Life... Health... Reviews...

Monday, March 28, 2011

3 Things Your Hair Journey Reveals About You

If there’s one thing that women everywhere are always talking about it’s their hair. Articles are written about it in magazines and online, women spend hundreds of dollars each month on products and salon trips, they seek advice from their girlfriends and will die, fry and slap it to the side (yes, I know, cliché) to find a style they love.

Honestly, for years I’ve trolled the Internet and magazines about natural hair care - always looking for that perfect style or miraculous advice. I adore wearing my hair in its natural state, but I still want it to look a certain way and I’m not always pleased with how it looks. Hence the reason I change my hair so much, but as I approach my 50s (this post was revised on August 18, 2016) I think I have finally decided on the natural style that I am proud of, that looks good on me and that represents a bit of my personality.

It has taken years to get to this point... let's review my hair history:

I started wearing a Jheri curl (okay, try not to laugh and tease me) when I was in middle school. Before that, I was getting my hair straightened with a hot comb and afterward I started getting a relaxer. Again, making my hair straight. As a young black girl in the 1970s, it was acceptable to wear braids, but as one grows it’s almost expected to straighten your hair. I have since learned that it really depends on where you live and how you grew up. I have a friend who was born the same year and her young hair experiences were totally different.

I kept a relaxer for about 11 years and “went natural” in 1996. I started wearing two-strand twists and then decided to let my hair lock. I grew my dreadlocks for a little over 11 years and ended up cutting them and having my oldest daughter comb them out. The main reason I cut them off was they no longer looked as neat at the roots and at my hairline as I would like. 

Petula's headshot
This is a headshot that was taken for Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine.
It's about 5 years into my loc journey.

I think this is after my 3rd pregnancy. I have
very long locs in a high ponytail.

happy me
It's 2007 & I'm almost 8 months pregnant with my 4th child. I'd already started cutting my locs.

Once my locs were out I had to figure out how to wear my hair naturally and it didn't quite work out like I would have liked. But during that time I had fun with color.

Happy to be at the beach


Jan-May 09 454
Jan-May 09 076

Jan-May 09 484

After a couple of years of wearing my natural hair loose, I started another set of locs in January 2013 but started losing my hair a year later due to cancer treatment (click the link to read more and to see my hairstyle choices after treatment). 

Look at all the natural hair transitions I’ve made …

mom's short 'do
meI wore my hair in a puff or two-strand twist outs and every once in awhile I would splurge on braids, which I actually enjoy. 

I’ve also invested in more costly hair products and those that are touted as being for specific hair types, and I’m pleased that most work to soften and strengthen my hair.

Jan-May 09 212
I even tried a wig right after I cut my locs off.

Brown Kinky Twists
Black Kinky Twists

me with camera
One of my many braided styles.
Petula #6
My oldest daughter straightened my hair a couple of times during transitions.
All of this changing my hair and reading up on natural hair has done well for my product knowledge and understanding of my own tresses. Another thing I've figured out is hair is an accessory and I feel better when it looks just right. It's a delight when others find my hair appealing, but the person I'm trying to impress the most is myself. 

3 Things Your Hair Journey Reveals About You

This is what my hair journey tells me about myself and 3 things it may reveal about you:

  1. You are not as resistant to change as you thought. Changing the style, cut or color of the hair makes an obvious difference so the next time you have a major change coming up, look forward to it just like you would a new hairstyle. With excitement and high expectations.
  2. You are more patient than you realized. Have you ever had to grow out a haircut or spend hours setting your hair? I bet you didn't give up, right? Instead of becoming impatient when things in life get tough just remember how long it takes before the good comes from the journey.
  3. You're a survivor. If your hair has ever fallen out due to improper care or sickness you know it's devastating and heart wrenching... but survivable. Go for whatever it is you want in life, tackle that problem, make that change, keep fighting - whatever it is; you will survive.
What’s your hair history? Are you in love with your hair or have a love/hate relationship with it? Can you relate to this post.
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