March 18, 2016

MANE INTRO




Good puns are what blog posts are made of, right?


I wrote this post hoping that a simple intro to the current state of my hair will provide good reference to future posts where I'll be sharing about the hair care regimen I'm following, products I use and #hairgoals. I wanted to capture the history of this crown of mine as I believe it's important to reflect on the way you treat your hair, especially if you are anticipating that it will one day grow to surpass Rapunzel's (okay not really, but close enough, lol). Reflecting generally tends to puts things into perspective and is often the key to moving forward.
Mini life coach moment there…anyway…



With the help of old photos I’ve estimated that my first blowout was around those tender years ('95-ish) when I was drawn to the glamour of 'beauty contests' or rather beauty pageants as they are now called. I’m even less certain as to how my mother came to the decision to have my hair processed; whether it was my constant nagging for long hair or our mutual decision to have peaceful mornings - combing thick 4C virgin (unprocessed) hair is no joke! Nonetheless, my hair has been processed for more than half my life and although you’d expect it to be fairly worn out and probably on its strand, it still remains relatively healthy. 

My texlaxed hair around the ages of 5-7
For much of my toddler and pre-teen years, my blown out/texlaxed hair was kept in cornrows and ‘Benny & Betty’ hairstyles to keep it neat. Following a lice scare at my primary school, my hair was cut to new growth length and styled into an S-curl cut as I did not take well to having short ‘boyish’ hair. It did not take too long before I was back to having my hair plaited in the hopes of it growing longer, faster. When it came around to getting good length, I went back to the 'hair crack’ and followed the routine of having it constantly braided for neatness and faster growth. It seems protective styling really did serve its purpose.  In high school, I started experimenting with getting my hair braided with synthetic Kanekalon hair and that’s where I noticed unpleasant changes in my hair including major breakage, thinning as well as the colour changing from a rich natural black to chocolate brown along the ends. The damage that I experienced prompted my decision to cut my hair towards the end of 2008 and embark on a natural hair journey.  

Although my natural hair journey was relatively short compared to the number of years that I’ve had my hair relaxed, I relished in the simplicity and ease of care that I experienced with my virgin (unprocessed), coily hair. I air-dried it after shampooing, finger-combed it to the desired height and shape and didn’t have to worry too much about excessive breakage when braiding. Life was good…life was good in the early days I should say. In my experience the longer my hair grew, the thicker and consequently more painful it became to maintain it as a ‘fro.  I often walked away from the hair salon feeling like I had endured a week in a torture cell; I walked away feeling deep-seated resentment for my stylist, simply because my scalp/head was throbbing in pain.  I resorted to keeping it in protective styles – twists, box braids, plaits because that meant I wouldn’t have to endure the pain of combing it out or styling it. My protective styles became my hair and after a while, I became tired and bored of having to have protective styling done- I missed my hair. That and the fact that I wanted to experiment with weaves led me to the decision to go back to relaxed hair; it was simply easier and less painful for me to maintain. 

L-R: My Afro in 2011 and my relaxed hair in 2015

I’m currently four years into my relaxed hair journey and as processed hair would have it, it needs that extra bit of care as it is not as strong as natural hair. I’ve subscribed to a couple of relaxed hair bloggers’/ Youtubers’ channels in the hopes of learning more about maintaining healthy relaxed hair and so far I’ve enjoyed taking care of my relaxed hair with the knowledge that I’ve gained. I still have protective styles done every now and then for a different look, but the absolute pleasure comes from having my hair looking and feeling healthy. The posts to follow under the ‘Hair’ section of my blog will highlight my relaxed hair journey and the products and techniques that I have adopted in trying to maintain and elevate it to a healthier appearance and state.


And that’s it…the mane intro.

I would love to know if you can relate to the experiences that I’ve had with my hair; perhaps you are also on your own hair journey and have tips on how to get it to that Rapunzel length!

Thanks for reading,
V

PS: Future posts will not be this long, I promise.

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