I entered 2017 with a host of changes sitting on my lap. I wrote my first book and became an author (buy it here). Then Leèroy asked me to marry him and we got engaged (no, that’s not his real name). Then I immediately started planning our wedding. Then he said let’s move back to Baltimore. My 2017 was spent adjusting to something. Which felt like I was adjusting to everything. When Q4 rolled in, I thought of what I wanted my goals for 2018 to be. For some reason, my hair and what to do with it kept coming up. Cutting my hair was looming on the horizon and it was time for me to take some action.
Let’s back up to 2012!
Back in 2012, I decided to go natural (like everyone else). In full transparency, it was just a thing I thought I was supposed to do. Looking back I’m not even sure if I had any real reasons for joining the natural hair movement. I never cared to see my real curls and once I did I absolutely hated them. Before I went natural I was only relaxing my hair about every 5 or 6 months. Which was basically at the start of each season.
The first few months of being natural were absolute torture. I used all the milks, creams, mousses and oils that I could find just for my curls to never really curl all the way. Keep in mind this was before the big blogs and the unlimited articles on what to do with your curls. It was right at the start of the natural hair movement.
After creating my own useless curl refreshing spray concoctions and lots of wasted hair products, I finally realized that I didn’t have “wash and go” hair. I didn’t have the kind of curl that is wildly celebrated in the natural hair community. And honey that is another topic I will tackle later.
My stylist at the time suggested that I rod set my hair to get that desired look. Genius! I finally got the curls I desired. But that meant I was rolling up my hair every night. Keep in mind this is before the fancy big bonnets and other amazing creations that kept your curls plump and juicy throughout the night. But what I remember most was that despite all that work I had done to my hair I felt very not sexy! I’ve never embraced my natural grey curls. I’m not sure if I ever will. Does not liking something mean that I’m not embracing it? Can’t I just not like it and move one?
Anyways,! I’m also pretty sure I don’t care if you have an opinion about whether my hair is natural or relaxed.
Then I got an opportunity that basically catapulted my blogging and writing career. Stacy London (TLC’s What Not To Wear) was looking for “real” models for her book The Truth About Style. I applied via email and boom… I was selected (read that story here, here, and here!)! My makeover look was a mohawk (see picture above). But like the real kind of Mohawk. In the beginning, it was fly, revolutionary, edgy and really give me a signature look. Granted it was cute and all but I eventually got tired of it.
So I started to grow my hair out but left one side still shaved. That became what many of you know as my signature style. I like to think that I may have even influenced a few girls to “partially” shave their heads. Years later, I noticed that I didn’t have the same love for the shaved side that I did when I first cut it. It was almost as if I was ashamed of it. I almost never showed that side of my hair to the point where many forgot it was still a thing. I finally said let me just grow that side out too.
We’re back in 2017 now.
That was hard AF to do. The first side was too easy. I just swooped the long side of my hair over the wild and unruly grow out and kept it moving. A year later my hair caught up and that’s when I cut my hair into a bob.
I tried to do the same for the second side of the style but the odds weren’t in my favor. When I tried swooping the hair over it looked like I was hiding a huge bald spot. I tried pinning it and failed. I tried putting gel on. I put Jam on it. Nothing! So now I am miserable. I hate my hair.
But because I was planning my wedding and I was told by everyone to not make any drastic changes unless I plan to lose weight. Getting skinny was the only change that was encouraged and acceptable (I’ll write about that foolish shit later). So I listened to everyone and sucked it up.
I chatted with my stylist (Gabrielle Corney) and our best solution for operation “UnHate My Hair” was to cut it so that it was near the same length throughout my hair. So I spent all summer saving hair inspo from The Cut Life. I said that after my wedding I would let that side grow out to where it was long enough to curl or pinch and then I would have Gabi cut it.
October comes and I am impatient AF!
My hair grows pretty fast so in about 4 weeks time I had enough to pinch. But then something happened that irked my entire soul. As my hair started to grow out my untouched natural pinches of hair got really curly and wiry. Eight years later and my hair on the side is mainly grey. UGH!
So now I am back to fresh natural hair… halfway through. And to be honest, it’s just not the life I wanted to live. I literally had a head full of pressed hair and a patch of 3C (ish) curls.
I gave myself two more months of new growth and said to Gabi, “Let’s do this girl” (Y’all remember that Martin episode).
Details on my new cut.
I saved tons of photos on Instagram for inspo. As I mentioned before they’re all mainly from The Cut Life. I had pics of short short, short long, short pixie… you name it I had it saved. I did a poll on my IG Stories and with your help, we ended up using this style as a guide.
A lot of you have asked if I relaxed my hair. The answer is YES and here’s why.
I relaxed my hair!
Whenever someone would discourage me I’d say, “I don’t have to struggle if I don’t want to”. The bottom line is, my natural hair journey has been a complete struggle. And maybe it’s not the 4C struggle we’re used to talking about or seeing but it was still my version of struggle. I ain’t got to go through it no more! That life is not for me. I won’t say that I will never be natural again. Who knows! I won’t say that I will never want my curls back. Who knows! But what I know for sure (right now) is that without a full head of hair I have no plans to wear my naturally curly grey hair.
With all that said and thoroughly thought through, I had some decisions to make. Do I fight the world to keep my hair straight? While my hair was sorta heat trained, one long gust of hot air literally blows my straight haired dreams away (pun intended). I thought about the effort it would take to keep this short side straight and that further solidified my decision.
Then I asked myself who am I natural for. You or me?
I can admit to you and myself that I went natural to join a trend. Not because my hair was breaking off or so that my hair could be healthy(er). My hair will always be healthy because I take care of it. So yes, I got a relaxer.
At the end of the day, I feel like a new girl–which was my main goal heading into 2018. My list of goals are LIT and I didn’t want to go into 2018 worrying about my hair and what it was doing. I adore this cut and now (peep this)… I might not let it grow out.
Did you guys do anything drastic to end your 2017? What are you 2018 goals?
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