Tuesday, 27 August 2013
I don't do 'length checks' as such. I've avoided doing them because I think it's too much pressure on my hair to miraculously grow a certain length within a certain period of time so I've just never done them. But what I do do is randomly feel like checking on my hair length every once in awhile. Especially when I think I'm doing better with my hair routine. Well, the other day was one of those random times I measured my hair and my heart dropped when I saw it was at the same length as last year. When that's happened before, I would shrug and keep it moving. My hair will somehow get back into shape, maybe it's the weather or something.
Why have I been struggling to get past this mid-long hair phase? The truth: I was in denial. You know when you begin to realise something then almost all of a sudden there are signs of it everywhere? That's what has happened. I came across blog articles talking directly to me, I finally began noticing the lil afro balls all over my house. One particular article was this insightful one from Black Girl with Long Hair: The 7 Deadly Hair Sins. Although guilty of several of these sins (hello envy! And let's not forget lust) the one that struck me most was 'pride'. It took me more than two years to get to this point and I didn't want to admit that maybe the problem wasn't my hair and more like me and something wasn't working. I knew I wasn't satisfied but I couldn't figure out how to get out of it.Then I watched Jenell's heartbreaking yet brave video about her hectic hair damage. When she described and showed us her hair, it finally clicked; my hair is also damaged.
The past couple of months, especially on wash day, I'd notice that my roots are this thick and rich areas of hair but my ends were acting differently to the rest of my hair. They were thinner and they'd tangle onto each other a lot more and they were breaking. After watching Jenell's video, I realised that the damaged parts are the coloured ones. So I began to think about why that's so. I had to be honest, I think I was focused on taking care of my coloured hair for about a month then I slipped back into caring for it just like before. I stopped using shampoos and other products for coloured hair. I didn't moisturise it more often etc. I got lazy. I got confused and my priorities didn't change when they needed to. Needless to say, I'm not happy about my hair's overall health. Yes length is great but it's not healthy so my hair's not cooperating as much as it could be and that's on me.
Another thing that's been irking me about my 'length' is I can't often wear one of my favourite styles; free fro. So this last week when all I wanted to do was enjoy that style and I couldn't it hit me that I'm not enjoying my hair anymore. Only on the odd day but not generally. So I'm going to take the advice offered in that BGLH article and admit my mistakes and get rid of the damage. My plan for now is to cut the dyed section off and then probably begin cornrowing own hair on a regular basis. I can't do it myself so I have to make friends at the salon. I could maybe even jazz the styles up with an afro puff or something. I also need to change my routine and products as my hair's not really reacting to them anymore. I'm still pondering on how to go about that and I'm definitely considering beginning to use all natural products and 'leave hair alone' for awhile.
I'm excited! I haven't been this excited about my hair for awhile. I'm realising that this is what it's all about. It's not a destination to reach or being an 'expert' in it all, which I've never claimed to be. I'm just a girl, with natural hair trying to figure this out and I'm sharing my experiences with you.