Friday, January 22, 2016

Accidental Afro

Sunday marks exactly 3 months since I chopped all my hair off and started over. Pre-chop, all I knew about being natural was that yall used mad products, were obsessed with discussing curl patterns, and swore out you were holier than thou because yall apparently loved yourselves more than relaxed girls. LOL i'm being sarcastic but you get my drift. I didnt understand much of what came with being natural. How could I? I had been relaxed for majority of my life. My mother used to put my perm in my hair as a child and at some point, some family friends of my father moved into our basement. The wife had been a hairdresser in Haiti so of course my mother and I used that as an opportunity to get her to perm our hair. She was great at it. No worries. Even when they moved out, I would still get my hair relaxed by her in her apartment in the Bronx. This is all I knew. If you wanna comb that thang on your head, you better go relax it. By middle school, I had started entertaining the idea of relaxing my own hair. I was already smooth with the flat twists, how difficult could it be? I tried; followed the directions on the little paper they put in the box, and voila! This teenager was capable of relaxing her own hair. This went on up until July of last year right before I went to Africa. Relax my hair every 8 weeks, wash it once a week, and occasionally get it trimmed and blowed out by the Dominicans. SUPER LOW MAINTENANCE. I never thought twice about my hair being a major part of my life. Because it wasn't. Until October. I had returned back from Jamaica after celebrating my cousins nuptials and planned to take my braids out that I had got installed before I went to Africa in August. I had literally only had braids once in life before that and it was back when I was 12 and we were going to Hawaii. Black folk love slapping braids in their children's hair before vacation. Any who, I dreaded taking the damn braids out because I was tired as hell so I said i'll take them out Tuesday and just put my hair in a bun until I can wash it over the weekend. DISASTER. I take all the braids out and notice multiple knots and what appears to be mini dreadlocks in some areas of my head. LOL no bullshit. I wash and condition it thinking this will loosen up the knots. I attempt to detangle and i'm literally pulling my hair which doesn't feel good. I tell one of my co-workers the next day who always wears braids and shes like get you some Johnson & Johnson's detangler and just do piece by piece. I try and fail. The hair is just getting more mattered. Plus between the new growth and my relaxed hair, the relaxed hair is just snapping. I reach out to another homegirl like dawg, i'm gonna have to cut this mess off. She reaches out to her hairdresser and the hairdresser advises me to get a specific detangler and says it will loosen up, just be patient. Nah b. I try and fail again. At this point, i'm like F it. I rather start over because my hair was literally locked. It had been a good 3 months without a relaxer so it was straight war between the new growth and relaxed hair and the new growth was winning. I told my same home girl, I'm over it. I want to cut it and perhaps weave it up till it grows back to a decent length where I can relax again. She refers me to someone not far from my house. I call the hairdresser and tell her the situation and she's like you don't have to cut it. Come in and let me see if I can untangle it. In my head, i'm thinking lady, I already made peace with the idea of cutting it... I'm not interested in having my scalp pulled any further. I tell her I want a weave but depending on how short she has to cut it, what are my options. She says she can do what's called a quick weave where they glue the hair to a cap. Aiight bet. I go and purchase the hair she told me to get. $145. Bombaclotttttttttt...... Mind you this is the same person who had been spending a hot $5-8 every 2 months for a boxed perm from the grocery store for the last 20 years!

I get to the hairdresser and have her take a look at what is now an actual bird nest mixed with dreadlocks on my head. She attempts to detangle and I'm just like nah. I think it's a wrap. Let's just cut it. Fast forward - she cuts it all off. I don't feel any type of way. It's just hair right? It'll grow back. Women been natural since the beginning of time. She weaves me up and styles it. I pay $120 for the cut, a deep condition and new weave. That's $265 dollars I just spent on my hair. $265 can get me a flight deal to another country. But I just spent it on my hair. Unbelievable. Anyway, I carry on with life like normal. I told everyone I speak to regularly. Some of the reactions were like I had just been diagnosed with a terminally ill disease. Um ok... something wrong with yall but whatever. 3 weeks later, I go back to hairdresser to get weave removed. I want access to my scalp and don't want to be dependent on a hairdresser. I'm just not about that life. That making it rain in the hairdresser life. More props to those who are. I buy a wig and have her trim it. This is what I am wearing from now on.

Well that's what I told myself. Until I got tired of it - and I was like fuck this wig. And well here I am...

Adjusting. Embracing. Learning. 

