Big Chop: December 2009
Everything that I've listed can be learned sooner, but some how it just seems so effortless now or I feel I truely understand.
Year Two Lesson: I now know that I know nothing
I've learned to keep an open mind about my hair. In the beginning I thought just accepting the fact that I had curly hair was enough. It's not. I think we all have an image of how our curls will grow out. Some of us get what we think what we want and some of us don't. I have accepted that my hair grows at a pretty regular rate but has shrinkage and seems to be scared of being anywhere near my shoulders, even though the length is well past that point.
Year Two Lesson: Don't have wet hair in winter
I found out about this last winter 2010/2011. My twists didn't stay in for a full day let alone a couple of days or weeks. I just couldn't be bothered to do my hair the night before. I was so used to wash and go styles and the year before I didn't have much hair to worry about. Twists involve skills that I am refining. I have learned doing your hair at night saves so much time in the morning. It's the same as laying your clothes out and making your lunch before hand. I think having long hair makes styling easier for me.
Year Two Lesson: Don't let your hair become a burden
I don't have a regiment or routine I constantly stick to. I leave in regular conditioner, I wash and detangle my hair once a week but rarely on the same day, I mist my hair if it looks dry, I try to be gentle to my ends and I trim my hair when I find myself saying "ugh, I need a trim." Taking care of your hair doesn't have to be so serious. Have fun, be free.
Year Two Lesson: Be careful of advice
Keep in mind as you search for ways to take care of your hair, most girls used to relax their hair. I'm pretty sure they are the ones who started the "have to" and "should" routines and regiments. If you want a certain result, like long hair, there are techniques that you can follow. If you don't have time or just don't want to spend money to help your hair reach longer lengths, you don't have to. You don't have to have long hair. Just rock it short, you'll look cute. Beware of products that smell weird or tingle or burn. Research a new technique before you try it, even if it is from someone you trust.
Year Two Lesson: Product brands do not matter
This is a hard lesson to learn. In the beginning I was looking for a way to fix the mess that was my hair. There was no solution to find. My hair is not a problem to be solved. The thing my hair needs most is moisture. My hair does not like greasy or heavy products. It needs super slippery conditioner to get my comb through, it needs extra hold when I want to put it in an updo, less when I just want an afro. I have finally gotten rid of my hand-in-hair-itis. All of this this seems super simple but it's knowing that the brand name is not what makes my hair awesome. The ingredients in it are working to help keep my hair moisturized. Any product with those ingredients would do the same thing.
Lessons you should learn right away
1. OMG get a hair catcher for the drain. Even if you just big chopped. By the time you realize you need one it will be too late. You will have an evil hair monster clogging your drain. Go to you hardware store and ask for one. They will know what you mean.
2. Cover your hair at night. I found all the caps I bought were too small and the ones you tie would slip off. Silk pillows don't help me because my head would slide off and rub against my cotton sheets. I don't have money for silk sheets. Silk pillow cases were pricey enough. I've learned to cut the elastic a bit on my hair caps. No more headaches. :)
3. If someone likes your hair and asks you about it go ahead and share your tips. If the person says something like "well, that may work for you but my hair... blah blah blah." stop talking and politely excuse yourself. She is not ready to hear what you have to say. I haven't learned why the heck she stopped you in the first place. Maybe that will come in year three.
I can't wait for year three!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I'm never going back to relaxing my hair. Year one gave me the most temptations mainly because I wasn't happy with the fact that I have shrinkage. Now I only get the urge to have straight hair in the summer when I'm hot (what I really want is air to my scalp and hair off my neck) and special occasions. I get nervous about expectations people have for me. That being said, I haven't had any problems with my natural hair at special occasions. It's just nerves.