Sounds great right?… But is it really
My signature looks since chemically straightening my hair almost 10 years ago, have been a classic bob (with my own medium length hair), or long sophisticated waves (with the help of hair extensions). Two simple looks that I think work for my face shape- though my preference has been the latter.
So on friday night, while people-watching on social media networks, I suddenly got an impulse to cut my hair… And what the hell, I run with it! Not even waiting for saturday morning to arrive to get it professionally cut by a hairdresser! It felt great- each snip was liberating. And when it was all done, I was able to stare back at myself in the mirror without regret. I was pleased with the results!
Until I went swimming the following morning! The swimming part itself was good (part of the internal change I’m seeking). Even better that I didn’t have to worry about getting my hair wet (a stereotypical excuse many black girls have for not taking up the sport!)! But when it came to drying my hair, that’s when I realised my transition would be a lot more difficult than I anticipated… And I really should have thought hard about it before hand.
Did I mention I want to go natural too?!
The initial plan was to start afresh by going natural. Goodbye to ‘no lye’ relaxers; I’m tired of your lies (though there have been some truths too. Smooth silky hair… At a cost)! Goodness knows it can’t be so difficult. I have enough friends who’ve made the transition, so if they can do it, why can’t I? And I’ve noticed the many facebook groups promoting natural hair. Black girls of all complexions spotting their natural locks in different styles so effortlessly. That could be me!
But I’ve quickly come to terms with the reality of wanting to go short and natural after just a weekend managing three months worth of regrowth hiding beneath my straight ends (which I would have to be cut off eventually)… I’m not so sure why I want to go natural!
Where did I get the idea that natural hair = easy hair?! It doesn’t! And I realised that standing in front the ladies changing room mirror debating if I should blow-dry the shrunken mass on my head. What’s the point of going natural if I’m going to be using heat on it everyday to get it straight? I’d might as well stick to chemically straightening my hair to get the desired results- no?
But exactly why am I going natural again?!
It’s not like I’m trying to make a political statement by rocking an afro. I just like the idea of being chemical-free! The idea of my hair being real! And hair can say so much about a person. The confidence to maintain natural hair when our society tells us we should conform to straight European-like hair speaks volumes. But straight or kinky hair (because goodness knows my hair has never been curly- if I had it that easy I’d never go straight)- I’m a proud black African woman. My hair doesn’t define that. Case closed.
The feedback I’ve had on facebook after posting up pics of my new crop has been amazing… Then I get a comment from my cousin saying;
“great. your future daughter will now have a real role model to be proud of. too many black women with toxic hair. proud of you kay.”
No pressure there then! I’d like to hope my future daughter would proud of me for stronger actions than the way I wear my hair… Otherwise I’d better pray for a son!
Ok, so I’ll confess. My hopes for going natural besides starting afresh from chemicals, is partly due to the fact that I’m lazy when it comes to my hair. There, I said it! It just takes up too much of my time to try to get it to look good! Maintaining my chemically processed hair hasn’t been cheap either despite considering myself an expert babe on a budget! Hence why going natural seems like a
cheaper better option. Is there a hefty price tag towards growing ‘good hair’?
Without getting into the internet phenomenon of what good hair is, I’ll just say in my opinion, it’s hair that’s healthy. And after almost 10 years of relaxed hair, there have been many lows (had my scalp burnt a few times, my hair isn’t as thick as it was in its natural state, it gets dry and lets not mention the constant breakage and brittle strands). Despite that however, the times when I have looked after it well, I can proudly say that I had good hair. Hair that is healthy, strong, shiny and manageable.
If I wanted a short-cut to achieving good hair without effort, going short and natural was a bad move! Good hair is like a plant. It requires love, time, care and patience (amongst other factors)! This spring season is the perfect time for me to plant that seed by giving my hair all those requirements!
Whether I’ll say away from the chemical relaxers is a different story. But whatever I decide, I’m going to make sure I enjoy rocking my new short hair look with pride! Goodbye hair extensions- you’re so last season!
Hello short cut!… my new sexy!!
Well, what do you think?
Please share your natural hair/short hair experience in the comment box! Thanks
- I’m Going Natural!!!! (itsebunite.wordpress.com)
- Natural Hair Journey: The Fortuitous Good Hair Day (ashleyadores.com)
- Natural hair journey: Why I went natural (naturallyserrenity.com)
- Why Hair Breakage Happens & 3 Cures For Fixing It (shesbrillant.com)
- Food for… Healthy Hair! (thefoodcatalogue.wordpress.com)
- Good Hair? (Nature vs. Beauty Among Black Women) (tiare75.wordpress.com)
- Natural Hair: Growing Trend in the African American Community (newsplex.com)
- Black Hair Mythology (bellehairspot.com)
- Urban Bush Babes (jenaistoree.wordpress.com)