There are a few things I learned that I wish naturalistas would've kept it real about. Yall lied.
  1. Maintenance. Being natural is far from easy. Everyone swears out it is. I spend more time and money than I ever have on my hair. Those products cost a damn arm and a leg. Also, how you think your hair will look vs what it will actually look like is always completely different.
  2. Coconut oil. Coconut oil leaks everywhere. Be strategic when placing it in your scalp. It also doesn't smell good in my opinion. I don't know about you but I don't enjoy putting smelly things in my hair.
  3. People's comments/opinions. Everyone wants to comment on your hair or ask annoying questions like you are a science project. Hey guess what? I am still the same person, I just have a different hair style. I did not lose my hair in a fire or due to some illness. I chose to cut it off. LoL. If you weren't concerned about my hair growth pre-chop, no need to be concerned now. 
  4. Natural hair aint created equal. Folks stay asking me if i can just wet my hair, put some lotion in it and it be curly. Nah bruh. There are various hair types. I have 4b/c hair. The kind that doesn't retain water well and is super coiled, coarse, and dry. Naturally. I have to do A LOT to achieve a certain look. The idea that everyone has type 2 or 3 hair and can wash and go is fraudulent. Aint no soft curls over here bih. See chart below if you don't know what I am talking about.

Three months into this transition, I now know what products work with my hair (I think), the proper procedures when removing braids and the required maintenance when I do have braids (conditioners, oils, etc). So there - yall can stop asking me 1,000 questions now. If you happen to have the same hair type as me or know someone who does, let me know. If not, just shutup. Thanks. *muah*


Monday, January 4, 2016

6PM in New York

Happy New Year y'all! Anybody as excited as I am for a new year? A new opportunity to be great; a new year to learn new things, see new things, try new things, learn more about yourself? I'm hype like I really plan on doing something ground breaking when I ain't doing sh*t but getting more sleep... can I get a witness? All jokes aside, I slept SO much this Christmas break and it w as AMAZING.

I was happy to be home in NY sleeping, and getting to spend some time with family and friends. However, NY is just not the place for me. It's too damn expensive and people RUDE as hell. I'm over it & them damn tolls.

'Anyway doe', as we start a new year, I think it's important to reflect on some of the things we disliked about 2015 and some of the things we loved about 2015. Reflection for me allows me to think about what I learned and determine how I can grow from what I learned.

As far as the things that I liked:

Some nights I wish I could go back in life, not to change sh*t, just to feel a couple things twice. ~Drizzy

  • girls trip to Puerto Rico in January that taught me that your travel can be 100% enjoyable as long as you are with the RIGHT people.
  • 2 visits to the gun range that taught me that 1. guns aren't scary 2. it prompted me to take a class and obtain a license and 3. has me considering becoming an owner in 2016 given the times. 
  • Trinidad Carnival that taught me that I need to ice my knee when doing too much activity and that I truly can't live without carnival #greatestshowonearth #carnivalislife
  • my two overnight layovers in Panama that taught me that there is SO much to see out there and don't let the fear or negativity of others discourage you from seeing the world.
  • my birthday brunch... cause guess what? B*TCHES LOVE BRUNCH. Enough said...
  • my visit to the White House for the garden tour because I learned to start taking advantage of free and fun events in DC. 
  • my first #HennyPalooza experience in NYC, because I mean who doesn't enjoy unlimited Henny with their best girl frans? and around young black folks just like them?
  • my random trip to DC's Botanical Gardens that made me realize that I have a love for flowers and can't wait to learn more about them ;-)
  • DC Carnival Jouvert because I was with my 2 fave carnival gyals and we had the time of our lives. Words can't truly express but the vibes were just on POINT! You should let me show you this year...
  • last but not least - my trip to the motherland that not only taught me so much about myself, but the major realization that all of this BS we complain about in the US is straight scoobysnacks compared to what is going on in the rest of the world. It's like most of us already know, but to see it and experience it is a completely different vibe. I came back with a little sadness in my heart but with a different peace of mind and extreme gratitude.

As far as the things that I despised:

  • dating two socially awkward fools. That's the last i'll speak on that. 
  • Tough Mudder because I learned although I enjoy a physical challenge, i'm not about that Tough Mudder life based on bruises all over my body for 2 weeks after the race.
  • improperly removing my senegalese twists causing me to have to cut all my hair off and start from scratch. But that's a post for another day because y'all natural chics lied and we need to talk about it...
  • not exercising as much as I should've because now none of my clothes fit :-(
  • not cutting off some people when I should've because toxic people should never stay in your life longer than necessary.

All in all, I didn't dislike many things which means it was an awesome year! My hope for this year is to continue doing things that make me happy and you should do the same.

What were your likes and dislikes about 2015?