Sixty something days…

391722_10101049817898405_318909765_nI chopped my hair off on September 30th. Like…all of it. I had maybe half an inch of hair and I wish I’d taken the photo with my hand in it so you could see how there was NO WAY to put my hands IN my hair. I wrote about this and I’ve been getting messages from natural hair enthusiasts congratulating me and validating my decision. I chuckle because I’ve been completely chemical/relaxer free for 4 years now..

In any case here we are two months later and I’ve posted virtually NO updates about my hair growth. c'est moiWell…last month was a bit anticlimactic.  I also nearly forgot and the only picture I have is one I snapped at work one random day when trying to get my webcam set up.   I’m not smiling and I look mean…but whatever its supposed to be about the hair, right? Anyway, so here I am bare-faced with lipgloss (my usz) and completely confused about what to do with my hair, so what I was doing was washing it at night, brushing it back and tying it down.  I was essentially giving myself a fro-y helmet.  Awesome. I started going back to natural hair blogging sites to read what other BC-ers did and were doing to not get bored with their looks.  I eventually ended up going back to wigs when I got bored because, well…there’s not much that can happen when your hair is an inch or so long.

FxCam_1354897738242_edit0But then *bells and whistles*  IT GREW! I seriously feel like this happened over night. I was sitting on my couch watching TV when I started twirling my hair around my finger mindlessly. It was then that I realized I was twirling my hair around my finger!  I twisted my hair up in two strand twists and actually wore the twists out one day! Then the next day decided I hated how I looked with the twists and deleted all ocular evidence.  In any case, its growing. My mom remarked that my hair has always grown pretty fast. The thing that excites me, well the three things are:

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wash and go (before BC)

1.  My hair is growing back straight up 4C hair.  This is fine with me–because last time it was such a mixture of curl patterns (3C in back and 4C in crown) and honestly even if its 4c, I’ll take it because it seems to be much more uniform this year than it ever has been before.

2. It is certainly not thin or “whispy”. One of the reasons I hated twists before was because my hair was SO thin and when I did twists they were always scalpy and awful looking. This time, I did twists and I didn’t hate it (until the day after) mostly because it looked full! The thing that I really loved about the twist was the day after twistOUT! It was amazeballs, but my hair was dirty and needed to be washed. That hasn’t changed. My hair still requires washing 2x/week at LEAST or it is not happy.

3. I love that I BC’d after already being natural because I know how much heat-damage sucks so I’m staying away from it.

Me in a lace front

Me in a lace front

When I want straight hair, I’ll throw a wig on. Furthermore, I know what products work best for me. I know not to spend a ton of money on all the things other people say works for them, etc. I have coconut oil, and some KCKT. I shampoo/condition with Organix coconut milk and that is IT. I do want to get some honey and ACV because my hair loves those when the air is dry, but I am content. It works and since I’ve already done the mid-length thing I’ll know what to do when I get there. I have to say, I love where it is right now though. Short is so easy, but I do miss my big curly fro. I’ll be happy when I get back there…but no rush. No rush.

Kate Spade Psalms

About three weeks after I chopped all of my hair I had a new lacefront wig. It was not because I hated my short hair, it was because I was going to Denver and thought it would be fun to have “Kim Kardashian” hair. Then when I returned I needed long(er) bone straight with bangs, affectionally and pragmatically named, “post-Denver” hair.

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The truth of the matter is that I just love playing dress up. I believe whole-heartedly in the words of Kate Spade when she said, “Playing dress up begins at age 5 and never really ends.”  I love waking up and deciding what look I’m going to master. I guess that’s why I love hair and make-up shoes and clothes. I love the theatrical nature to it.

I think about my mom, she said “why did you chop all your hair off just to cover it up?” But I guess I do not see it that way. I see it as me expressing myself as I feel in that moment. Its fun! Sometimes I feel girly and prim, other times I feel like jeans and an oversized hoodie with boots and aviators. You just never know. I do laugh because often people don’t know what to do with me or how to take me because I change my hair so much. However, I don’t even worry about it. I can’t worry about it. I don’t change, just the wrapping paper.

I’ll likely never forget Zachary’s reaction to my big chop. That he could really see me now. Quite honestly, since the chop whether I’ve worn wigs or my fro I’ve felt the same freedom and ease. I feel lighter. Even though I had a knotty stomach when it came to money last week, in general I have remained at peace. At peace and in laughter. Happy.

New

Tonight I was taking a shower after a day of doing all the things. You know, the getting ready for the week things: laundry, sorting clothes, packing my work bag, getting groceries, etc. I was shampooing and I thought quite literally, “I’m chopping this shit off.”  I didn’t even bother to detangle it I just showered as normal and when I got out, I found the scissors and I chopped. I didn’t think about how short I would go. I didn’t think about how it would look, I just didn’t want it anymore.

I sent the picture of a pile of hair on my sink to J. She panicked and as I explained to her that I just needed something new she asked what she’d missed in my life. While its been mostly spelled out here…what I feel today is not anger or hurt or resentment–its joy.

