Monday, 27 May 2013

Fro Turns Two - An Honest Review

The other day, as I was preparing my last timeline post, I re-read my 1st year fully natural review and it reminded me of how I declared that I'll stop reviewing at the end of every month and only do reviews every year. I had completely forgotten about that. And now that Fro is officially two years young today, it made sense to honour that declaration as so many things have happened this past year for both me and Fro and for My Fro & I.



My routine has changed...again. My wash days are longer as I make sure to wash and detangle in sections. This has definitely helped with breakage and matting during shampooing. I can confidently say I can do at least 30 different updos on my hair. That was a great learning curve for me and made me very proud that I managed to complete it. Now I have a great and varied selection of styles I can wear for pretty much any occasion.

The most obvious and certainly most impactful thing to have happened this past year was I made My Fro & I public. Before August of last year, I had only about 5 readers, myself included and it was an invite only blog for my closest friends to follow. Now, I have the honour of 'speaking' to women all over the world about my experiences with being natural. But in the excitement of a growing blog, I also haven't managed to be completely honest and continue documenting my good and bad days. I know many of you are routing for me and Fro to live happily ever after. Not to say I'm not happy but I'm just feeling a little... bleh. So I think it's time for me to be honest with how I've been feeling about my hair. (Apologies in advance for the rambling way I've written this but I'm literally just feeling and typing)

Earlier this year I made a goal to retain my length. Before it was focusing on getting the hang of natural hair and that it grows. Now, at 9 inches, I'm a few inches short of what I was expecting to be at this point of my journey. I feel like I'm at the second awkward stage where my hair is grazing my neck if left out and twist outs leave certain sections of my hair looking...weird. And while I'm happy I've reached this point, I'm not satisfied with the overall length. Just being honest in saying that, I'm disappointed that I'm struggling to retain length at this point. I know I could do better with the protective styling, but I get so itchy and can't keep them in for long. It's a bad habit, but on the other hand I ask myself, is it really about length or health?

Which leads me to my next thought...I've been pondering on cutting my hair again. Not to 1 inch but to where I was about 6 months after my big chop. The more hair, the more care. And I'm really feeling that. The other day, I met one of my readers at a work meeting (!) and I lusted after her hair. It was about 3 inches, jet black and thick. It looked gorgeous. And even though she praised my hair and styles, I found myself wishing for those days again, when a bottle of deep conditioner lasted 2 months, rather than 3 weeks. Yet at the same time, I go on Pinterest and envy the women with curls cascading down their backs. But many of those women didn't get that length by fluke and it's something I strongly believe in. If you want your hair to be a certain 'quality' then you have to work at it. I was never one of those women (even whilst relaxed) who believed in keeping long hair if I wasn't feeling it - maintenance wise or health wise. I'd cut it and let it grow back healthier. Right now, I'm not happy with the colour anymore but I don't want to dye it again. I'm not happy with the length in terms of awkwardness and also that the retention rate has slowed down. And just in terms of time too. My personal and work life has gotten much busier these past few months and sometimes I want to go to bed as soon as I arrive home. Other times I work on the weekends so wash day is out for me. So shorter hair right now, just makes sense.

I know many of you believe this is a walk in the park for me, and yes I do seem to have more good days than bad now but the journey is never over. And I'm still aspiring for something more. I hope that this post isn't going to discourage you but I hope it will inspire you to keep pushing and know that even some of us who some refer to as 'experts' also don't know what they're doing sometimes and have bad hair moments too. Point is, I still don't miss relaxed hair for a minute. And stopping to relax remains one of the best decisions I've ever made. I would just like to reach a more satisfied place.

Either way, here's to another year :)

22 comments:

  1. Still, well done in keeping it up. I know and understand how hard it can be. For me at a point I deciced to sisterlock my hair, mainly for convenience. I can honestly say I have never had my hair this long before after a year...(from a very low cut) but yes it comes with work.... What ever you do, you will be supported, as I believe your experience is not only a learning curve for you, but for most of us...regard, Ms AG(B)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your comment and I'm so relieved to hear you say that it's a learning curve for all of us. Sometimes I feel like people expect me to know it all because of my blog when the truth is, I don't! Lol, it helps :)

