The Highs and Lows of my Natural Hair Journey

It’s been 2 1/2 years since I BIG CHOPPED. Let me tell you…I have learned so many things about my hair and myself. Let’s start from the beginning…

Why did I Big Chop?: I was at a stand still with my hair. My hair never really grew past a certain length. I have fine hair and relaxers I felt did not do my hair any justice. Of course I definitely enjoyed getting relaxers and how my hair behaved, but for the health of my hair- there was no benefit there for me. I attempted to go natural about three times-Which means starting the process of growing out my relaxer (transition) I would be a few months into it, and quickly give up-back to the “creamy crack” as they call it in no time-soon regretting my decision shortly after. The fourth time was the charm for me…. This time around I researched (watched YouTube tutorials), watched natural product reviews, watched a million “why I Big Chopped” for months in. I finally decided I was ready. I grew my hair out for seven months and one morning….this happened.

Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-59-09-1[1] Relaxed Ends…

 

August 29th 2014- was the start of my Natural Hair Journey. And I was so here for it.

Screenshot_2017-04-19-17-00-32-1[1] The results…

 

The Morning of my BC: I got up and realized that day I was tired of dealing with two different textures-my roots were curly and wavy, and my ends were straight like wet dog hair Lol! It was a disaster, and way too difficult to deal with it. I was over it. I remember calling my Mom and venting to her about how I could see my natural hair coming through, and how I was so tired of my hair and blah blah blah…on the other end my  mom proceeded to tell me to do what I feel, and what every makes me happy….as she was talking… I was cutting-and she didn’t even know it! As I was cutting…the inner me was freaking out-but I kept my cool and proceeded to chop away. Mind you my husband was in the living room this entire time while I was locked in my bathroom. After making sure I had finished the job-I came out the bathroom to reveal my new look to my husband. As I looked him face to face…his eyebrows were together- I assume he was trying to figure out what just happen. I sat on the couch and as quite as a mouse I asked him ” Do you like it?” His answer was as comforting as it could get. He told me ” See, I told you you would look good with short hair” Whew! Later that night I washed my hair, and it felt amazing guys!! Gosh, I just loved how easy it was. I did it!! I faced the fear!! I felt so free and liberated.

 

The morning after my BC:  My feelings had changed… I don’t know what happened…but I felt like I made a mistake. I chopped my hair over the weekend. So, facing Monday and going into work with a new look was weighing heavy on me. I wasn’t sure I could pull this off. I was thinking of trying to get braids as a protective style to cover up what I had did. My mind was going crazy… I was all over the place, girl. I went throughout the weekend trying to get use to the new me. Trying to just embrace my natural. Let’s just say after all the encouragement from my Husband and my Mom- and a little self talk- and a few new cute headbands- I was ready to take on this natural journey. It’s funny how we can be so set on making a decision that initially is a healthy decision for US-and soon we slowly feel guilt because we are scared if we are going to be accepted by others…not just by others but how we accept ourselves. There is a lesson in everything. Yes, I have experience highs and lows in this journey-but I can say I have learned to embrace who I am, and to trust the decisions I make for myself. Yes, decisions as small as cutting my hair. I can honestly say I have never embraced myself the way that I do now.

The Highs: Coming to realize all the different things I could do with my hair was amazing. And an eye opener, and I was ready to experiment. All the hair products that were out there- I felt like a kid in a toy store. All the deep conditioners, co-washes, gels, creams, moisturizers- I was becoming a product junkie and loving it! As my hair was growing I could figure out what hair styles worked for me, and how to tweak them to fit my head HA! Watching my waves change into my own curl pattern and gorgeous juicy curls-that was giving me my life. It was so exciting watching my hair convert after I washed it from wearing stretched styles. Being fascinated by the way different products worked on my hair, and which products my curls loved, and which ones not so much. I enjoyed tracking my growth and was excited about the day I could slick all my hair back in a sleek  bun! I was wining at that point, girl.

The Lows: Okay, so here it goes. When your hair is growing out into a funky fro because you haven’t quite gotten it cut into the proper shape. The low points when you get your hair straightened and colored, and realized you have heat damage…like severe heat damage. When you go to wash your hair, and your curls do not revert back after only getting your hair straightened twice in the two years (9 months in between) you have been natural. When I tell you I was devastated….The feeling you get in your chest when you think you may possibly have to start all the way over- It’s crushing. You work so hard to grow your hair out-all the patience you’ve gained. Feels like it’s all a waste. But it’s hair! And it’s all a learning experience.

 

What I would have done differently:  I wish I would have went to a professional to cut the strains I missed when I big chopped-and shaped my hair to grow in the look I was going for. I had a few stragglers of hair behind that I basically just dealt with until my hair grew out more. I wish I had of really thought about coloring my hair- I wish I had of waited until I really understood my natural hair- I was bored with it and wanted to do something different-#FAIL. And last but certainly not least, I wish I would have pumped my breaks on straightening my hair . I was so curious to know how long my hair had gotten in the result of my big chop. Well, curiosity killed the damn cat! That’s for sure.

 

It’s all good: I cut off my heat damaged ends for the most part-my hair suffered the most in the front-When I tell you I went to town chopping like Edward Scissor hands. Luckily the back of my hair was not damaged as bad-and it’s pretty long . Basically, my hair looks like a mullet LOL! So, that has given me hope. It’s all good… I have pretty much been nursing my hair back to health. Doing protein treatments, deep conditioning my hair, and protective styling. And of course taking my Curls  Blissful Lengths Liquid Hair Growth Vitamin’s on a daily. I haven’t decided  if I am actually going to start over and completely big chop for the second time,  or just continue to allow my hair to grow and get a big trim. I can say experiencing heat damage has truly made me appreciate my hair and my  journey.  Protective styling it is for now and throughout the summer. I have posted pictures  below of some different stages I went through…. Enjoy!

Screenshot_2017-04-19-17-03-51-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-17-03-36-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-52-48-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-50-59-1[1] Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-51-11-1[1]

Embracing my cut                  Started seeing real growth          1st time straightened

 

Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-44-40-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-41-31-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-41-24-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-43-21-1[1]

2nd time straightened               DAMAGED                            Protective Styling

 

Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-42-45-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-19-16-40-39-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-05-21-40-00-1-1[1]Screenshot_2017-04-05-21-40-04-1[1]

After take-down       Trying to cope     Back to protective styles

What are some of your highs and lows in your natural hair journey?

If you are not natural, but plan on going that route- I hope this post helps you not make the same mistakes I made.  Happy Healthy Natural Hair Journey!

 

P.S. (I have a heat damage video on my Youtube Channel-Be sure to subscribe while you are there 😉  YouTube: Ivy’s Vine

 

Thanks for reading ♥

 

Posted by: Ivy B.

 

 

 

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