~For me it’s kind of hard to say when I “became natural.” I never did a big chop, I just did mini chops with many errors and little knowledge on how to care for my hair. Although I did do some moderate chops, I was still constantly straightening my hair and I rarely wore it curly because I had NO idea how to blend the two textures.
So, one day … sometime in 2014 as I was transitioning I decided to cut off the rest of the straight ends. So I guess I can say that 2014 was when I became officially “natural.” When specifically? I have no Idea.
Let’s cut to the chase. In August 2014 I started graduate school at FSU and it just so happens that that is when I also learned how to actually care for my natural hair. It was growing so healthily AND relatively quickly.
June-2015 (shrinky twist-out)
This year (Jan 2016), it reached about bra strap length and for my birthday I decided to treat myself to a DEVA CUT (insert swoon here). If you are obsessed with curly hair like I am, you know that there is an amazing curly hair studio in LA – Capella Salon. However, I live in Florida, I am a TA (meaning I make dirt money), I have many financial responsibilities (meaning I can’t just get up and fly to LA and pay $200 for a haircut (yes the haircut alone costs around $200)). So I decided to be more economical and look for stylist who specializes in the Deva Cut here in Florida.
I found a salon about 2 hours from me that only charged $70 and that had a few good reviews on Yelp. Well, it’s safe to say that the people who reviewed this stylist must not have had my hair texture because this woman did not know much about my hair. She pretty much quoted her Deva Curl textbook in the hopes of making me feel more comfortable. I showed her picture upon picture of the exact haircut that I wanted. Yet, somehow I left the salon with a mullet…. I can assure you I did not show the stylist not even one mullet pic, I swear. In addition to the horrible haircut, she also somehow managed to damage my curls. They were so dry, I had more split ends than I had ever had (how is that possible AFTER a haircut??), AND to top it all off, my hair was very uneven.
AFTER THE HORRIBLE HAIRCUT (look at that dryness and frizz!)
It’s safe to say that I shed many tears after the experience, especially considering how long my hair had grown in just two years. I feel like her haircut transported me back in time an entire year of length and about 10 years of hair health.
Since then, I have been protective styling, deep conditioning and every other possible thing you could think of and luckily, my hair has been revived to close to its former glory. Of course, it hasn’t reached the length it was, but it’s getting there and I must say, I’ve become a much more patient person ….. mainly because I didn’t have a choice.
Anyways, one of the main reasons I left the salon the way I did was because I didn’t speak up while she was cutting my hair. As soon as she started cutting, I realized she didn’t know what she was doing, but I didn’t want to tell her she was wrong. IT’S HER JOB! and I know I’d be upset if someone told me I was doing my job incorrectly. But it was also her job to talk to me and to make sure we were on the same page during the process because at the end of the day, I was the one who had to walk out the salon looking like a hill-billy on crack.
So the moral of this (rather lengthy) story is… use your voice. It’s there for a reason. Speak up if something isn’t to your standards. And ALWAYS trust your gut.
(Today 🙂 June 2016)