Maya said, when you know better, you do better.  Today I am better. I was holding on to so much. Holding on to what-ifs in a lot of areas in my life. A few months ago, NCS asked me ARE YOU FEARLESS ENOUGH TO OPEN UP TO HAPPINESS? And while I wanted to answer yes! I wanted to believe that I was and I did not want to acknowledge  that I was contributing to my own misery in any way.  But I was, and I was tired of it. I was tired and I felt heavy, and burdened. I had to put it down, let it go, and reset.

When I showed LT she asked if I was going through a crisis.  I chuckled to myself and considered the question. Am I? If it is a crisis then its the best kind of crisis. Its one where I feel completely liberated. I was so tired of wanting to do things, considering them, writing about them, mulling over them, fantasizing about them…I was ready to GO after them. I was ready to DO them. So, I did. I am starting over and how fitting (J brought to my attention) that I am doing so at the beginning of the quintessential Autumnal month.  Big chop #1–October 1, 2012.

It is just hair–it will grow back. Honestly, I am not worried about it.  I love the way I look with less than an inch of hair. I love the way I look, period. I feel good. Wonderful actually. I feel like I could do anything I put my mind to. I mean, and can’t I?

Fake it til you make it!

So…I bought a half wig. I was pretty excited about it too because I’ve been thinking about some options that I could do in order to let my hair grow out. Its in that awkward phase where its on the back of my neck driving me crazy and I just hate this length.  I can do shorter, I can do longer but I can’t do this length–I always end up cutting it.  So this is an inexpensive, convenient solution! I’ve actually been thinking of doing a YT video about it but we’ll see.  Anyway for now, here are pictures.

It's a wig! (is the brand) and "Fame" is the style it was $14.57!

Me--day 1 with FAME!

Now technically its a half wig and I’m supposed to wear it with some of my hair out, but I still have color in my hair so I haven’t do that.  Until I either put a rinse in my hair or cut the color out I’m not wearing this as a half wig without a headband.  Ya dig?

You know out of 60 shots, 1 or 2 end up looking decent.

 

And forgive me…I love photography/photoshop/art/playing…wait, why TF am I apologizing? This is MY world :-)

 

 

Loving my new option.

 

Trigger happy, gun shy

Some of you know last November I chopped my hair (again) and vowed to straighten it minimally and not to cut it for an entire year ( I tend to be very scissor happy).  Here’s some documentation:

November 28, 2010 after the big snip!

Aug 28, 2011 just shy of the one year mark and check the growth!

Good hair right? So then yesterday I got fed up with my tangling ends and though I was gun shy about cutting I knew I needed to not hold on to those ends and that it was best for my hair to cut a bit (a bit) so here are those results:

I washed my hair the night before and pulled it back in a ponytail so that it dried semi straight. I woke the next morning and this was the result (I did this to avoid blow drying and thus extra heat). Definite before!

 

This was after! Bone straight just so I could check the length and see absolutely NO frizzy brittle ends sticking out. Not this is w/ no product (save heat protectant) and my hair was shiny. I was very pleased.

After I curled it a bit. By this time my arms were tired LOL, but I managed to curl some of the layers I cut. I think I did a pretty good job considering I can't see the back of my head!!! I've gotten better with scissors just because of my affinity for using them. #JFZ

You can't see as much of the color from the front (which I'm okay with--I can't believe its still so blonde!). Happy hair, happy Jess.

 

 

 

 

What my curls taught me: Lessons in love from an imperfect twist-out

I never considered myself to be beautiful.

Yes I have nice eyes, but my cheeks are so pronounced that my face will always look childishly gleeful rather than womanly seductive.  I had nice legs and never thought twice about showing them off.  Not even after the accident in the mall that left my knee permanently marked.  I heard it from friends, guys, family, even my last boyfriend but I really never considered me, the whole of me to be remarkable in the physical sense.  Until my imperfect twist-out.

When I decided to wear my hair in its natural state I didn’t really know what that meant.  I mean I knew it meant no more mornings spent with my CHI, and no more wrapping before bed, but I didn’t understand the journey I would go on.  I couldn’t foreshadow the days of product trail and error, hours spent you tube surfing finding the perfect style for my hair type only to try it and have it turn out HORRIBLY.  I couldn’t have predicted how porous my hair would be, or how much I would grow to depend on coconut oil, I never would have imagined the thought of not buying shampoo.

I did not yet know the frustration I would have over frizz, waking up to a still soggy twist out, the nightmare that was my first wash and go.  I had no clue about any of it.  All I knew was that it felt right, so I was going to do it.

Though I have been fairly heat free for about 18 months (fairly meaning I can count on two hands how many times I have straightened my hair since February 2010) I just recently looked at myself, looked at my hair and thought I was beautiful.

