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Saturday, October 29, 2011

I Could Never Do That Until I Did It.

The first few days of my new naturalness have been easier than I expected. While I've been looking forward to this for months, I still anticipated some uncomfortable moments (see this previous post and see that I mean).

Have I seen some surprised reactions? Sure. Have I seen anyone faint or drive their car into a brick wall? Fortunately, no.

Perhaps the only barrier to taking this leap into virgin territory was my own mind? I used to think I could never cut off all my hair. My head is too big. I'll look like an alien. (Quiet.) I could never let me hair go natural. It's too big and bushy (which I didn't really know because it had been relaxed for 25 years.) Most of my arguments were based on what I thought people would think.

What I thought people would think. Think about that.

What are you doing in your life that you wish you could quit, you know you should quit, but you won't because of what you think other people will think?

What are you missing out on in life because you worry what other people might think?

I didn't think I could do this until I did it... And I'm glad I did.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

It's Just Hair, Right? (Short and Fluffy)

Tuesday was a big day for this girl. I finally did what I said I would do since January. And now that I've done it, I realize that it was something I should have done a long time ago.

Josh at Dionysus Salon & Spa cut off all the relaxed hair. I was unafraid. He kept asking me if I was OK, but I was. In all these months of my transition from relaxed to natural hair, I think I became detached. As I mention in a previous post, I tried the safe route of just getting a slight trim a few weeks ago. That was far more traumatic than the big chop.

It's not just about hair. It's about me being OK with being myself -- with all my idiosyncrasies. I'm not like anyone else and that's OK. Living in a culture that seemingly rewards individuality and the independent spirit, it can still be hard to look and think differently.

And do I look differently! Camille, my oldest daughter, called to me from around the corner when I got home today -- before she could see me. "Daddy said you were going to cut your hair today? Whoa!" she said, squinting her eyes as I entered the room. "You look cool!" Camille is known for her honest critiques.

As I tucked Madeleine, the middle child, in for bed I asked her what she thought of my new hairdo. Her big brown eyes made a huge circle, outlining my hair. All she said was, "I love you, Mommy." Maybe she's heeding the age old advice, "If you can't say anything nice, don't say anything at all," but I will take that as a positive feedback.

Claudia, my youngest daughter, said, "Your hair is short and fluffy. I like it."

There is it, y'all!
I sure DID cut off all that hair!

Am I a rebel looking for a cause? When I started this blog, I acknowledged that I would be one of thousands of "hair bloggers" and that I would probably have very little new to add to the conversation. I cut my hair for myself (and my children), but I know that some people will wonder what my newly-cropped 'do represents. It's a journey: my natural hair journey. I can't quite put into words what this experience means to me. I'm still figuring that out.

Do I Have the Nerve?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

I made an appointment for my big chop, freedom cut, whatever you want to call it. I had a feeling today that I needed to make a stop on the way home from work Friday, and I'm trying to listen to my feelings more often.

I told the stylist I met with today, that I'm tired to dealing with two hair textures. It's time to jump into the deep end -- the big reveal! Every time I run my fingers through my hair, I grow a little more impatient. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Shear Embarrassment

My co-worker was surprised to hear that I enjoy going to the dentist. “It’s like a tooth spa,” I’ve always thought. And in today’s economy, you can’t take dental insurance for granted!

The hair salon however, is a different story. With my thick hair, I’ve heard it all from exasperated, frustrated hairdressers.

“Your hair is so thick. I’ve never seen anyone take so long under the dryer.”
“Your hair is so thick, it’s soaking up all the perm. I’m going to need to go back to the back for more.”
“Your hair is so thick I need you to move away from the window. You’re blocking all the sunlight.”

OK; I made that last one up, but it’s close to my real experiences. Even when my hair was relaxed root to tip, going to the hairdressers was never a walk in the park.

This weekend, I had an experience that tops the rest. Or maybe it’s the opposite of tops because it really sucked.

Looking in the mirror recently, my hair just looked scraggly – thick roots and thinning ends. Without an appointment, I waltzed into the nearest Super Cuts. All I wanted was a trim, but what I got was shear embarrassment.

This new/old natural hair is foreign to me, I’m still learning. But I expected the ladies at Super Cuts to have some experience with trimming thick (perhaps unruly) hair. I explained to the stylist that I was growing out my hair from a perm and this would be my first trim in several months. I admitted that I shouldn’t have waited so long for a trim, but “you know how it is…”

Ana refused to cut my hair wet, instead she complained about how bushy and thick it was. There’s no privacy in Super Cuts, so Ana had an intrigued audience as she struggle to get a brush through my hair and made heroic attempts to cut my hair.

I wear the hair. It doesn't wear me.
Finally, she declared that she had done all that she could and I would just have to come back another day when I had straightened my hair. That would make it easier to comb.

Right… You remember the part about growing out my perm, right?

Rather than giving Ana a tip in the form of a few choice words, I left Super Cuts asking myself if I really knew what I’d gotten myself into. Could I really handle caring for my natural hair? Why not just save myself the embarrassment and get back on the relaxer ticket?

After some encouragement from my husband, and more time to think, I realized that I could make it work – hatchet job and all. It’s not so much the hair, but it’s how you wear it.

I will burn Ana's business card in effigy.