I Am So Feeling My Hair!
That wasn’t the case about a month ago. More than a year-and-a- half after abandoning thermal styling methods, the remainder of my heat damaged hair finally decided to break off.
Back when I was abusing my hair with heat, one of my staple hair styles was a press and curl. And because I sweat so badly in the scalp expecially at night, I’d touch it up with a hot comb nearly every day and then proceed to hot curl it as well.
Then after I got tired of doing that, I’d pull my hair back into a ponytail, nap it up and wear it in a puff. To maintain this do, I’d smooth my top, edges and sides every morning with the barrel of a curling iron…after all, I couldn’t have any nappy edges showing. I’d do this for weeks on end and unbeknowst to me, I was setting myself up for a lot of grief, which finally caught up to me. Since it took so long to break off, I never knew my hair was so badly damaged. Apparently all that heat early on created a different, weaker texture, much like relaxed hair, that was butting up against my stronger virgin, heat-free hair. And just like when someone transitions from chemicals to natural hair, that weaker hair is extremely prone to breakage. In that state, something usually has to give — and in my case, that old hair, which caught the brunt of so much heat, finally just snapped right off leaving me with about eight inches of hair about an inch in, from ear-to-ear, right across my front hair line.
So early last month, with my hair obviously in sorry shaped, I agonized about what to do about it. I desperately needed some professional intervention so I bit the bullet, and consulted with someone. After talking with her about my woes, she decided my hair needed a clarifying treatment to strip it of product build up and impurities. It also needed, she said, a deep conditioning treatment to help with moisture balance as well as a protein treatement for added strength to get my hair back back on the right track. In addition, as apprehensive as I was about allowing anyone to come near me with a pair of scissors, I decided to trust her to do a significant cut.
As I feared, the cut did not turn out well. Since I don’t wear my hair straight anymore, a precison is not necessary, so I didn’t want my hair straightened in order to cut it. Although I tried to stretch it, my hair is sooo naturally porous that almost as soon as I take it out of braids or twists, it immediately starts to shrink and the stylist ended up cutting it very very unevenly. Now we all know that nappy hair is forgiving when it comes to hiding uneven lengths, but trust me, the differences in length in a couple of spots were just too much to blend and for me to bare. So two days later, off I go to another stylist, praying that she’ll be able to shape it up without me loosing too much more length.
While the second one did a wonderful job with the cut, between the two, I lost way more hair than I needed to…about four inches all the way around. I’ve gone from 12-14 inches down to about 9-10 inches, and I’ve been seriously mourning the loss of my length for several weeks — so much so — that I refused to really style it. But sooner, rather than later, I knew I’d have to cause I just don’t like to deal with “out” styles that much. So, as much as I really didn’t feel like messing with my hair, I finally sat down and did a head full of twists. To my surprise, I discovered a wonderful thing. My twists had a near perfect lay, which gives my hair a wonderful shape and sets it up to grow nicely into a bob, which is exactly what I wanted. In addition, my twists now have wonderful thickness from the roots to the tip, and best of all, my hair doesn’t tangle horribly anymore now that those ratty ends are gone.
To top it all off, the treatments administered by the first beautician worked wonders on my hair. I swear my hair looks thicker and fuller now, and one of my friends even noticed the difference. I’m going to attribute this to her clarifying treatment; I’d never had one done in my life, and I have to say my hair has obviously suffered for it. And now that I’ve had one, I swear, my hair responds better to my moisturizer, which leaves it even more soft and supple than before. It’s so cushy that I simply can’t stop touching it. Well, ok, I had a “hand-in-hair” problem before cause it responds well to water and glycerine-based moisturizers, and it was always so soft and touchable. But if I thought it felt great prior to these treatements, how it feels now is simply amazing.
So I’ll continue to go back to each beautician and let them work their magic on my hair in the area of their expertise. I’ll let beautician number one do my treatments, while allowing the other to only cut and shape my hair. Although each of them have offered to style my hair, I’ve always declined. I’ll continue to do this myself since I’ve got the skills and no one has ever been able to please me when it comes to styling my loose hair.
After all of this, I at least feel like I have a total hair care plan now. About the only thing I haven’t totally beaten is the after-shampoo dryness, leaving me to consider incorporating no-pooing into my routine to see if this technique can make a difference. But overall, I’m more knowledgeable than ever about caring for and styling my hair and now that all of the heat damage is gone, it’s totally healthy. With all of that behind me, my hair should has no obstacles in its path and if I just stick to what I know, I’m certain I’ll have my length back in no time. In the meantime, most importantly, I’m definitely back to feeling…no, LOVING, every inch of my beautiful nappy hair.