There and Back Again – A Hair Journey

What Drove Me To It

So back in October  I took my hair out of braids.  Not a big deal at all as I wear braid quite a bit, but this time I wanted something different.  I had seen some cute styles and wanted to try them out, one of which was two strand twist.  My inspiration was the hair of this gorgeous blogger.  I sent some pictures to my sister who does hair and she said she could do it no problem.  She easily performed the task but not at all to my satisfaction.  See, my sister mainly works with artificial hair – weaves, braids, wigs – but also does pressing and the like.  The problem is none of these styles use natural hair which mine “kinda” was at the time. I use “kinda” because the ends still had the texturizer/mild relaxer in it.  Different hair textures coupled with my sister using beeswax as the setting agent instead of twist gel left me with an icky stick mess that nearly had me in tears.

Days later, after trying to make do with my do, I had to get rid of that style and Wash.My.Hair!!!Leaving me without a hair style or stylist 😦

The Dreaded Journey

Knowing that I was fairly deficient uninterested in doing my own hair in any high maintenance style, my other sister helped to refer me to a local stylist to try my hand again at two stranded twists.  When I got there I saw that he had long cultivated locs that looked GORGEOUS.  I got in his chair, chatted with him about his hair, flipped the script, and told him I wanted to start my own locs.  A head full of comb twists later and I was on my way to my new look.

Started September 2010

Now I knew nothing about dreads except they looked EASY and EASY is what I was looking for.  I even found new inspiration via this lovely woman’s loc styles on Youtube. But then reality set in for me.  I was going to a fairly high priced salon, I had to go every two weeks for washing and styling, styling took about 2.5 hours, he only worked on Saturdays, by week two – not so lovingly known as hat week – the coils had started to frizz and look bad, in addition to the hat week two was pretty much itchy scalp week, my edges were just not taking to the process and neither was my self esteem.  For all these reasons EASY became a chore and in a fit of desperation, and a glass of wine later, I started taking out my starter locs after 4 months.

Let us, us FREE!!!

So with a lightened heart I began untwisting and untangling the locs.  Many of them were surprisingly more loc’d than I had thought.  However, there was no regret in the decision.  As soon as they started coming out I felt much relieved and free as a bird.  Did I know where I was flying to?  Nope.  I just wanted to wash my hair…LOL!  But then I started searching YouTube, my new teacher of all things, and was once again rewarded with inspiration and renewed hope.  So I am now back to fully O’ Natural.

This pic was right after I had finished combing out my hair

for the first time in months 😀

I am NOT my Hair

Or maybe this portion should have been termed “Hate on me Haters”…LOL!!  Because I know that going this natural is going to freak out some folks in my life.  I work and commune a lot in OC so the presence of black people, let alone those sporting large natural hair dos is pretty small.  I also work with a large number of men who never fail to point out the fact that my hair has changed with a quizzical look.  Then I have my family where I was raised on perms and pressing combs who understand that those styles are not for me but still see the world through a very “good hair” point of view.  I showed my mom the picture of my combed out do and she said it looked like that time she was away and my dad got me ready for school picture day.

Please note, my dad did NOT do hair…LOL!! So I was sent to school in a dirty blue turtleneck, crazy crocked and disheveled pony tails, and at the time I was on a pretty aggressive asthma medication that was causing my baby teeth to rot (thank goodness my mom took me off before the adult teeth came in…go mom!!).  My mom would always tell me, “you can smile but don’t show your teeth”.  The funny part is, despite looking pretty jacked up, it is amazing how happy and self assured I looked in that picture.You would have thought I was a super model…LOL!!  That said, you can understand that her comments stung a little, then I thought about that picture and how I felt and then said “Thanks!”

So What Next?

Since reverting back to O’Natural I have been feeling pretty good.  I am learning how to do my own hair via YouTube, which by the way is teaching me how to do makeup too 😀

I have sported my combed out fro, twist outs and faux hawks,  which my coworkers lovingly call my Toad head, lisa simpson hair,  and mr. T hair.

I pity the fool who can’t guess which one is me 😀

I have received compliments on all these styles and they have taken minimal work to achieve.  I also discovered an amazing world of ethnic hair care products at my local Target!

I have NEVER seen this many hair care products in one area of a main stream store but then again I was in Lakewood/Long Beach 😀  I have also never seen or at least not comprehended hair cream for $58.00 a container!

My future plans for my hair are always unknown, which is one of the benefits of a culture not afraid to don a long straight wig right after cutting off all their hair…LOL! But for now I plan to enjoy my “new to me” hair and see how long/big it can get and rocking the puff 🙂

Peace Out!