Starting from the very beginning
What I Saw
As with all tragedies, there's usually a once upon a time, a victim and a wicked perpetrator. I could start this story by blaming my ignorance or the hair stylists I've let meddle with my regimen over the years. I could blame it on the sunshine, moonshine, stress, too little time, wrong hair products, I could even blame it on my pillow. Truth be told though, I am solely responsible for the length and fullness of my hair as of February 2013 which looked something looked like this:
Some context for you - between 2005/6, I didn't have a very strict regimen but I did follow recommendations from two blogs in particular: Roshini (now Glamzini) and Nappturality. Roshini gets full credit for helping me break the jawline length barrier that I'd hit. She taught me how to make my own hair concoctions, kicked me out of the dumps of **wail** my-hair-never-grows and showed me how to do the right thing.
So, taking a look at my December 2005 picture (above, bottom left, black ensemble), what changed? Me. I got complacent. I left my hair to revert and by 2007 (picture above, top right, red ensemble), my hair fell limp on my shoulders, it started to shed and I kept ignoring it until this happened:
Notice how quickly I got it into braids after the fear of baldness gripped me? After that (2008) period, I become quite good at spotting the warning signs however, my problem is that I haven't learnt how to listen. How else do I explain the difference between my hair in 2005 and 2013? I keep encouraging the setbacks and then get major hair envy when I see people like Jeni who put in the work to get their hair the way they want it. Mind you, it really isn't difficult to achieve results you want from your hair, it just takes rethinking what you know about your hair so far and committing to a regimen that works for you and your hair.
After my hair scare in 2008, I went back to Roshini's blog and armed with LHCF's zany potions and tips, I turned things around and by 2010, I was almost happy with my hair. Then came the disaster of 2011 & 2012 aka hairstylists. I was on set often in 2011 & 2012 - most of them for pilot show which you may never get to see — and the damage to my hair was very real. I then had the bright-spark idea of doing weaves back to back because, people keep claiming it helps them grow their hair. I forgot all that Roshini taught me. I forgot all my scalp taught me. I ignored what my strands told me historically and flung myself into weave challenges. Then came the hair loss, receding hairline and an unbearable amount of breakage irrespective of my counter measures. I single handedly self sabotaged my hair and didn't stop until I saw the Feb '13 picture.
What I did next
- I got a trim to curb the frizz
- I decided to stretch out my relaxer for 26 weeks
- I adopted a retention regimen
- I focused on romancing my hairline which had shifted about two inches away from where it was supposed to be
The 26 weeks is now up and I've enjoyed the process of getting here. I've especially loved playing around with hair as I've sadly developed major hand-in-hair syndrome. Even when it's safely corn rowed away, I pull strands out to play with the kink. My dilemma now is, should I relax my hair? If so, do I relax it as usual or start texlaxing it like I did in 2010/2011? Am I ready to deal with having 3 or 4 different textures on my head? Should I wait 52 weeks before relaxing or texlaxing my hair? Will I be tempted to get a big chop and go natural at the end of the 52 week stretch? Will I have any hair left on my head? Why am I so indecisive and suddenly quite nervous to do anything other than didi to my hair?
For answers to this and other hair talk, please tune in next week on your reach out station, NTA2 Channel 5.
Peace, Love & reBoot!