So it’s been about a month since I’ve taken the time to update you all, and WOW what a month it has been! I really have a lot of updates to catch up on, so be prepared to see a lot of content from yours truly in your news feed in the coming days, followed by weeks of silence, undoubtedly! Nevertheless, I do have a tidbit of big news to share… I did the Big Chop!!
For those of you that don’t already know, I’ve been relaxer free since 2011, and went completely natural around March of this year. My plan has always been to transition my hair until all of my natural hair reached about shoulder length, clipping away the last of the heat & relaxer damaged ends as I went along. This plan seemed reasonable considering that I wasn’t comfortable with having incredibly short hair. Let’s fast forward to the morning of July 17th, 2014. I made an appointment to consult with a hairstylist at a rather popular salon chain near my home (I am choosing to leave them nameless for the sake of this post, but if it is eating away at you, please feel free to message me privately!) During this appointment, I had made it clear that I was having a certain level of frustration with my wash and go when it came to styling, mainly because blending the natural new growth with the hair past the line of demarcation had become increasingly difficult, and the difference in textures was become more apparent to the naked eye. I was interested in either trimming a little more aggressively to shape the hair without losing a ton of length, or even possibly changing up my style to a more protective style that required little to no manipulation. This didn’t seem like too hard of a request, and I felt that I should be able to trust the stylist, seeing as though she was the curly hair specialist at said nameless Salon.
The first thing she wanted to do was wet my hair before even cutting it- instant red flag! For those who aren’t already in the know, if you’re going to cut or trim naturally curly hair, and plan on wearing curly the majority of the time, it’s strongly suggested that you do so with your hair clean and dry. Why, do you ask? One word: SHRINKAGE! Remember, you can always wash it afterward and then touch up where needed.
After sitting with this woman for about 30 minutes exploring my options and being made to feel “unattractive looking,” (yes, that happened…) I finally meandered my way home and sat on my bed, crying. Yes, transitioning had become more work than what I had anticipated as my hair grew longer. Yes, I was at a point where I needed to change up my hair care routine and style a bit. But the appointment that morning had made a major blow to my self-esteem, and I decided to take matters into my own novice hands! An hour later, I had chopped off the majority of my relaxed ends, leaving approximately 3.5 to 4 inches of hair left on my head. Some more crying ensued, followed by the sheer panic of “holy crap I have to work in the morning!” I immediately called the only salon I could think of that had a decent natural hairstylist and explained my situation; lucky for me, she was open until 6pm that particular evening. Fast forward a few hours again, and I now had even less hair atop my head. The person staring back at me in that booth was not a woman I recognized at all, and it was at that moment that the gravity of the choice I had made that day began to sink in. There was no turning back; I was officially a TWA girl (BTW, it took me a considerable amount of time to figure out what TWA meant …)
As of now, it has been about a month since I’ve done my big chop and I must say, I’ve already noticed about 1/2 of an inch of new growth, which comes as a huge relief! I have also been able to commit a hair care regimen consistently and the look and feel of my hair has flourished in comparison to how it was a month ago. My curl pattern is much tighter than what I was used to, and although the shrinkage is much more sever than before, I am loving it! (I’m 3C/4A now, as opposed to the 3B I thought I was when was transitioning.) I am currently trying out different hair growth methods here and there to see if I get any results from them, but haven’t found one that I can get behind wholeheartedly just yet.
All in all, the big chop has probably been one of the better choices I’ve made in my life. I have had nothing but loving support from everyone around me, even if not from myself. However, after the first few weeks, I finally got over the shock and pain and fear and regret or it all, and saw someone truly beautiful in the mirror staring back at me. Day by day, my self-esteem has crawled back into my soul and I have felt less and less “boyish” looking. I am hoping that the next few months will prove to be even more exciting as I finally get to experience and fall in love with my own actual hair for the very first time in my life!
Until next time,