For so many of us, starting a hair journey was not something we knew about before this recent surge in awareness. Natural hair took off and we all went along for the ride.
In the beginning, there were the pioneers, the guinea pigs, those who bravely ventured out before the rest of us and failed at all things hair related. They documented those failures, learned from then and then graciously passed on their knowledge to the rest of us.
It was through observation of others who learned by trial and error, that we all came to recognize and appreciate that getting our hair from point A to point B, is indeed a journey.
Breakdown of a Hair Journey
A common hair journey starts with a goal. Usually, some unattainable goal that was birthed after fixating over the perfect head of hair on an overly photoshopped and/or airbrushed poster. That or either after hours of watching videos of women who seemingly create amazing hairstyles with no sign of struggle or excessive effort.
Ok, after a few months of that, reality usually sets in. It’s around this time that we reassess and create some more realistic hair goals. Then the true fun begins.
Learning our hair, what products it does and doesn’t like, whether we have low or high porosity hair, what leave in works under what gel and so on, we eventually get to a place where we feel confident in our ability to make ourselves look presentable.
In the following months, presentable glows up to a point where we can confidently create and recreate a style that looks very, very good. We start feeling ourselves. You think, I got this. I figured it out. It took me a while, but hey, I know how to manage this mane of hair that’s atop my head. I’m good to go.
Then what happens? Our hair grows. And just like that, you go from confident senior to a scared kindergartener in the school of self-managed natural hair maintenance.
What you don’t usually know until you experience it, is that each new length brings its own set of challenges. Those changes persist until you reach a certain length. Then the issues you have are not associated with a few additional inches of hair. From TWA to about bra strap length, growth sets you back. Go figure.
There is a level of contentment where you are aware that changes will come and you are adept enough to notice those changes early on, and deal. Although that stage is not without its challenges, it does present a feeling of ease that comes with time, not two weeks after you big chop.
A week from today I will be 6 yrs natural????. While I do know more now than I did at the start, I feel that this is a never ending journey.
I think that the journey will never end. In November 2016 I began with my journey and in March 2016 I did my big chop. Today I have 7 inches of hair on some parts of my head and the shorter parts are 6/5. I am aware that some people will say that it’s not possible unless I have a looser hair pattern, but no, I am a “4c” girl all the way.
This month, as I go into the second year of my journey, the same strategy will be used to achieve more lenght. Two things that definitely helped to retain my length is that I only combed my hair twice in the past year while finger detangling the rest of the time. And I used crochet braids so that my hair was never stressed out. SO, my journey will continue even when I have reached my 24 inches of hair.
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