Broken Arm + Natural Hair =

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In July, a horse kick broke my arm. It was painful, sounded awful and hurt like the dickens. The break was so bad I required surgery and now have a titanium plate and 7 screws permanently attached to my ulna. My natural hair was so thick and long, when they took me into the operating room they couldn't get all my hair under the cap.

The week between the injury and the surgery I wasn't concerned about my hair - the pain was the concern and I simply wore a puff, pulled tightly by putting a knot in one end and placing that end into a drawer, closing the drawer then pulling the other end with my good arm until it was taut.

It was only after the surgery that I started worrying about my hair. As I have been doing the no-comb challenge for months, I was going to write a blog about how to do natural hair in no-comb with one hand but soon after the surgery I was confronted with this reality. There is no easy way to do natural hair with one hand while you are in injury recovery. Period. That's it.  Just get braids, a weave, a wig, concentrate on recovery and be done with it. 

Now I'm not saying to give up. There is another reason why I say this. The effect general anaesthetic can have on your hair. It can be devastating, as it has been with me. After surgeryAbout 2 weeks after the surgery, and continuing through today, 6 weeks after that - I have experienced extreme shedding, texture annhiliation and excessive dryness. My hair became unruly and has become something unfamiliar to me. It's like someone removed the hair I know and transplanted an entirely different head of hair up there. Now I am learning to work with what I am left with. I have lost several inches in length, a bit of density and a lot of my texture has changed. Most of my hair is above my shoulders again after being mid back stretched.

Personally I considered a wig or a weave, braids or something but decided to just reduce my styling, wear a scarf often and remove as much as the shedded hair as gently as possible, as often as possible. It's going to come out anyway so why delay the process. Braids or weave would put more pressure on my hair and I never could stand wearing wigs. Besides I still have so much hair that a wig would probably sit too high to look natural anyway.

My hair is "not just hair" to me. This experience has confirmed that. You are never too old to learn something new about yourself. After 13 years of being napptural I am still learning what a role my hair plays in my self-image and exploring why.

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