      Delete
  2. Nice post! I am 60 years old and have been natural for 2 years now. For me, I never intended to have anything but a TWA. I go to the barber every 2 weeks to have it trimmed. I went natural for the ease of it. I was tired of sitting in the beauty shop for 2 -3 hours every week and having to roll my hair every night (yep...did that for YEARS). Like you I just wanted to come home a go to bed and that's what I so now!. Washing it takes no time even with DCing. I got up this morning and washed by hair and while I was DCing I made my potato salad. I wanted my hair to fit into my lifestyle after so many years. I am very happy with my decision. Do you! :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment :) Returning to a TWA is very tempting exactly because of the ease of it. Although when I was there two years ago, I couldn't wait until my hair grew to my length lol! But now I see it should be about my hair fitting into my lifestyle nto the other way around.

      Delete
  3. Hi there

    I'm an early reader of your blog and now a big fan. You are the one of my many youtube and online bloggers that made me decide to go natural and look fabulous and I THANK YOU for that.
    Today am rocking one of your 30 day challenge styles and am loving it.
    I just wanted to tell you please dont feel bad about wanting to cut your hair or want it long. Hair is a personal choice. We do what we want with our hair first of all to make us feel sexy ( and my dear you have rocked hard on that one), keeping it healthy and what is convenient to maintain at the time.
    So sweety do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy.
    I must say I really envy your hair and at the moment that's what an aiming for. I love the colour and it looks healthy and just naturally beautiful. And I so agree with you going back to chemical is so not an option.
    Discover your hair again. Cut it, dye it whatever as long as you feel good about it.
    But please keep the old videos for some of us who actually long for your hair ;-)
    It's funny though how we all envy what we don't have and others envy what we have.
    Wewe mrembo naendelea hivyo hivyo.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Asante sana for your comment!And yes, it's very true about wanting what you don't have. When my hair was short I kept longing for hair my current length and now I'm not sure anymore, lol. The videos and posts etc are still going to be here, as is my blog. If I cut my hair, I'll blog about it too. Don't worry, the question was never whether I should stop blogging ;)

      Delete
  4. Hi there

    I'm an early reader of your blog and now a big fan. You are the one of my many youtube and online bloggers that made me decide to go natural and look fabulous and I THANK YOU for that.
    Today am rocking one of your 30 day challenge styles and am loving it.
    I just wanted to tell you please dont feel bad about wanting to cut your hair or want it long. Hair is a personal choice. We do what we want with our hair first of all to make us feel sexy ( and my dear you have rocked hard on that one), keeping it healthy and what is convenient to maintain at the time.
    So sweety do whatever you want as long as it makes you happy.
    I must say I really envy your hair and at the moment that's what an aiming for. I love the colour and it looks healthy and just naturally beautiful. And I so agree with you going back to chemical is so not an option.
    Discover your hair again. Cut it, dye it whatever as long as you feel good about it.
    But please keep the old videos for some of us who actually long for your hair ;-)
    It's funny though how we all envy what we don't have and others envy what we have.
    Wewe mrembo naendelea hivyo hivyo.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Do what best for you lovely and all the best now.XXXXxx.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Aisha,
    I wanted to cut my hair before I ever imagined going natural, simply because I wanted to be FREE of the bondage that black women's hair has over them. Hair is hair. Short or long, it doesn't matter. We attach too much unnecessary value to hair. What matters most is who you are as a person as opposed to what your hair looks like and how long it is. Don't feel terrible, we all have our bad days. Do what makes you happy n thanx for sharing.

    You are fabulous no matter what :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your comment. I try not to let the hair thing plague me too much but as many women do, it usually still gets to me. Call me obsessive :s But you mentioned a good point there about being free of the bondage. I never thought that being natural could end up making you almost feel trapped too. That's why I wrote this post, to be honest about it in the hopes that I'd feel less so.

      Delete
  7. Hi Aisha.
    I will have you know that I know exactly how you feel. My fro is headed for its 4-month birthday and I'm enjoying every minute of it. Its my first time in afro-ville and I'm gorgeous shem. Anyhooo, of course I'm headed to where you are at in terms of length and today I'm rocking that "Madiba style line with clips".

