Whoop!! Whoop!! It’s been exactly 1year today when we wrote the first Post on our Blog!! To say “Thank you” to all our readers, here’s a Post from a friend Mirabelle (our guest blogger) to help with the struggles of transition–>big chop–> maintaining natural hair!! You can also check out her blog –>> pix-elatedpassion.com …
Thank you again!!! Cheers..xx
My natural hair journey is the bumpiest trip I have ever been on. Nevertheless, I am enjoying the ride. It has been fun, it has been frustrating and it has been everything in between. It all started in mid-2013 after I decided to stop using relaxers, transition and then do the big chop.
The day of the big chop came on Christmas Eve 2013. I will never forget that day because that was the day that I saw “Twelve Years a Slave” in theatres with my family. And I remember feeling an even deeper connection with the movie and Lupita Nyongo’s stellar performance because of my big chop. Sounds funny, I know. I’ll explain.
I was feeling like a new person on that day. Clearly. I had just undergone a drastic change in my appearance. I had gone from relaxing my hair and wearing extensions to having little to no hair at all. Hence, naturally, I felt like a new person. And somehow this new hair journey that I had undertaken, combined with the most authentic movie I have ever seen about slavery (a topic that is quite critical to understanding or discussing black hair), heightened this sense of self. I decided to cut my hair solely because it was damaged. I understand that a lot of people do the big chop in order to demonstrate or amplify their new sense of identity but this was never my intention. That said, I find it very interesting that my big chop story started off so simple and then became something deeper than I thought, out of sheer coincidence. Or was it not coincidental?
So how did I feel after my big chop? FREE. Absolutely free. It was the best feeling ever. I could not believe that I could get up in the morning, comb or brush my hair and go. I also felt like a superstar because I got a lot of attention on social media when I posted my big chop photos and the moment friends I had not seen in a long time noticed I had chopped all my hair off. It was definitely fun to see people’s reactions. But all the excitement wore off after a while; I had announced my big chop on Instagram and Facebook and all my friends had seen my new haircut. Now what?
To an extent, embracing and maintaining my new look was a bed of roses except when it really was not. There were thorns. And boy did they prick sometimes? Let’s start with the finances. As a model (and a student), who uses and needs headshots, doing the big chop was expensive. Models have to update their headshots every time they get a new look or make a drastic change in their appearance. This makes the casting directors’ jobs easier. I had to retake my headshots, which are quite expensive and my agent almost dropped me because, for the longest time, I was using a picture (below) taken with my phone camera as my headshot. Ha. But that’s a story I will probably tell another day.
Asides from finances, in terms of general well being I felt new and alive (I do not know a less cliché way to say this). I started to learn how to take care of my hair in its natural state. Youtube naturalistas became my new best friends (in my head), I learned some natural hair lingo, and the Shea Moisture brand became and still is one of my obsessions.
Next came the insecurities. I would get insecure sometimes and want my longer, relaxed and easy-to-comb hair back. The worst phase was when my hair got to the awkward length where it was too short to be put in a bun and too long to be a pixie cut. There was also another phase where I would style my 2 inch fro, look in the mirror and think it was cute, but then when the pictures from the event I attended surfaced on social media, I thought I looked horrendous. This happened over and over until I just got used to it. After my one-year mark, I felt a random urge to cut it short again. Thank goodness my good friend talked me out of it because I would have regretted it. Long story shot, I went back and forth between loving my hair and not liking it at all.
I finally snapped out of that phase and became more confident. I realized I could do nothing to change the situation. I had made the decision and I had to live with it. I grew to love my short hair. I benefitted from this new surge of confidence in other facets of my life like my composure in social events and settings and my sense of style. My style did not change but I became more creative and daring with the pieces I put together. I also know that the idea of my blog (pix-elatedpassion.com) was birthed from this new surge of confidence, among other things. Somehow this hairstyle that I had been insecure about was helping me make bold decisions? Not bad at all.
In terms of hair styling, I still have a lot to learn in that department. I am less inclined to do a twist-out than I am to just pull my hair up or back into a bun (pictures). I find that my natural gravitation to this hairstyle has a lot to do with the fact that it, in my opinion, goes more with my personal style which is chic /chic sophisticated. This doesn’t mean, though, that I do not wear other hairstyles. I forever bless the day that I discovered crochet braids on Youtube. Ha. When my hair is not in a bun, I am wearing crotchet braids.
My hair journey is still ongoing and although this post might have convinced you otherwise, I really enjoy my natural hair. My hair is 4b/c. It is thick and can be dry sometimes but I still prefer it to my relaxed hair. At the same time I have grown a lot through this journey. I have learned that it is VERY important not to make assumptions about people based on what they do to their hair. The number of times I have thought of and fought the thought of relaxing my hair again reminded me that not every body is cut out for the natural hair life. We have to do what we feel is right for our hair and what is convenient for us. To each his/her own.
My advice for people thinking of doing the big chop or going natural
If you are thinking of doing the big chop yourself, you need to think about why YOU are doing it. You also have to be resilient because it will be worth it in the end. There is a natural hair trend going on and it is very tempting to hop on the bandwagon without thinking your decision through. If, unlike everybody else on the bandwagon, you do not know your destination and reasons for hopping on in the first place, you might just as easily fall off the wagon and crash. So be prepared, do your research, invest in coconut oil, and rock that fro!