I love going back and seeing just how far I have come with my hair. It still doesn’t want to grow past the length it is at now, but I am working on that!
Up until I left for Uni in 2010, my hair was always chemically relaxed and straightened. It was easier to deal with that way and that’s how I felt “pretty”. Being at Uni, and the experience that comes with it is when I really started to grow and become the woman I am now. Because of that (plus a really tough breakup), I needed a change so what did I decide to do? Chop off half of my hair! Because, why not, right!?
Funny story: I did this within the first couple of months of living in my dorm. One of my guy friends said “he did hair” and could give me a really good cut. Being the spontaneous person that I am, I went for it! My inspiration being Rihanna, (of course) I showed him a picture and he got to cutting. After the first BIG chop of hair, I began to cry. Partly out of fear and partly out of excitement, come to think of it, it was really just an emotional let-go. Sorry if you’re reading Mario, but that haircut was terrible! Thank goodness for my Aunt in Philly, who is an AMAZING hairstylist, she really saved me and fixed up the whole style. I rocked that half-shaved look for just about a year. I decided it was time to let the shaved part grow out. Of course, I had to deal with that awkward length stage, so once again just being me and making decisions with my hair spur of the moment (hence the neon pink hair, shown below); I decided to cut the long half off at a friend’s house. That was my official ‘Big Chop’! I loved my TWA (teenie weenie afro)! Since then, I have learned so much about natural hair care and what things my hair likes and does not like. I am still on a quest to reach long luxurious curls but am loving my fro in all its glory, in the meantime.
Through all this time, I have come to truly love my kinky curls. I believe going through all this ‘emotional styling’ also brought me to truly learn self-acceptance and self-love. This was something I really struggled with through my high school years. I didn’t understand why I had to be so different than the advertised “beautiful”. I didn’t have anyone to relate to, to show me that I, with my afro-hair, thick and strong thighs and brown skin, was just as beautiful as any other woman. I am here to tell any girl/woman who feels they are less than enough that we are ALL beautiful in our own unique ways and we should love ourselves for who we are individually. Be your own kind of beautiful!
So, here is a little hair journal in picture form. I dug up some old (dating back to 2009) and some new pictures. I apologize for some of the pictures’ quality in advance. Enjoy!