Monday, October 30, 2006

One Year Since I Chopped My Locs...

It was actually yesterday, the 29th, but it took a minute to make my little collage. It's been quite a journey, and I have now been natural almost 9.5 years. The first picture is the earliest I have on my computer. I initially went natural in May of 1997.

The last picture, with the puff, shows my hair at the one year mark since the ultra low cut on October 29th, 2005. My hair grows at average speed, about 1/4" per month, so if you are afraid to cut your hair short because you think it won't grow back fast enough, I promise it will!

If you're a member of the Yahoo! group, sorry for the rerun, but here is the survey I answered at the group for my one year loosiversary!

1) How many years have you been natural today?

9.5 years - 1 year loose this time around.

2) Did you Big Chop?


3) If yes, how did you feel afterward?

I felt excited, relieved, lighter, and thrilled.

4) If you transitioned, how did you feel when you were finally all


5) What was your greatest motivation to go natural?

Scalp burns, and all the people who told me not to do it!

6) What are some styles you're excited about trying in the coming year?

I'm enjoying learning new ways to care for my loose natural hair hands on.

7) Do you have a hair role model? If yes, who?

Any sista I see with slammin' natural hair.

8) What are your favorite hair care products, regimen and style?

Right now, I am using pure vegetable glycerin, and my own mixture of water and essential oils. I'm doing everything I can to save parts at all times to save myself the stress of reparting my hair from scratch too often. I like two strand twists, but have been wearing braid and
twist outs lately for the height.

9) How have you changed since going natural?

Wow. I don't think I have enough time to answer this question. The short version is that I'm much more comfortable with myself, as is, without a lot of elaborate enhancements. Natural hair seems to create an instant bond between myself and other natural sisters in a lot of cases. I feel more peaceful and self aware overall. I have taken on this plight to share what I've learned with as many people as possible.

10) What has been your hardest or most rewarding lesson learned since going natural?

People make a lot of assumptions when you wear your hair naturally, and even more so depending on the style - that you're gay, militant, don't like white people, look down on people with perms, are unapproachable, only eat certain kinds of foods, "sleep on a straw mat" (as one of my natural friends said, lol), etc.

People also assume we naturals are super confidant and strong willed - sometimes they test that consciously or subconsciously. I think one of the most rewarding lessons I've learned is that I'm just me.

Lots more pictures here.

PS. I have so much more stuff to post, just no time - check back soon for my backlog of new tips and photos!


Tanya said...

Beautiful collage. I am in awe you were able to go natural so young. Keep passing on your motivational spirit girlie.

Latasha said...

"What was your greatest motivation to go natural? Scalp burns, and all the people who told me not to do it!"

I completely agree. When I first said I was going to go natural and chop off my crappy unhealthy relaxed hair, everyone I knew was like no dont do ti, ew thats going to be a mess, why? SO I used that as my motivation to be me.

drrph said...

I love your site. I was natural in college and felt that I had to have long hair for my wedding...Well after 6 years I decided to go natural again. I first tried to transition by pressing every 2 weeks and that lasted for about 7-8 months. Got frustrated and did the BIG CHOP about 3 months ago and I LOVE IT!!! Keep the info coming and know that you have a fan!!!!

BySwanee said...

Lovely pics.
Keep going.

a fan from France( Paris)

Tasha said...

Wow, I didn't realize that you let your hair grow out until I saw this. I thought you were still wearing the TWA. I hadn't been reading all of the Yahoo messages, so I had no clue. The puff looks great!

Scifisupergal said...

The dynamics of our hair are political and personal. I recently cut my locs and feel physically lighter. However, I am always me. My beauty is only a question for those that don't love me or themselves.

crystalsilent said...

Yes! All for BIG CHOP!

I did the BIG CHOP 3 times in my life; the first two times I wasn't really ready-those hair events were in vain partially-my spirituality was telling me to do it, but consciously I was not yet strong enough. When I did become strong enough to accept myself, despite hair at all, just ME, the hair transformation was the icing on the cake, it is now my self-acceptance metaphor. Way before I went natural (time and time before) I can remember looking back on old pictures of me with a perm in my adolescent years looking awkward (just my observation-LOL!)and then I would see the old old ones of me in the summertime, at about 4 or 5 with free, wild, nappy hair, looking so happy and uninhibited. I remember always telling myself(man, I miss the old me, the free spirited me). Can you dig it? And plenty thankful, it came to pass. My sister, who has elder locs, used to always roll her eyes at me when I would proclaim I was going natural 'again'. She had crowned me the 'Dark and Lovely' Queen (even though Fabulaxer was my 'no-lye drug of choice'!).

Sorry to go on a typing rampage, but thanks so much for sharing your photos. They are so inspiring. I am at my 3 month mark and AM LOVING my hair, its texture, the funky low res color and the FREEDOM. I look forward to my 1 year anniversary! :)

P.S. As a former hair dresser (not for natural hair either), I want to give props to Madame C. J. Walker, Josephine Baker, The Supremes, Tina Turner and other sisters who coined and paved the way for black beauty to expand with their innovative hairstyles, techniques and trends that made us proud to be different and versatile.