I looked at my little locks today in the mirror and suddenly had the realisation that my short hair was really not different from a budding plant. Just staring in frustration at the shortness of the locks made me see how similar my hair was to a teeny weeny plant.
I recently decided that the best way to get the healthiest strands of hair growing out of my skull was to start from scratch. Years of processing my hair with all sorts of products had in my opinion finally taken the usual negative toll on my once bouncy, full head of hair. Although my hair had all the length that most girls craved for, it lacked weight, lustre, and bounce. I just wanted my old hair back.
Right! I did not go for the popular big chop. I decided that a gradual transition from silky to natural hair would be less dramatic. It was definitely the way for me. Technically, I stopped stretching my hair or adding any harsh products to it. I only used oils to keep the hair supple. Little by little new hair growth started sprouting under the over processed locks. In the next one year, I watched my hair texture change from silky to coarse and curly. It had been a long and sometimes frustrating journey. I struggled a lot with trying to learn how to manage my natural hair.
Unfortunately, like most African girls, my real hair texture was quite alien to me. It was difficult to accept that I could not just simply run a small comb through my hair like I used to do with my processed hair. I was beginning to understand that my hair needed some TLC(tender loving care) that is, extra wetting here, oiling there, weaving and so on. I looked different too with my hair. It was all a new terrain for me. An adjustment I certainly had to be patient with.
So like planting a seed, I had to cultivate and nurture this hair. I finally chopped off all the processed silky hair after growing out just enough natural hair to plait into mini locks. I sure looked different with the short and natural hair plaits. Now I had no hiding place. For the first time in ages, my whole face was out in the open. Like a plant, I had to learn to nurture the hair daily. I watered and oiled generously to keep the hair supple and less coarse. I also had to be patient with the hair. Weed out any knots in the locks that honestly kept tangling my hair. On days when I could not cope with the demands of my hair, I added some extensions to the hair. This helped them last a bit longer giving the hair a break from being constantly combed. So far, I think it is fair to say that I can be hopeful about the future of my hair – my virgin hair .
Like every farmer, I hope for a good harvest. One filled with bounciness, straight and sustainable strands of hair that might hopefully see me through to a ripe old age. I also hope that by choosing this natural route, I can hopefully avoid the recession that is suffered by most African scalps with age. I pray that my hairline respects the rest of my head and stays bountiful and abundant overtime.
I have so far received mixed reviews. They are mainly based on the newness of the look rather than the hair itself. In case you were wondering what products I use for my hair, they are – almond oil and water. I wash it with mostly a hair shampoo, however, sometimes my toilet soap does the same job. I am trying to live with fewer obsessions and vanities where my hair is concerned. This is my choice and so far it is working. I shall leave an update in due course if I change my mind about products.
Interestingly, my hair is teaching me good lessons like – patience while I await its growth, perseverance especially on days when my hair strands are too tough to comb and open-mindedness about different techniques to manage the hair. I feel kinder to myself now that I no longer fixate on the next hair style to wear. This in itself makes it less emotionally stressful. I am accepting my own beauty more. I have my unique look just like everyone else and I am learning not to waste a moment trying to look any different. There are now more important things to do with my day.
By using only natural products on the hair, I am learning that I do not even need much in life to give me the best results. Just basic things still provide satisfaction. I am realising that although all the numerous products I used previously had their benefits, they were not indispensable.
Life in itself can be very simple. We sometimes overload it needlessly. While luxuries are important elements to spice up life, we must not allow them take centre stage. Let’s not lose sight of simplicity in life. Simplicity does not always mean the presence of “lack” but the absence of “waste”. Poverty can make you simple but being simple does not always mean that you are poor. It can also be a deliberate choice.
Have you discovered any new ways to treat yourself? Tell us all about it. I will also be keen to hear about some nice tips on living simply.
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