New Start

I’ve decided. I’m cutting my hair.

I don’t do ‘length checks’ as such. I’ve avoided doing them because I think it’s too much pressure on my hair to miraculously grow a certain length within a certain period of time so I’ve just never done them. But what I do do is randomly feel like checking on my hair length every once in awhile. Especially when I think I’m doing better with my hair routine. Well, the other day was one of those random times I measured my hair and my heart dropped when I saw it was at the same length as last year. When that’s happened before, I would shrug and keep it moving. My hair will somehow get back into shape, maybe it’s the weather or something.

Why have I been struggling to get past this mid-long hair phase? The truth: I was in denial. You know when you begin to realise something then almost all of a sudden there are signs of it everywhere? That’s what has happened. I came across blog articles talking directly to me, I finally began noticing the lil afro balls all over my house. One particular article was this insightful one from Black Girl with Long Hair: The 7 Deadly Hair Sins. Although
guilty of several of these sins (hello envy! And let’s not forget lust)
the one that struck me most was ‘pride’. It took me more than two years
to get to this point and I didn’t want to admit that maybe the problem
wasn’t my hair and more like me and something wasn’t working. I knew I
wasn’t satisfied but I couldn’t figure out how to get out of it.Then I watched Jenell’s heartbreaking yet brave video about her hectic hair damage. When she described and showed us her hair, it finally clicked; my hair is also damaged.

The past couple of months, especially on wash day, I’d notice that my roots are this thick and rich areas of hair but my ends were acting differently to the rest of my hair. They were thinner and they’d tangle onto each other a lot more and they were breaking. After watching Jenell’s video, I realised that the damaged parts are the coloured ones. So I began to think about why that’s so. I had to be honest, I think I was focused on taking care of my coloured hair for about a month then I slipped back into caring for it just like before. I stopped using shampoos and other products for coloured hair. I didn’t moisturise it more often etc. I got lazy. I got confused and my priorities didn’t change when they needed to. Needless to say, I’m not happy about my hair’s overall health. Yes length is great but it’s not healthy so my hair’s not cooperating as much as it could be and that’s on me.

Another thing that’s been irking me about my ‘length’ is I can’t often wear one of my favourite styles; free fro. So this last week when all I wanted to do was enjoy that style and I couldn’t it hit me that I’m not enjoying my hair anymore. Only on the odd day but not generally. So I’m going to take the advice offered in that BGLH article and admit my mistakes and get rid of the damage. My plan for now is to cut the dyed section off and then probably begin cornrowing own hair on a regular basis. I can’t do it myself so I have to make friends at the salon. I could maybe even jazz the styles up with an afro puff or something. I also need to change my routine and products as my hair’s not really reacting to them anymore. I’m still pondering on how to go about that and I’m definitely considering beginning to use all natural products and ‘leave hair alone’ for awhile.

I’m excited! I haven’t been this excited about my hair for awhile. I’m realising that this is what it’s all about. It’s not a destination to reach or being an ‘expert’ in it all, which I’ve never claimed to be. I’m just a girl, with natural hair trying to figure this out and I’m sharing my experiences with you.

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  1. September 6, 2013 / 1:29 pm

    Update: I cut my damaged ends yesterday! My hair is now back at the length it was in January and I'm gonna do this over now. I don't want to give up on my hair and I think this new and fresh start will teach mr on what to do better than what I did in the beginning ! Thanks Aisha coz if you would've never written this post I probably would've stayed with my damaged hair!

  2. August 31, 2013 / 12:02 pm

    I big chopped in may and it was an exciting and scary decision I had to come in terms with. I had been natural for 4 years but had only enjoyed my hair for the past year. After I had my baby I started shedding like crazy. I had to make a decision either try to work with it or just start all over. I knew deep down the longer I waited the more damage and Ill have to big chop it eventually. In my situation it was much easier for me to big chop than dedicate the time to rehabilitate my hair. my edges were just non existent so I big chopped and Im so much happier now in this journey. Taking it one step at a time! its frustrating but its only hair and its not a race or a competition as you said its about learning about ourselves, acceptance and learning to work with what we have.
    I'm actually happy at the fact more and more people are coming forward with their hair issues because most of the time in the natural hair journey people only focus on long/big hair and ignore the other side of it. Its not always rainbows and butterflies. There are those who struggle with it, even when you've been in the journey long enough and its nothing to be ashamed of. Good luck in whatever you decide! Now off to watch Jenell's video.
    Dee Of Ms Dee Kay

  3. August 30, 2013 / 2:09 pm

    I'm actually going through a similar phase right now where my hair just feels so dry and brittle and I can feel that there is permanent damage but just like you said, I'm also in denial about it. like Zingisa I'm sooo scared of cutting it because I'm worried it will take so long to grow it back. I can also feel that my ends are so weak compared to the roots. For now I've decided to just have my hair in cornrows and see how it goes when I take them out. Thank you so much for your post, it's really what I needed to make me realize my hair is in danger

  4. Mwamba
    August 29, 2013 / 11:23 am

    I felt bad/sad reading that you were cutting your hair – felt the same for Jenell from kinkycurlcoilyme….but I'm happy you have the courage to admit the issues with your hair; make a decision and to move on. Plus your hair grows like weeds – so in no time you'll gain the length you want with more importantly – healthy hair!

  5. August 28, 2013 / 9:47 am

    I think I might be cutting my hair aswell. Have been thinking about for a while but scared its gonna take me even longer to grow it. I big chopped in Jan and coloured my hair in March and is been stuck at the same length! I just realised after reading this article that I also want HEALTHY hair and length can follow after that.

  6. August 27, 2013 / 10:50 am

    The most awesome thing about hair is that it grows back. Your colour was beautiful by the way…

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