Still Growing Strong
My hair is thick. It is unruly. stubborn. thick.
The individual strands are surprisingly fine, but with a head full of these fine, coiled up strands, the end result is hair that is uncooperatively, unapologetically kinky + thick.
My hair is break-unbreakable-plastic-combs thick.
Most days, it's I-don't-want-to-fight-with-you thick. It's on average a 3-hour-long-wash-day-routine thick.
...I've only gone back to being natural for 2 years now, and my thick mane is still growing strong.
Although, I trim my hair regularly throughout the year, December is my favorite month to trim my hair.
In fact, after transitioning for 20 months, it was in the month of December (2014) that I cut off the rest of my relaxed ends. (Danny + I had only been married a month.) I wanted to go into 2015 completely natural.
As if I didn't have enough to navigate through during that first year of marriage, I also committed to learning and embracing all of me, starting with the hair that grew out of my head. It was mine. God-given. And I wanted to learn how to deal with it on my own.
And what a journey that's been.
This past December (2016) I made the conscious decision to trim my hair again, so that I was not entering 2017 weighed down.
My hair and I are a lot alike. I would go as far as saying that in many ways I AM my hair. Stubborn. Uncooperative at times. Short (at first glance). But when the heat is on, I stretch—I bend and I don't break. My hair changes at every new length. There's always something new to learn about it.
Embracing my roots has not been without mood swings and frustrations. On some days I have felt like chopping it all off. On other days I was able to nail the look I was going for effortlessly. On other days I simply can't muster the energy to fight with it and so I just let it do its own thing.
Along the way, I have learned patience. I've learned to be forgiving of both myself and my hair. I've learned to turn kindness inward. I have a quiet confidence that reminds me my hair, like the rest of me, is just as God created me—a masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10).
I used to be super self conscious about certain styles. I used to despise wearing bantu knots (Jamaicans call them, "Chiney bumps") out in public. If I'm honest, I still have an issue with that. But I get over it a little more every time I wear them. I've tried other styles that just weren't for me — wash and go, is a wash and NO. lol.
I am my hair, but my hair is not me. It doesn't define me. And I haven't let it change me. I still like to keep it bare bones. No help from a natural hair professional. (3 hours on my hair at home is crazy, but 3 hours in a hair salon? That's my idea of torture.) No excess hair products. No binging hair videos and lusting over another woman's natural and perfectly curled ringlet crown.
It's just been me, in the mirror, working it out with combs of all sizes (detangling, big-tooth, small-tooth) and a good leave-in conditioner. And despite the tangled, knotted mess, my hair and I often find ourselves in, were still growing strong.
It's been three years since I last straightened my hair, and the last time I was only transitioning and it was a blow out. It may be time for me to see it.
What do you think?