Today official makes 2 years since I shed what was then dead(my hair). Since I left home for Albany State College (now Albany State University ), I had been abusing my hair. Cutting, weaving, coloring and everything in between. Lord know I have over processed this hair to the point where all of it should have fell out but it didn’t. When my bestie Shannette was alive, she tried to use her knowledge and skill as a cosmotologist to take care of my hair. However, there were times when I still abused it.
As time progressed I begin to treat it better, and then came hardship. October 12, 2010, I found out I had stage 1b DCIS breast cancer . Surgery, radiation and Chemotherapy were all apart of my treatment. As bad as it may sound, I immediately thought about my hair and the effects of Chemo. I was told that since I was taking chemo in the form of a pill, the side effect may not be as bad. And honestly they were not as bad as I know they could have been. However, I lost all of my facial hair and half of the hair on my head.
Even with my hair having bald spots the size of a babies fist, I refused to cut my hair. I held on to that thin raggedy mess for dear life. I hid it with wigs and weaves. I prayed that if I waited long enough it would eventually grow back healthy. Over time it started growing back but the texture was different and it was much thinner than my normally super thick hair. It was in this situation that I found out something about myself, I had a certain amount of insecurity. I relied on my hair as if it made Me who I was. I relied on my hair as if I weren’t beautiful with or without it. I have always known that I had a BIG head but I never thought that I had an insecurity in regards to it, but I did!!!!
Finally, in April of 2012, I decided that I was going to let this dead ass hair go and start FRESH… P.H.A.T GIRL FRESH. So, I called Lisa at Totally Together and she and I set a plan in motion. On April 19, 2012 I allowed Lisa to cut away all of the dead remnants of my insecurities. And my natural journey officially begin.
Since that time, my hair has gradually grown back to it’s normal state. It is extremely thick, the length is good (which is not important)and my curl pattern is great. My hair has always grown longer and faster in the back than in the front so I have cut it several times to avoid rocking a major mullet. I have colored it, worn wigs and weaved my hair but relaxing it has not even crossed my mind. For the first time in a long time, my hair is healthy. My scalp is healthy and I am HAPPY(in my Pharrell voice)!!!!
I have learned to so much during this journey but more than anything, I have gained a greater sense of myself. That added confidence has shined so brightly that it has had an amazing effect on others. One of those people being my beautiful daughter Daja who decided to go natural also. This was a choice that I allowed her to make because I wanted to assure that she was comfortable and confident with her look. And she is!
Both Me and my hair have been through a lot of products and a lot of hair problems but I wouldn’t change it for the world. Because in the midst of all of It, I learned, I AM NOT MY HAIR!!!!