Friday, July 12, 2013

Lately + MY NEW HAIR.

Hey, good people. I hope everyone's having a good week.  We've been good around here. We've had swim lessons every day this week, so our days have been planned around those. Four days a week (in the mornings!) was not something I would have chosen, but in order to get in with this guy again (who's highly sought after and really good) we did it.

M is still doing well, and we've had no more scare incidents.  We still have quite a ways go with her skills, so I'm thinking about continuing lessons into the fall.  We'll see.

I don't know how it is where you live, but the weather around here has just been yucky. For at least a couple of weeks now. I've never been one to be despise rainy days -- they usually don't stop my party -- but I could use a rain-free week right about now.  Seriously.

We did get one sunny day recently, and we ventured out to the library.  While the books, puppets, games, and toys were all great...

...we mainly went because their small outdoor play area is carpeted.  That meant we didn't have to deal with all the mud from the rainy days before. I'm sure every regular playground in the area was just YUCK.

Some of the toys were still wet, but we didn't care.  Water is certainly better than mud.

We also went downtown a couple of times recently to hang out with the in-laws -- they were in town for a convention.  They were staying at a hotel, which M gets a kick out of.  She loves hotels. She is a child who loves anything travel-related.  She keeps asking can we go somewhere on a plane.  Her travel-crazy daddy has created a monster.

We had dinner with my mother-, father-, and sister-in-law one night. We ate at one of our favorite eating spots.  It's particularly a favorite of M's because of the hot, buttery rolls. (Who doesn't like hot, buttery rolls?)

Well, we had a funny incident with these rolls.  M didn't want to share, and at one point told my mother-in-law, "Honey (what she calls my MIL), don't ever touch my bread again.  Do you understand?" 

Now. Obviously it's not acceptable for her to speak to any adult this way...but at the same time, she sounded JUST LIKE ME. Much like when she's done something wrong or unsafe, and I tell her "Don't ever do X again -- do you understand?"  You know, serious stuff.

Well. Apparently taking her bread warranted the same kind of reaction. Taking her bread is a very serious matter that I wouldn't recommend anyone attempt.  For now, at least.  We've gotta have some talks about sharing...

I may look sweet, but don't ever touch my bread.
Anyhoo, let's talk hair.  Y'all know what I looked like on most days this past year. I had "big" hair that fell to around my shoulders. Hair that I stopped permanently relaxing almost two years ago.  Hair that, on its good days, I looooved. Hair that warranted people to stop me all the time in public and compliment it. 

Well, notice I said "on its good days."  Because there were certainly the bad days. Growing natural hair out the way I did it (straightening the natural hair to match the relaxed hair) brought its own issues. Like when it rained...when it was humid...that natural hair would say, "It's my time to shine!" So that natural hair would make its appearance while that relaxed hair kinda sat there.  And they just kinda sat there together -- the same strand of hair! -- with two different textures.  I'm sure on those days, people wondered why I even left the house that morning.

And on those occasional bad hair days, I usually didn't care. I knew a wash, blowout, and flat iron job would do the trick.

But then it rained for two weeks.  And the bad hair day turned into bad hair WEEKS.  And during that time, it became increasingly evident that my hair had grown tremendously, and that I had more natural than relaxed.  I KNEW this, but thanks to my blow dryer and flat iron, I was able to kinda ignore it for quite a while.  But let me tell you this:  the rain and humidity don't give a FLIP about a blow dryer and flat iron.  Rain/humidity rules.  Every time.

So after yet another bad hair week, I saw a Facebook post from a girl that I went to high school with who also now lives in this area. I knew she wore her hair natural, that she had experience with naturals, and that she worked for a great salon in the metropolitan area.  I'd toyed with the possibility of finally doing "the Big Chop," but felt it was only right when I happened to see her Facebook post that day.  She shared that she had two openings left.  I contacted her with LOTS of nerves, and told her I wanted to come in.

Yes, I was nervous.  I'd been happy about my hair growing back out (even though I was slowly cutting out the processed hair). I had visions of soon having THIS hair again...


...but a much thicker and healthier version of it.  And going in for the Big Chop would delay that vision.  

But I was frustrated.  Tired of battling with my mane. So I went to see K (the hair girl) and told her my frustrations.  

I kinda wanted her to talk me out of chopping it off..but she didn't.  She felt around, looked at everything, and told me that I should DO IT.  I told her my fears of having hair too short (I like short hair -- just not on my big weird-shaped head), and she assured me that there would be plenty of hair left on my head after cutting.  She told me she's never had a client regret getting the Big Chop.  She told me I'd feel a sense of freedom once it was gone.  And gradually, she convinced me that it was time.  I believed her, I trusted her, and I let her have her way with my head. 

