“Your hair is so… swoopy.”
That’s what the nice [not black] lady behind the counter at the bookstore said to me last nite. She said it with a smile, so I know it was a compliment; she just didn’t know how to make it compliment all the way…
I cut off most of my hair. Most people who know me know my hair is my thing. But when I was really suffering with my Graves Disease, my hair broke off and fell out like crazy. It happened so quickly; one day I had a head full of healthy, shoulder-length hair, and the next day it looked like I got mugged for it:
“Gimme that ponytail or eat this bullet, lady! Your choice.”
It was traumatic. But I knew I had to let the rest of it go. My medication was adjusted, and along with it, my thyroid hormone levels, so I’m feeling pretty confident that after cutting off all the damage, my hair will rebound. But I am not happy with my current length. I wore a (modest) weave for the Exhale taping; it was the length my real hair had been. But the day after we wrapped, while I was still in LA, I found a braiding shop and had these box braids installed. This isn’t the first time I’ve worn braids, but it is the first time I’ve worn them for longer than two weeks. And you know what, they’re really growing on me. People keep complimenting them, or almost complimenting them (see above), and I’ve always thought natural hairstyles were beautiful. My mom wears a TWA (teeny, weeny afro) and the majority of my girlfriends have moved in that direction. I’ve often thought my natural curl pattern would look great if I allowed it to reveal itself. It’s the “going” natural part, the transition, that’s always seemed daunting. I’m impatient. But this disease has been a constant test of/lesson in patience. For the better part of 2014, I couldn’t stand from sitting without assistance, or walk up a flight of stairs. And now, as I am enjoying the get-up-and-go ease of these braids, and I find myself stuck in between a rock and a bald place, I’m thinking that maybe there’s no time like the present to put to use my newfound life skill.
My mom is not convinced…
So, we’ll see. Maybe this is the beginning of a natural hair journey. Maybe it’s a holding pattern. But I’m not going to make a decision either way anytime soon. Relaxers aren’t going anywhere so no need to rush back to them. And I would love to prove myself and my mom wrong.