Reflections :: The 2 Year Mark
I have officially reached the 2-year mark in my natural hair journey! I promise to upload a video montage soon of my hair throughout the year, but for now, I would like to just share a few thoughts as I reflect on this past year.
This second year was met with less fervor about my hair in general. Mainly, because I was finally content. That first year, I researched, watched every YouTube tutorial I could get my hands on, and tried new techniques and concoctions tirelessly in the hopes of finding the magic potion and procedure to make my hair obey me. I have always been pretty good at doing my own hair, but I had had relaxed hair for the majority of my life (relaxed at the age of about 5). My kinky, curly and coily hair had a huge learning curve for me to deal with and I was determined to conquer it. Throughout that first year, I loved my hair, but I was never content with it.
Entering into year two…I finally reached that level of love and contentment. I also stopped devoting as much time…and effort into my hair. Don’t get me wrong, I take very good care of my hair and it has flourished because I do so, but I have reverted back to my minimalist and low maintenance ways. When my hair was relaxed, I kept it looking nice, without really doing too much to it. My excuse was always that I’m not very girly and honestly, I’m lazy. I care about my appearance and want to look nice, but I don’t want to do a lot of work to do so. At least I’m honest.
So, what made me content? The length. Month 13, was AWESOME! My twist-outs looked full and like the hair of some of the women I had been ogling online. I was also able to do more with my hair with the length I had achieved. As the second year progressed, it seemed like my hair was sprouting like a weed and the more length I got, the more I fell in love. Do I think that it grew more than average over this past year? No, but I think I was not as focused on the length anymore because I was content with the length I had achieved the first year. Yes, I still want it longer, but it is long enough to make me happy. Each additional inch that it grows is a bonus to me.
I also threw the Natural Hair Bible out of the window…no, it does not actually exist, but there are a lot of rules, mandates, and generalized “everyone should do x, y and z” if you want length, moisture retention, etc out there. For instance, oil is highly touted as THE way to seal hair or should be in every naturalista’s arsenal. That is not true for me. Oil was the enemy when I was relaxed, and it is still the enemy now that my hair is natural. I have had more success with my hair this last year, just by bucking the “norms” for natural hair. My hair would probably be typed as mainly 4-something, but almost nothing that is touted as great for 4’s works for me. I actually have more success with doing things that looser, curly girls in the 2’s and 3’s do. So, I threw out the hair typing system as well.
The greatest thing that I learned this past year would be that my hair does not want to be conquered. Instead of trying to force it to do things or fight against it, I literally just let it do whatever it wants. That means that it looks slightly different all of the time (only another naturalista would notice the difference), but it also means that I spend less time on it and I can truly be minimal with it. I also like it when it looks all crazy, frizzy and all over the place. I actually think it makes me look “cool.” Yes! Score one for the weird, nerdy, artsy girl.
What are some reflections you would like to share about your natural hair journey?