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Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WTF Am I Doing?

November 2010
Today at work, I ran across a photo of myself at an event I coordinated. My first thought was, "That's a nice smile. All that practicing in the mirror is finally starting to pay off."

My second thought was "And my hair looks really good in this picture too. Wait! WTF am I saying?! WTF am I doing letting my perm grow out?! ACK!!"

This was not a moment of doubt. After some thought, I realized that this was inertia trying to hold on.

Inertia is that little voice in your head that says, "Is spending four hours in the salon every six weeks that bad? Are the chemical burns on your scalp that bad?"

Inertia says, "Perming your hair is so convenient. So predictable. It's what we've always done. We like predictable!"

So far in my natural hair journey, I've focused on learning to appreciate my natural hair and to develop a new standard for beauty. Today it occurred to me that in this process, there might be bigger lessons to learn. Some might say, "It's just hair, for goodness sake. Who care? You're so vain." Today I was reminded of the power of inertia in my life. Maybe the hair is a sideline issue? Maybe there are greater lessons still to learn?

I hope!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

But Why?

In my last post, I failed to mention an important point about the experience of trying and failing to straighten my hair before going out for a big event, and that is "why."

Why was straightening my hair even on my radar?

Because I was dressing up and wanted to look my best; I wanted to be glamourous.

Couldn't my natural texture be glamourous? Of course it can, but I wasn't being very present-minded that night. In this process of embracing my natural hair texture, each day I'm learning to reset my expectations. It's a process. Some days I take a step forward. Other days, I take a step backward!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Outgrowing My Old Tricks

Yesterday afternoon, I got dressed for one of my favorite events each year: the PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards Gala.

I had a dress I loved, cute shoes, loads of Stella & Dot jewelry to boot. Then it came time to do my hair. I'll get out my old hot rollers and curling iron and straighten my hair just for tonight. 

I wish I had a photo. Things didn't go well. My hair refused to be tamed by the heat. My hair is outgrowing my old tricks.

So here we are; at somewhat of an impasse my hair and I. My new growth wants to curl, but my old, permed hair is still hanging in there. I can't seem to successfully style either. The two do not agree. 

I ended up wearing my hair in a twist, which I am doing most days. But I'm getting tired of the in-between time. Is the big chop right around the corner?

Outgrowing My Old Tricks

Yesterday afternoon, I got dressed for one of my favorite events each year: the PRSA Houston Excalibur Awards Gala. 

I had a dress I loved, cute shoes, loads of Stella & Dot jewelry to boot. Then it came time to do my hair. I'll get out my old hot rollers and curling iron and straighten my hair just for tonight. 

I wish I had a photo. Things didn't go well. My hair refused to be tamed by the heat. My hair is outgrowing my old tricks.

So here we are; at somewhat of an impasse my hair and I. My new growth wants to curl, but my old, permed hair is still hanging in there. I can't seem to successfully style either. The two do not agree. 

I ended up wearing my hair in a twist, which I am doing most days. But I'm getting tired of the in-between time. Is the big chop right around the corner?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Today's Look - Twist Outs

Today I'm trying twist-outs for work.


I washed my hair as night with tui herbal shampoo, conditioned with Redkin Smooth Down butter treat, combed through my hair with wide-toothed comb and a little black vanilla leave-in conditioner, and let it dry overnight in twists. This morning I took the twists down, and sprayed with a light oil.

I think it looks OK now. The question is, will it last all day or will I roll it up in a bun by lunch?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

How Long is Your Transition?

In the natural hair vernacular, the transition usually begins with a conscious decision to make a change for the better and stop relaxing your hair. The decision to transition is a milestone. Right?
A typical transition style for me -- a French twist.

Not in my case. My transition began haphazardly. My last relaxer was in December 2010. I travel a lot of work, and I forgot about an appointment I had schedule for a re-touch in February. I meant to reschedule, but one thing led to another (i.e. more work travel). The next thing I know, it’s been more than two months since my last perm. “Let’s see how this goes,” I thought to myself. It was the longest I’d gone without a retouch in some time.
My French twist from the back. Yes, I have pretty thick hair.!

At this point, it’s been six months since my last perm. I don’t have the nerve to do the “big chop.” The old, permed hair is something familiar, despite that fact that is it so unnatural. This is the hair I’ve known for more than 25 years.

Although I know the time will come, it’s hard to muster even more courage to chop.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Charting Virgin Territory

This is me, December 2010; hair freshly relaxed.

I’ve written the first entry for this blog countless times in my head. It usually starts with a question: Why would I do this?

My personal journey toward natural hair has been in the making, if only on my mind, for years. Saying “I recently found the courage to go natural” sounds silly at first but, if we’re honest with ourselves, we’ve all been afraid to be ourselves at one point or another. Fear of ridicule or rejection is something a lot of us have lived with, but we think that we’re passed that because we’ve grown up, lost weight, had our ears pinned, or covered up that thing we used to be teased about when we were younger.

My truth is that I won’t outgrow that fear until I’ve learned to accept myself for what I really am. Ask anyone who knew me in school, and I was the girl with the big hair. In elementary school, I had puffy braids. In middle school, it was big Texas hair (courtesy of foam rollers). By high school, I had a relaxer, discovered hot rollers, and you couldn’t tell me anything.

Kidding aside, I was always self-conscious about my hair. I couldn’t control it. It made me different. Now, I’m a mother of three little girls: each with a different hair color and texture. A day doesn’t go by when I don’t tell them how pretty their curls are, or how their hair makes them unique. Those are wonderful and encouraging words to tell them, but what message to they get when they look at my hair?

I’ve found the courage to start this journey now because I realize through my words and deeds, I’m shaping my daughters’ perceptions.

It’s time for this mutha to walk the walk – not just talk the talk.