2 weeks ago, I was doing some mundane chore around the house when it hit me: Itís time to cut my locks.
Itís weird because when something hits me like that, even though Iíd never thought about it a moment before, Iíll suddenly obsess over it until I get it done. I was the same way when I got my daith piercing (look it up). I had the idea one morning, spent all day researching it on the web, then went out that night to get it done. Sometimes I scare myself...once Iím on a path, nothing can stop me from getting what I want. Anyway...
I knew resistance was futile. They had to go. Honestly, I think itís a bit overdue. Still, I was surprised at the resolve with which I made this declaration. Iím very proud of my locks. Growing them has been a really fulfilling experience...itís definitely more than just a hairstyle... Well, let me back up a bit. I canít stand those rambling douchbags who think wearing dreadlocks magically transforms them into some kinda spiritual sage...and thatís certainly not where this blog is going. So, why did I decide to chop?
I wrote a song about it... If you make it all the way to the end, you can witness my total loss of sanity!
My hair is a spiral of party!
This was taken on one of my first dates with SB. I think that's why I'm grinning so hard...
First of all, Iím just frigginí bored all of a sudden. Iíve had the same hairdo for about 8 years. Iíve never committed to ANYTHING that long...well, excluding piano, video games, and dill pickles. You should understand, Iím the baby sister of a hair/makeup styling luminary (aka Dawn), who used me as her personal Barbie doll for the first 20 years of my life. Iíve literally rocked every hair style, color, length, texture, weave, whatever... My poor head needed a break, so I twisted up. Since then, Iíve been able to entertain the chameleon in me with random trimming and drastic color changes, but it simply wasnít satisfying anymore when I dyed it again 2 weeks ago. It took forever to muster the energy to do even that much! I did the preparatory bleaching nearly a year ago but never got around to the doing the actual color.
[insert trite MySpace reference]
This leads me to my second reason - my poor hair is ridiculously fried. All that bleaching and dying has really taken its toll. Also, I washed a lot without properly moisturizing. The locks (which are too thin to begin with) have become overly dry and weak, and I just havenít cared for them the way I should have.
Part of the reason I began locking was to restore my hairís health and reverse the damage all those years of chemical treatments, heat abuse and weaves had done. I wanted my lusciously ethnic crowning glory back...but I didnít nurture it correctly. I neglected it. My kinky hair is already prone to drying and breakage...and having locks hanging from teeny sections of hair only stressed the fragile roots. Turns out, Iím slowly ruining my hair altogether! I didnít respect it...which leads to my last reason.
...before the slaughter!
There is quite a bit of cultural and religious lore regarding the process of growing locks, but I wonít delve into all of that here. However, there is one particular idea that captivated me - the idea that hair is a conduit of energy, and locking the hair keeps all the energy trapped and rooted to oneís body. If this is the case, then somebody pass the scissors quick, because Iíve got lots of negative vibes to shed. Sure, the last 8 years have been loaded with growing pains, but I donít want to focus on that now. The point is that Iím ready to move forward...and do so with all my old burdens and drama totally excised.
My latest color. I like my locks red best...
Sorry to be cliche, but Iím startiní fresh! Cleaning the slate! Turning the page! Whereís the beef?! Too Much Information! Wubba Wubba Wubba!! You get the gist...
Sometimes an outward display helps reaffirm an inward determination. Iíve got big plans for myself starting this year...and earning that trip to Korea felt like a cosmic wink that Iím moving in the right direction...Iíve only been slowing myself down with past regrets, disappointments and fear. But Iím finished with all that now. Iím tired of standing in the same place and staring backwards...Iíll only miss all the incredible opportunities materializing right in front of me. Anyway, Iím getting a bit indulgent. Bottom line is this - Iíve got work to do, and Iím cutting off all the dead weight. DY-NO-MITE!!!
I wanted my friend Ramah to do the honors, so I had to wait about a week before she had an opening in her schedule. This was really difficult for me...I got shaky whenever I saw a pair of scissors around the house I wanted the locks out so badly. I spent the entire week obsessing on the internet...reading about other ladiesí experience with the ďbig chopĒ, and watching TONS of videos on YouTube about cutting locks and transitions to natural hair. The main thing was to have some sort of post-chop exit strategy. I wasnít gonna just cut it off and then be rocking the asymmetrical cottony pouf indefinitely. I needed to have a plan ready to execute. As I scoured the web more and more, I came across some videos of people who had actually ďunlockedĒ their hair without chopping it all off. I thought this was impossible, but these videos displayed how mature locks can be combed out with soaking, lots of conditioner, and TONS of patience. At that point, I decided to cut off only the color-processed portion of my locks and save about a yearís worth of new growth. Letís be clear about something - this idea is insane. I have really small locks, about 160 of them. Combing each one out would be no small task. Luckily, Iím also insane, so this idea got the green light. Finally, sunday had arrived and I headed over to Ramahís. Surprisingly, I didnít cry or freak out at all. We actually really liked the look of my locks short, and for a moment I considered keeping them that way... but my hair issues were down in the roots, so I knew I had to follow though with the combout plan.
Fast-Forward to the Present: Iíll have you know that I combed out my entire head in 5 days flat. 5 DAYS!!! It shouldíve taken me at least 2 weeks and I did it in 5 days. I donít f*ck around, folks. Yaíll betta ask somebody.
...but for real, I had a rough week. I struggled all day and night on my hair - my poor fingers were destroyed! They got all pruny and stayed that way for a few days...it was actually quite scary, because my fingertips couldnít recognize temperatures very well for a while. I thought Iíd permanently jacked my hands up! Plus, my arms had pinched nerves from being held in strange angles for hours and hours. It was weird.
Anyway, Iím glad all thatís over. Right now, Iím just adjusting to my new look and trying to find fun ways to style my hair. As you can imagine, itís quite fussy when I try to drag a brush through it... it knows itís supposed to be all knotted up. I just have to re-train it.
Iíll lock my hair again one day...I just need a break. Next time, Iíll know the proper way to care for my locks!
A lesson learned from oneís mistakes leads to growth!
Well, thatís basically it! I know this is a departure from my normal blog style...but I just wanted to share my little hair adventures with those who may be interested. If you have some fun styling ideas or product recommendations for natural/curly hair, please let me know!
Be back with more blogs and vids soon!