This is my third time returning to natural hair. The first time, I changed my mind about six months into the process. I just couldn’t get over how big my face was (LOL!). I have no pictures from that attempt.
The second time, I made it through but I was very discouraged along the way because I had no idea what my hair would look like in its natural state once it grew out. I would look at other people’s natural hair and think, “Will mine will look like hers?” or “When will it be long enough to…?” and “Can my hair do that, too?”
I even called my aunt (who used to comb my hair before I got perms) and asked her if she remembered my original texture. She was like, “It laid down when I put water and lotion on it and brushed it.”
I thought to myself, “I suppose that’s good if I want to wear my hair in ponytails.”
Oh, the anxiety. What if I don’t even like it in the end?
Not until the fall of 2011 did I begin to really “feel” my hair. By that time, I’d gone through enough products to know what worked/didn’t work, how long I could go between shampoos, which conditioners made my hair too soft to hold a twist, and how many days it needed to dry in its twists to look “just right”. My bangs had even been trained to lay down on my forehead. Padow!
Then something happened and I had to take a break from being natural*. No biggie, but it was a nice break.
As of June, 2014, I started my third natural hair journey. But this time, I have no issues. I’m not impatient or anxious. Why? Well, because I’ve learned a few things…
THREE LESSONS FROM THESE JOURNEYS:
1) My hair isn’t exactly like anyone else’s. Even the same texture looks different on my face. Yes, my forehead is a five-head. Yes, I have a full face – I always have. Even when I was a “po” (that’s what my grandma calls skinny people) I had an extra cheeky-face like hers and my great-grandfather’s. This is my face. God says it is good. I agree.
2) It’s okay to change things up. When I took the break from being natural (natural hair can be hard work, y’all) I actually enjoyed rocking my straight hair. It was kind of fun – except for the time I thought something was crawling on the back of my neck when, in actuality, it was just a loose strand. My daughter cracked up laughing. I cut it short after that.
3) There’s something to be said about how you rest in the journey when you already have a vision for what the end will be like. Believers – RELAX! (Not your hair, necessarily, but definitely your soul!) Let’s live like we already know what the end’s gonna be because we DO! We WIN for eternity!
In His Love,
* If you must know, what had happened was: I accidentally altered my curl pattern one day – left a texturizer on too long while sitting in front of the computer. This was after I had already started cutting on it because it was so thick and big, my neck and arms would hurt from all the different contortions needed to achieve my two-strand twists. I needed a break for real!
Michelle Stimpson is the national bestselling author of 25 books and more than 50 short stories. Check out her latest books!