Is it me, or am I really, really, really late to the natural hair, natural beauty party? Totally a rhetorical question, by the way! I know the answer.
It could just be a coincidence, or maybe, I just did not notice how many women have embraced their natural hair. Not to mention the increased number of commercials airing that celebrate the beauty of curls, spirals, locs, afros, and coils! I am obsessed!
Part of it, is because the desire to transition from relaxer to natural hair has been building up for more than a year now. When I finally decided to go through with the “big chop,” the dang city shut down, and with it, every single stylist I trusted to take scissors and clippers to my hair. It was a huge disappointment. I couldn’t tell if I read it as a sign that this was not the time, or maybe the Universe is testing my commitment to the decision. I did know, every time I looked in the mirror and imagined what I might look like with short springy coils, my anticipation grew, so I was definitely still all in!
A lot of women (mostly the young risk-taking millennials I mentor) urge me to cut my hair myself. “Just get a pair of scissors to cut it and some clippers to even it out, girl!” Their hair is so pretty, I am tempted to just go on ahead and do it! After all, what have I got to lose, right? I am not going anywhere anytime soon, so who will see it if I mess up? Not to mention, I have more beautiful Ankara headwraps than I know what to do with so if I massacre it, I can always cover it up until I get to a professional stylist. What am I waiting for? Why procrastinate?
Here’s the thing. Yes, I am growing through a lot right now (no typo, pun intended). This process of discovering a new aspect of my personality each and every day is cathartic. Taking it slow is now part of the methodology. Exercising patience and testing the limits of my determination has become an essential facet of my self-actualization. Also, I need to learn to live with the un-perfect. Going through this “awkward” stage in my hair growth has encouraged me to be like, “Look, this is me. Love me or leave me alone. I am NOT my hair!”.
Ultimately though, as with most life-changing experiences (at least for me), the lessons are the most important results!
And, when the time is right, I will do it the right way! I don’t need to make any knee-jerk decisions simply because I am impatient or bored or because it might make for a cool story or great video to post. This is a major decision and as real as it gets, and I want to do it on my terms. I fully envision the walk to the stylist’s chair, where I will undo my wrap, she will comb through this thick bush of hair hidden beneath the relaxed strands, talk to me about what is about to happen, take out her shears, we’ll make eye contact in the mirror, I will take a deep breath and will NOT close my eyes, and I will watch as she sets me free to begin the next (but never final) phase of this journey. My husband already said he will come with me if I ask him to but has never pressured me either way. He knows this is my thing, and while he wants to support, he wants to make sure I own the moment and the satisfaction that comes with it.
Until then, I wash, condition, treat, oil, and wrap my hair, treating this process like a ritual. As if I am preparing my hair (and myself) for a ceremony of renewal.
Lawd, I hope my head isn’t shaped funny!
Stay tuned for the big chop!