First we washed, and we went back to her chair where I saw my BIG fro (Loved it, by the way.  I've done my own hair at home for over a year, and I'd never really just taken the time to sit back and explore the natural-ness.)

Then it was time.  To SNIP, that is.  Nerrrrves.  But when she started doing it, I realized, that most of my hair was still on my head.  It wasn't very dramatic at all.

We decided on a simple natural "style" so that I wouldn't have to experience too much of a change too fast.  I wasn't sure my heart could take it (or my husband's, who kinda had no clue I was changing my entire look that evening) - ha!  I asked her to give me some twists that would stretch my natural curls out a bit to give me a little length.

So this is how I looked when I went in.  

Big hair, don't care.

I'd just washed and blown it out earlier that day (before I knew I'd be going to the salon).

And this is how I left (the phone pics really do it no justice, but it's all I had):

I LOVED IT.  And K was right -- I felt GREAT afterwards.  No regrets whatsoever.  Sure I thought about my husband, who's never seen his wife with short hair, but it was kinda like, "If he doesn't like it, oh well!" Because I did!

Well, I got home, and my little one met me at the door.  She was a little thrown off by the difference, but immediately said, "Mommy, I LOVE your hair!"  I felt a sense of relief, which I didn't expect.  I apparently wanted my kid to like my hair, too. Then I walked in and saw the hubby, and he said, "WHAT DID YOU DO?"  I expected that.  He's so silly.  But a little later he told me that he actually likes it.  Not gonna lie -- it made me feel good to know that my man liked my new 'do.  He even took this pic:

Since then, I've shown family and friends -- some in person, and some through texts and Facebook messages.  I've gotten mostly positive reactions. (And naturally there have been a few reactions and/or comments that couldn't be classified as positive or negative, but I'd been warned about those. They come with the territory.)  While I've never been one to care much about what others thought of me or the things I do, it still feels good to know that my peeps -- at least most of them :) -- like my new look! Thanks for the support, y'all! :)

Since then, my husband has caught me (and teased me about) staring at the mirror admiring and playing with my hair over and over.  I explained to him that my hair has been relaxed since I was a child.  I had little to no memory of what my hair looked like or felt like in its natural state.  So it's all new to me.  

I loved my hair when I came home from the salon, but I was eager to wash it again and twist it out on my own to see how much easier the process would be now that I'm only working with one texture.  So I did! Here are the results:

Love! And my hair was pretty easy to detangle (unlike before), and took me SO MUCH LESS time!

I've never been much of a selfie picture taker, but I've done it more times in the past week than I have my whole life - ha! (That's not gray hair...yet...I just kinda didn't rub in the curl creme all the way. Didn't realize it 'til I got out in the sun.  Ooops.)

For those days when I want to blow it out and straighten it (and I'm sure they'll come), I still have a little length to work with.

I'm dying to straighten it just to see what it looks like, but I'm gonna try to hold off as long as possible.  I've broken up with heat -- we're not friends anymore.  (Let's see how long that lasts.)

So, ANYHOO, at the end of the day, I do NOT regret transitioning for so long (nearly two years is a long time for some people).  The Big Chop early on was not something I would have been comfortable with (remember?  weird-shaped head?).  Waiting this long obviously left me with plenty of hair when I did finally Big Chop, which was my goal. 

What I probably DO regret, however, is the amount of heat I put in my hair while transitioning.  K had to cut out heat damage, and I still have a little bit of hair (mostly around the edges) with a messed up curl pattern because of it all the heat I used.  Lucky for me, though, I have SUPER COARSE hair.  And because of this, the heat damage was minimal.

So today I stand 100% natural.  Like my little girl. :)  My hopes are that she never feels she has to permanently relax her hair.  That with her own hair, she can have fun -- wear it curly, straight, and do whatever without ever permanently changing its texture. I hope I can be an example for her.

If you made it this far down, thanks for reading.  My hair is something I rarely talk about here, but I wanted to record this very cool experience. I can't promise I won't talk about my hair anymore, though, because I'm so completely fascinated with it right now. :)

And the natural hair blogs and YouTube videos are endless (and awesome). I  used to see these posts and videos and ignore them for the most part because I wasn't 100% natural.  I couldn't do much of what they were doing.  But now...NOW...I'm ready to explore!

Have a good weekend, good people! I'll be celebrating my wedding anniversary with my new kinky curls...oh, and my husband! Ha!

Be back next week!


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