I did it because I was curious.
I did it because part of me was a stranger.
I did it because I craved a change.
I did it because it was honestly long over due.
And, by doing so, I wanted my actions to be a bold and brave example for my children… especially my daughter.
What pray tell did I do?
Haha… not groundbreaking news in the least. But for me, a rebirth of sorts.
I have decided to stop using relaxers and chemically straightening my hair. I am joining the ranks and “going natural” — you had better believe, I am ready for my natural hair texture to make its debut! Obviously, in order to sport my natural texture, that relaxed stuff has got to go. Hmmmm… time for a transition.
Like the many who have made and will make this transformation, each transition method is incredibly personal and varies. For me… I tend to air on the side of impatience. Once I finally committed to the decision, I wanted to start from scratch. A quicker and more noticeable metamorphosis was the goal.
I shaved my head.
It sounds so matter of fact, eh? Straightforward and unemotional, “I shaved my head.” So not the case.
It has been years in the making. Years of contemplating. Years of changing my mind. Years of being curious as to what hair texture resided under all of that relaxed hair. Years of pondering — would I even be able to style the mysterious curls that would sprout without a relaxer in my hair? Years of not being ready because I was concerned (truth be told… fearful) of what others may think. Years of wondering how I might be perceived without my relaxed hair. Years… years… YEARS!
Actually, last year, during a week-long birthday trip to Paris, I was “this” close… “this” close to making the transition and shaving my head. I never mentioned it to anyone… not even the girls that accompanied me on the trip. I was going to wait for my birthday and just do it. Considering that I adore aesthetics, a “story” and creating “moments”… you would think that the scenario was ideal. Naaaaah. I chickened out! I just wasn’t fully committed to my decision and still unnecessarily anxious as to what people would say.
What boggles my mind is that in other areas, I would say that I certainly display confidence and can be exceedingly vocal with my opinion. With my relaxed hair, I have never been shy… I am not timid about cutting it or even experimenting with color. Ahhhhhhh… I do adore vibrant shades of red! But walking away from a relaxer and NOT chemically straightening my hair — it would just stop me in my tracks. Being afraid of the unknown, literally stopped me in my tracks!
As a five-year old child, my mother started using a relaxer to help her manage my thick head of hair. A head of hair that drastically differed from her very fine curls. It was what I knew. Continuing into adulthood, I maintained what my mother established. And when my daughter’s thick curls grew thicker, I would sometimes reach for a children’s texturizer to assist me as well. Truth be told… I loved the look of a relaxer in my hair and I liked the styling options. But… decades and decades of chemically straightening my hair has resulted in damage, breakage and thinning.
Now, I desire a change.
The courage has been slowly churning and brewing inside… and just like a roller coaster cranking up a hill, now it’s time for the ride! It’s kinda like one of those bucket list items and going against the norm.
Unlike last year, when I attempted to make this change, I did decide to discuss my intentions. I talked to my baby sister. I value her opinion and had questions about her natural hair and her experiences. In an effort to possibly gauge the reaction of people in my corporate interior design environment, I mentioned it to a co-worker who has been employed with the company for a considerable amount of time. I also talked to my husband and my two children. I knew that my husband would be supportive and in my corner. Being 14 and 12, I was uncertain as to how my children would respond. Questions and answers… more questions and answers, not about me wanting to refrain from relaxers, but about how I might look with my shaved head while my hair grows back. Haha… kids, eh?! To the rest of those very close to me, I remained quiet. I think I just wanted their raw reaction… either once they saw me, or when they read this blog.
I will say that I also did a fair amount of research…
Google, scores of YouTube videos, facebook pages, blogs, hair product websites. SO much information available. Happily, I have made several discoveries! Nine new products purchased from Carol’s Daughter and Ouidad.com are sitting on my bathroom counter for my daughter and me. I registered at Curl Box and I am just waiting for them to extend the invite. I started following…ahem, actually addicted to Whitney and her Naptural85 blog, vlog and YouTube channel. Her natural hair transition commenced in 2008. From the videos that I have watched thus far, her time-saving tips with make my transition a breeze and will easily aid me in taking better care of my daughter’s gorgeous head of hair.
So today, on my 43rd birthday, I am happily welcoming this brazen attitude towards my new hair journey.
Don’t get me wrong… there is still an element of nervousness. Knowing that today was the day, I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. Game day, eh?! All of the hair routines that I have comfortably established and that are second nature… they have got to shift. But keeping it really “real”… the nervousness truly stems from me wondering what will be my reaction to my newly shaven head? Liberating… is what I was told by a girlfriend who shaved her head decades ago. Hmmm… will I feel liberated?
It’s game day… game day… game day!
The kiddos are at school and my husband has taken the day off of work to share with me… create my “story” and share this “moment”.
Together… we shaved my head!
Haha… kinda romantic, eh?!
Scissors in hand, he made the first snip.
Snip. Snip. Snip! It was then when anxiety began to lessen. By the time he used the clippers I was at ease. BUZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. The sound filled the bathroom. Interesting sensation having one’s head shaved. My very first exposure to clippers was a mixture of comical and (as my girlfriend mentioned to me so many years prior) liberating! All of that hair falling… and (as I do, keeping it real) all of the dry flaking skin scattered all over me and on the bathroom floor… thirty minutes later, I was in awe of this new look. My new look. Bold and sexy. WOW, who knew I had such a cute little head! I can’t stop touching it.
Talk about new experiences… the shower afterwards was so refreshing. I have never…EVER felt the spray of the shower head directly on my scalp. No hair… just scalp! This is my new world, eh? Or at least until it begins to grow back. Haha… and until it grows back, my husband and I are twins!
You know what I am really wondering? How long will it take to grow enough hair so that I can color it red? Haha… I never said that I was walking away from the color… and with my new curls, I am certain that I will love it even more! I’ve just gotta find color that is fitting for my new texture.
Happy happy birthday to me!
I couldn’t think of a day more fitting to make this transition. My rebirth on my birthday. Hmmmm, now when my kids get home, I wonder what they will say?
Stay tuned and I’ll keep you posted!