    I'd love me some Afro Botanics products. Sooooooo My name is Nokx Maseko.
    I'm in Johannesburg (Sandton for work by day and Germiston by night). I'm already following you both on twitter and Facebook (Can someone can G.R.O.U.P.I.E *hides*)And I have just followed Afro Botanics on FB (yes I'm in in to WIN it) My email is nokx.maseko@gmail.com

    Good luck to me.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Don't give up doll like alicia james (a hair vlogger please google her) I only really started to "get" my hair 2.5 years in. Enjoy your hair and listen to it, don't give it too much expectation. I started wearing more wash n go twists and it looks like im 6months natural but I enjoy the freedom of short hair sometimes. My wash routinre had actually got easier with more hair, my hair is less thirsty long. Short natural hair can be quite Thirsty. Every second wash I ask my hair why does it defy me (-_-'). seriously. we in this together.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Fatsani, not giving up don't worry! No relaxer for me, just possibly shorter hair to fit in with my now busier life. I'm glad to know I'm not alone!

      Delete
  9. Hi aisha iv been following ur blog recently and I'm just wondering, how do u keep ur hairline intact and breakage free? Mine is very fragile and weaves/braids always take their toll. Iv been natural a year now I thought it would get better but its still struggling. I just begun using castor oil but any additional info would be nice. Anyone else with ideas please feel free to help. Thanks! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, I have many people askign me this question and other than suggesting using products like pure castor oil (found in pharmacies, Dischem in SA have it too) and not installing weaves or braids too tightly, I'm not sure what else to say. I've always given my hair a break between protective styles and not leave styles in for long too. Good luck!

      Delete
  10. thanks for this honest review. I can relate to how you feel about length retention, mixing our hair routines with life and work. i have been following the being natural timeline and my best was 5 months in, that length is stress free so manageable and cute :). currently i am curious to see how long my hair will be when i reach the 2 year mark. if ever i want a change i am considering sister locks or chopping again to that 5 month length. Do what makes you happy, you are still an inspiration at whatever length.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Evbu, I always enjoy reading your comments :) I agree, for me it was around months 6-7, looking back they seemed to be the 'least hassle' times. The length was just enough to twist and also rock a wash and go without too many tangles. So if I do decide to cut it, I might go there, not much shorter than that and maybe keep it at that length for awhile until I decide to grow it again, if I do!

      Delete
  11. i came to leave you and fro lots and lots of hugs and kisses... you have really done a fantastic job so far. Whatever you decide CUT or NOT, we love you. Wewe ni Mrembo :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awww, that's so sweet! Asante Njeri, really made me smile :D

      Delete
  12. To cut down on time you spend on your hair, you can always put in twists, which will last for a week or more. Or if you like to wear your hair in an afro or pin and tuck styles, you can just put your hair in about 4-6 bantu knots or twists at night to keep them stretch.
    about length retention, I have the same problem. almost 4years natural, and my hair looks like i started growing it 2years ago. I know braids and such helps with length retention, but I also want to be creative with my hair, so i've chosen the latter route for now. Also i think how much length you retain has to do with how fast your hair grows and how easy it is to break. I've noticed so many youtubbers have been able to achieve the average monthly growth eventhough they twist their hair everynight, use all sorts of hair tools and products. we are not in a race, and like most things in life, some of us will achieve a task much sooner and with ease, while some will get there later and with much difficulty. I am still trying to figure my hair out and looking into ways I could retain more length while my hair is out. So keep at it, don't feel discouraged. I'll suggest trying out some of the tips ive given for another 6months and then make your decision then.

    themanecaptain.blogspot.ca

    ReplyDelete
  13. Hi Aisha, I know this is late but I read your post weeks ago and have been meaning to comment because I can relate to how you feel. I've felt this way numerous times with my natural hair and I have to say it's an issue I still struggle with. I cut it, grow it out and without fail, once it gets past 9 inches, I become frustrated and tired with it because it is too much work for ME. I'm a low maintenance girl and although I would love to have long hair, I have no interest in spending lots of time maintaining it and it seems that with my hair texture longer length = more work.

    To be honest, I still haven't found a way to resolve this dilemma which is why I recently cut my hair down to a quarter-inch TWA for the 5th time (I've been natural over 10 years) and it has made things so much easier. I know I will have to face the long-hair maintenance issue once again when it grows out but it's nice to defer that problem for a while. I don't say this to encourage you to cut your hair because really, that's a personal decision. I just wanted to share my story with you so you know that you are not alone in this struggle. I still love your blog whether you rock long hair, short hair or no hair. :)

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...