I guess it was sometime last week when I did a dry twist out, woke up the next morning and fluffed to find that my hair was big.  Big like the girls on the tumblr pages I love so much.  Not only was it big, but my curls were there. I could twist my finger around any section of my hair and send it on a spiral journey to the end.  It wasn’t dry, it wasn’t wet, it wasn’t perfect but it wasn’t a mess. It was actually the same head of hair I’ve always had, but on this day I just was filled with so much happiness over it that I snapped a picture and raved to my friends about how good of a hair day I was having.

I could not have predicted that I would have that same feeling each consecutive day that followed.  When I looked in the mirror I would smile at my reflection knowing that from the top of my mane to the bottom of my feet that I was beautiful.  I have not felt too fat.  Too tall.  Too bold or too mellow.  I dared to dream of my perfect man with his prefect (for me) build and I did not think, “Well you better change ______________ (insert hair/weight/exercise regime/geographic location/friends/educational background/credit score” before he will ever want you back.  I did not doubt myself before I stepped out of the door.  I felt beautiful. Truly beautiful, and I felt that everyone who saw me strut down the street, yes I strutted, saw it too.  And they did.

Someone dear to me once told me that she saw having natural hair signified freedom.  From expectation, from worry, and from validation.  I always agreed with her even though I was not congruent in my belief.  I now can attest to having tasted that freedom.

It is a blessing that I am in the extreme minority here in San Diego, when you stick out like a sore thumb anyway, you may as well dance to your own beat.  Why waste an ounce of time trying to fit into something that you will always stand apart from?  I have been given the opportunity to garner a lot of attention, and while it has never been in my personality to solicit the spotlight, I want to work on not running from it either.

I find that whenever I put my fingers in my hair and twist a curl, or toy with a kink I am coming more into my own.  It just reminds me of who I am.  I am black.  I am curvy.  I am highly intelligent.  I am stubborn, and loving, and fierce.  I am a lot of things and when I rock my curls I feel free to dance to my own rhythm.

I am grateful to my twist-out.  I am grateful to that one curl that falls forward, and is left limp and frizzy by the days end.  I am grateful for my kinky roots and tangled ends.  I am grateful for me.  From the top of my mop to the bottom of my feet.

 

Fruits of Boredom

I got bored…so I colored my hair.  I used Garnier’s H2 Golden Blonde Multi-Lights Highlighting Kit.  I mixed it all up and then applied it at random in my hair because I figured careful application would go wasted as I wear my hair in different waves and curls and such…here we go

This was my hair a few days ago...my natural color (never mind the conditioner)

After! So the color really is all over the place lol, but I still like it

Here's the Front

I can’t wait to see what it looks like styled.  Currently I’ve twisted it up in two strand twists and curled the ends with perm rods.  I’ll make sure to post pictures tomorrow so we can see how the color looks with some sort of style!

ABC 123, curly? Kinky? which is me?

Forgive my title…I was having fun. So my friend Dr. T did a video on YT addressing hair-typing 

After listening to her (while simultaneously playing in my own hair) I commented that I’m not sure what type I am but I’m not sure that knowing really even makes a difference.  I would venture to say that the back of my hair is 3 something, maybe 3c, and the crown of my head is definitely something from Africa. What letter is that?

I pulled a piece of my hair out the front, middle, and back of my hair and they are all curled. Not kinky, not wavy, but curly.  The thing that did help learning how to better care for my hair was not the typing but learning about porosity.  When I learned that my hair is a bit more porous than normal but not exactly dry/brittle/breaking I started to do ACV rinses and I’ve seen such a difference in my hair!  I also love honey washes, anything to make it softer and then it will hold moisture better as well. This winter I though my hair was going to dry up and fall out! I was so happy to have learned about porosity!!! Check out this article on Curly Nikki about it.

Sometimes I wish my hair was either more curly or more  kinky and then I could fro it or finally indulge in wash-and-gos…but alas, it is what it is and it ain’t what it ain’t.  I still love it in all its kinky curly glory.

SHAM WOW FOOLERY

OH and my last bit of hair dirt is actually beef…WTF is this?! I just knoooooow its not supposed to be the lil girl from the cartoon because I think she looked like…

I am gonna pretend like this isn’t another case of media whitewashing things and its just a lil light skinned muppet friend of my chocolate puff head featured above.  I’m just going to pretend reeeeally hard that that’s the case.

Birthday Girl!

Thursday was my Birthday…here’s my look:

I decided to curl my hair. Actually curl it up for my birthday. I didn't blow it out, nor did I use high heat so it wasn't bone straight and curled. It was actually fuller this way. Go figure. Oh...and I'm also wearing NO make up. EEK!

The after! I feel like I was looking pretty decent that day. Lol...I'm still iffy on me with straight hair. IDKY but I just love the wildness that comes with my natural state these days.

Here is a months worth of hair growth...fuller and curls went from above the ear to below the ear. Not to mention in the picture on the left my hair was completely straightened then curled.

Twisted my hair and woke up this is what I got. I love it!! I have to say this is probably my favorite look to date and my sister hates it LOL She said "Whats wrong with your hair" I just smiled and said "Nothing" Happy day.

Apparently natural hair makes me snarky