Saturday, April 7, 2012

Hair Journey

For the past 15 years or so, I've been committed to maintaining my natural hair. After years of going through an endless cycle of perming / hair breakage / box braids to retain length / remove box braids, perm again and watch hair break off yet again, I decided to go for locs. LOVED them. But I didn't take care of them properly and in addition, a lot of stressful situations happening at the time caused my hair to thin and fall out at the crown. Bye-bye locs! Had to cut them off (sob, sniff). Still dealing with some stress but I've been taking much better care of my hair and some of the hair that fell out has regrown. Yay! Working on my second set of locs now and hopefully they'll grow as long as the old ones, but will be healthier.

I'm a member of a natural hair group on Facebook where members share ideas, photos, and suggestions and provide support for those who are having a hard time giving up the "creamy crack".

Sharing experiences with all these fabulous sisters inspired me to record my own hair journey thus far as I make my way back to the locs I feared I'd never be able to regrow. I need a new camera desperately; in the meantime, many of these images were taken with my phone. The quality isn't great but it's the best I can do for now. As Oprah (or someone else) once said, "White women obsess about their weight; black women obsess about their hair."

These are some of the weaves I wore between 2008-2011. The straight weaves probably looked better but I was always afraid of my edges showing during windy weather and I never felt comfortable with straight hair. Loved the curly weaves but unless you buy very expensive hair, curly weaves start to look kind of raggedy after a month or so. Sigh.

During a heat wave in the summer of 2011, I decided I was sick of weaves and was going back to my natural hair, no matter what. Didn't know if I could grow my locs back but decided I'd just have to settle on a twa (teeny weeny afro). I couldn't bear wearing a weave one more minute.

My hair is healthier than it once was but it's still slightly fragile and grows more quickly if it is in a protective style. I think I'm a bit too ...ahem... mature... for box braids but I heard about genie locs (yard braids) and decided to give them a try. I love them! From a distance, they look very much like my old locs. My first set of yarn braids were short with bangs but I redid them. The short ones kept flopping in my face so I did them thinner and longer so I can wear them up when the weather gets warmer. I plan to keep them in for quite awhile, maybe over the summer. We'll see.

Stay tuned.