As I was reviewing my blog, I noticed that I had never posted a reference hair length so that you would be able to gauge my progress and my success! My apologies! I'm sure this post will make it up to you!
I began transitioning in October 2008, I had actually tried transitioning starting in August 2008, but gave in to the temptation and permed my hair for Picture day! Thus, the last time I permed my hair was October 10, 2008. I use this date, because the hair that grew from that date on was unpermed. Nonetheless, I transitioned for 18 months before I went in for the big chop. Techincally, I transitioned with little snips every 8 weeks. I wanted to see growth so that I wouldn't feel the dramatic shocker I felt in December 2007. Nearing my 18th month anniversary, I began to feel the urge to wash my hair and wear it in it's natural state. I was able to wear my bangs curly, but the back of my hair had to be tucked away in a Smiling Frenchie in order to look presentable.
I thought the texture of my hair was cute and defined. In this picture, I simply washed and put on a dab of mousse. I was pleased with how it turned out and wanted to see how the texture of the other stands in my head were. So on Earth day, April 22nd, 2010, in my efforts to go green, I chopped, or snipped off the remaining permed ends. I thought it would be in my best interest to allow the hair dresser to give me a deep conditioner, press my hair, and cut my hair into a shape. It turned out to be a nice hair cut, however, I was still plauged with the mullet as the front appeared shorter than the back. I told her to cut it becuase I wanted it to be all one length. "Girl it'll just look like layers..." Some people try to cover it up by saying their hair is cut into layers, no - your hair is uneven!! The hairdresser told me to chill out and wait 6 months and then I wouldn't be as disappointed. (October 22nd, 2010)
This is when I started my "no-heat" regimen. I began using protective styles to increase my hair's rate of retention, remember it's not about the rate of growth but your success at retaining your length! Your ends are the oldest part of your hair and the way in which you treat them determines your length! Be kind to your elders! During the summer of 2010 I tried a few styles as I was off from teaching and could experiment without having to showcase a style I didn't necessarily like. I wore an afro, which is not my personal favorite. Perhaps, when my hair is much longer and the fro is big and full of life, think Joan, I may change my mind. So, I braided my hair into micros, which I liked because my ends would curl up and I could style the braids into many different pin-held styles. I also experiemented with a few updos on semi-straight (achieved through stretching) hair, these I found most appealing and attractive. Very feminine!
On June 20th, 2010, almost 2 months after I had cut off the remainded of my permed ends, I straighted my hair. However, I did not trim my ends or my ear patches. I simply wanted to see how much progress I had made in the past two months using a no heat regimen. Additionally, I was completely against cutting off good hair and by that I mean any unpermed hair that didn't necessarily need to be chopped off. Now that I was au natural I had to be that much more conscience about tossing my ends! I will say this, although I enjoyed the versatility I achieved with the micros on my hair, I didn't like the way my ends were exposed. I often found knots and when taking them out, my hair would tangle on itself and I would lose precious strands. My hair is not course, but it is not bone straight and so it does not take well to two strand twist, it simply unravels. Hence the reason I did the 3 strand braids. But, lesson learned: stick to adding braiding hair when braiding!
Since June, I have been wearing my hair in buns, Stegas and a few Smiling Frenchies! They are easy and with a silk scarf, can be savaged for another day! About 2 weeks ago, my fiance begged me to wear my hair natural or straighten it. He was away on business and I looked at the phone as if he'd lost his mind! I mean you can't blame him - it's nothing like seeing a woman's natural hair: straight or curly. Initially I was taken a back - how dare he pose such a question and think that I'm gonna straigten my hair...I mean have you seen me wear it that way in the past few weeks?...and then I thought...well you know, I have been wearing my hair tucked away and I too would like to know how long my hair has gotten! Ha! Despite the fact that I challegend myself not to put any heat on my hair for 6 months, I went ahead and straightened my hair - but promised I would not cut it until October 22 - my 6 month anny!
And there you have it folks, tried and true! On September 6th, 2010 I braided my hair! It took me about 8 hours and I was suprised when I had to repraid a few strands because my hair was too close to the ends of the braiding hair. My goal is to wear these until the weekend of the 23rd of October, of course rebraiding the front closer to the 6th of October, and then I will celebrate my 6th month anniversay of being completely natural and my 2 year anniversay of being perm-free by having my hair professionally, washed and trimmed! And I stress TRIMMED!!!
With love to last a lifetime, K!