My Hair-Story

This past weekend, I did what was probably the most drastic thing I have ever done—I cut my hair. To be clear, I did not do it on a whim; I am still not that spontaneous. I had thought about it for long before deciding. And even after deciding to cut it off, I planned it. I remember saying here that I was never going to cut my hair. That’s why they say never say never. Haha. I never would have once thought I’d be one to cut off my hair though. I had never even cut my hair before. So why did I cut it? Maybe I’ll be able to answer that question as I type further along.

You see, I have always had what was referred to as long hair among Africans. I use that term because I don’t really think shoulder length hair is long. But my hair was full and thick, and somewhat long. I had natural hair (unprocessed hair) till I was almost 16. My hair was really long then (way past shoulder length) but it was a nightmare. So I relaxed it. I was done with secondary school, and now had my parents’ (read mother) permission to chemically process it aka slap some relaxer on it. Victory at last. Hair started to be very on fleek, sleek, and just deliciously looking. Life was good. My hair was very well nurtured by my aunt and I didn’t think there was any problem. Of course I braided and fixed weaves every now and then, but extensions weren’t really my thing. So most times my hair was always in a ponytail. Extensions were (still are) too expensive, but I wasn’t very good at managing my hair so they always came in handy. As time went on, I started to reduce my use of relaxers to about three times a year only, and later, only about twice. Remember, I had coarse, kinky African hair—the worst of the bunch in texture lol.
About 7 years after I had relaxed it.

Perfectly tucked in. Couldn't find any picture from when it was natural. But it was was past due for a retouch here.

Years ago, I noticed people were fiercely becoming naturals and shunning relaxers. Some went as far as insisting that those of us who stuck with our creamy cracks were trying hard to be white yada yada. Before I move on, can we for the love of God stop calling relaxers “creamy cracks”? UGH. Also, I do not believe they cause cancer, at least I have not seen a professionally conducted research saying so. So let’s stop with the lies, shall we? Moving on.  When I noticed the sudden exodus to natural hair and the aggressive movement, I explicitly said there was no way I was ever going to be natural. In part because my hair wouldn’t even let me. But more so because the whole a la movement parade pissed me off. However, the more I saw the versatility of these so called ‘naturals’ (their hair), the more inclined I was to ditch relaxers. Plus I waited and waited, the prices of relaxers refused to drop. The whole world was boycotting relaxers, yet it was not just expensive to purchase a tub, but just as expensive to have someone apply it for you. Remember I only relaxed my hair twice a year anyway. So I decided to stop relaxing altogether, with the hope of a long term transition to natural hair. “There’s no way I am cutting my hair.” I always said to myself. I wore wigs a lot, braided my hair and just let it be. Before this point, my hair was just there—bleh. It wasn’t bad or good or long or short or breaking. It literally was just there. I was bored with it. I thought about coloring it and just messing with it, but I know that nonchalant as I may be about towards the hair, I still very much love my hair. I didn’t want to mess it up. So I decided to take the plunge. I would cut off the relaxed ends, barely a year after my last relaxer which was February, 2014.
Just before the big chop. 

It would be two things after that, I thought. Either I grew it out by following a SIMPLE regimen (God forbid I become a product junkie) or I maintained a low cut for a while. I decided the latter looked more attractive for two reasons: it would reduce or eliminate an obsession for length; it would also be a safe choice in case the hair decides to not grow anyway. All things being equal, I kept my wigs. Because, what if I look like somebody’s younger brother with a low-cut? Please o. Eventually, It turned out quite ok. Thanks to deep conditioners and coconut oil, the texture is very manageable and I see myself avoiding relaxers for a very long time.
Product junkie or nah?

My Mom does not think so. She did not like the idea of me cutting my hair. She thought I had invested too much in the hair, and saw no reason to cut off perfectly good hair.  My aunt screamed in surprise. “Have you forgotten how difficult and coarse your hair was?” I know I know. My hair used to break combs, true story. But I wanted it. I was sure (still am) that I did. In fact if it helps, this is the only thing I have been so decisive about in a long while. For someone who finds it hard to know what she wants, this was easy peasy.  I am beyond glad I did it, and look forward to just seeing my hair do its thing. So when I was ready, I had my mother do it. Boy am I glad it was her who did it? It was hard to trust even her to just chop it all off lol. In the end though, it really is JUST hair. And in the words of Indie Arie, I AM NOT MY HAIR. Or maybe I am.

After the chop.

24 hours after a failed twist out.


Disclaimer: although I ditched relaxers, there is NO WAY I am ditching extensions. Nah uh. I am still about the weaves for dayyyyysss and on fleek! If that means I am not natural, so be it. Please take your title to someone who needs it.

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