Early this year, January to be exact, a big change happened in my life: I cut my hair.
If you’re new to this blog, and this is the first post you read from me you may be thinking, “What the hell is this woman talking about!? This isn’t even interesting.”
Hey, my friend, don’t judge until you reach the end of the post! 😕
No, but seriously, do you know the saying “A woman that cuts her hair is about to change her life“? Well, yeah, a big change happened in my life when I cut my hair.
I felt free and liberated and an immense happiness and love for my hair came over me. (cheesy, right?!)
It may sound strange talking about cutting my hair in these terms (especially when I always hated doing it), but the truth is this wasn’t just a simple haircut. No. This was the culmination of a journey that had started 2.5 years before.
The thing is if I stop and think this through, then the BIG change happened the day I decided to transition to natural hair, back in 2013. (WOW, it’s been that long!)
To be honest, I don’t really know the exact day this happened, but I do know it happened shortly after my father died in May (Love you, Daddy!), it was in June or early July.
Yes, I know, people also say the loss of a loved one leads to big changes in life. I don’t know if I’d call this a big change, but it certainly leads to other changes in my life.
Anyways, I always mark the end of July as the beginning of my journey to natural hair. So after 2.5 years transitioning, I did the Big Chop and cut all the relaxed hair I had left.
My hair was healthy, it was strong, had beautiful corkscrew curls, I loved my hair like never before and it grew longer than I expected (my goal was to grow it until I could do a low ponytail, but it grew to bra strap length).
Moreover, almost 9 months after that (today!), my hair continues to grow healthy and after two trims it has reached waist length (check picture below, taken on the 1/Oct/2016). My routine hasn’t changed much, in fact, the core of it remains the same as when I practically started my hair journey.
Look, I enjoy experimenting and trying out new things but why change a winning combination? I had my fair chance of doing that, let’s face it I’m a girl of habits. In the end, what matters is that the practices I have built into my hair routine have paid off, BIG TIME! 😀
But, if I left my story at that, I wouldn’t be telling you the whole story.
I really want you to know more about my hair journey, and how it’s not so different from yours. I want you to know that there are 3 keys to reaching your hair’s journey success and they are within your reach.
When I had my relaxed hair I loved my hair (well, not like today! Now I can see that). My hair length was always within shoulder to bra-strap length, but this wasn’t enough for me I wanted more. I know this may seem ideal for many of you reading, but for me, the goal was waist length.
I loved the dark, bone-straight, Indian-like hair. For me, this was the epitome of beautiful hair. That’s what I was going for. But my hair never grew to be that long or that beautiful.
What was I doing wrong?
Well, I DIDN’T moisturise my hair, even on wash day, I NEVER deep conditioned, I RARELY cut or trim my hair (a little phobia I had), plus a few other things you don’t even wanna know. 😯
It finally reached a point where my hair was all brittle, I had lots of hair breakage, I had no curl pattern from all the relaxing, my scalp was itching and flaking and my hair looked like some kind of animal with fur had died on it (and no, it was not mink…I wish…).
If my hair had survived that long it was due to my occasional visits to my hair stylist (my beautiful sister-in-law) and also because I mainly did roller sets and dyeing my hair was never a thang for me.
So… back in 2013…
I decided something needed to change. My hair couldn’t go on like that. But, this time, things had to be different. Going natural was a BIG decision, no one I knew had ever done that!
Therefore, after watching a few YouTube videos and reading a dozen blog posts I made my decision (I thought I was ready, hahaha, poor me! But you never really are).
Let me tell you, that first year was a struggle. Trying to adapt to a new hair structure, learning how to style my hair in a new way, becoming knowledgeable and trying to absorb as much info as I could about products, ingredients and hair methods, reading scientific studies about hair (yeah, I’m a nerd), DIY’ing my hair products, discovering how to henna my hair, trying to avoid breakage… and the biggest challenge of all (to me at least)…
detangling my two-textured hair.
This last struggle nearly brought me to my knees. Seriously, there was an occasion I even shed a few tears. I thought:
“Things couldn’t possibly be so hard. And if they were, how would it be in the future when I’d be completely natural if, at that moment, things were already so hard?!?”
“Was my goal of having naturally curly hair worth this much struggle? Wouldn’t it be better to just relax my hair again and take the new knowledge I had and do better?”
You see, my tears were not about the time it took me to detangle my hair or the struggle it was. My tears were about contemplating the possibility of having to give up a dream I REALLY wanted for myself.
(have you ever had to leave behind a dream you really wanted?)
But all that first-year struggle changed because I held strong to the 3 things that would be the basis of my hair journey’s success.
What are they you ask?
If you’re thinking about hair products, hair routines, hair tools, hair growth pills, hair practices, natural ingredients, the sun, the moon and the sky… Well, I have to say they all play a part in your journey, but the real secret is…
Determination, Commitment and Consistency.
Yes, my curly transitioner, these are the three keys to my hair journey’s success and to yours too. Everything else stems from this.
I believe most people start off here, I did. We all have a strong will to achieve a specific goal that will make us feel, do or be better. The main point is we are determined to succeed, and we are willing to do the tasks that will lead us there.
So far no problem, right? We all started out this way. We made the Decision to go natural and we were pumped up about it (sort of…). However, for some people, much like a new year’s resolution, things can lose steam and the focus and determination to succeed start gaining a second place when difficulties in the journey arise.
This is where I was with my “detangling conundrum”. I had hit a major roadblock and was completely sidetracked. For a brief moment I had lost sight of my goals, but I remained resilient in my “suffering” and looked at the bigger picture. Eventually, I discovered a way to overcome my hurdle.
It’s at these moments that commitment needs to kick in the most.
Maybe it’s a fault of mine, but if there’s one thing I hate is to not follow through with my decisions. Commitment is an important trait to have in this hair journey because the challenges we’ll be facing are plentiful and many don’t have an immediate solution, they’ll need time and patience.
If you’re quick to throw in the towel in the face of difficult situations then you’re chances of success can be seriously impaired.
By insisting on finding a solution to a problem you may fail on one or two approaches, but you’ll get there eventually. Failure is nothing more than a temporary stop on your way to success!
Hey, wanna know my life motto? “Smile in The Face of Adversity!”… appropriate isn’t it?
And the final key to your success is consistency. This is an important trait to have because in order to measure and achieve results you need to be consistent.
It is very hard to achieve success if you keep changing gears on the products you use, your hair practices or the frequency in which you do this because you don’t give them enough time to see if they work. Consistency allows you to measure when something is working or not, it allows you to have a track record from which you can measure how successful your hair routine (with all its practices) has been and what needs to be changed or improved. A hair journal is a perfect tool to assist you in all of this, you can check this one.
Often times minor changes have a big impact on the end goal. There’s no need for a major overhaul. You need to follow through with your plan long enough to see if it’s working, and not lose steam half way and change direction. Thus, why I haven’t changed my hair routine since practically the beginning of my hair journey because it has worked for me, it has given me results.
These are the 3 keys to achieving your hair’s journey’s success… In reality, these three traits will have you achieve any goal in your life. Sure, you can reach your goals without them, but it will probably take you more time, a lot of trial and error and you can surely count on a lot of frustration too.
I wanted to share them with you so you know that your success lies primarily in YOU. Not on some product, method or hair practice. You have the key to unlocking the door to your goals.