Every few months I do a yearly goal evaluation. I look at the goals I set for myself for the year & the progress or lack off progress that I’m making.One of my challenges over the past few years has been my hair. I’ve been natural since.. well honestly idk 😐. I went natural in my early 20’s though so it’s been at least 5 years.
This was my hair at its biggest point. It was healthy & well taken care of & I managed it well until a few months after having my son.
Being a single mother with no help from my sons bio father definitely took it’s toll (& still does). Not just on my hair, but on my overall health in general. At the time that I took these photos, even though I was smiling, a lot was going on. My son was 3 months old & his godfather, my cousin Luis, had just passed away. I was preparing for the pre-requisite courses I’d start the coming fall & had just returned to a job that was stressful from “maternity leave” & was trying my best to provide full support & care of my son. Though I was high-functioning, my mental health was suffering, & any healthy habits in my life that I had established crumbled under my depression, stress & lack of time.
Fast forward to 1 year into nursing school, my hair was dry & breaking. I was watching length being lost & mainly wore it in small two strand twists that I would keep in for a month & a half (washing & conditioning them during this time) that were then a nuisance to take out.I was unable to dedicate the time I needed to care for it & the take down reinstall process was driving me insane. I’d be in the shower crying out of frustration. So I decided one day to either let it loc or cut it off. I had always wanted to try short hair, but had never been balsy enough, so I chopped it off.
Wearing my hair short was AMAZING & I still got to keep my curls. I kept it shaped as it grew out & because I started missing having a little more to play with, I transitioned into a long taper. I eventually started missing having little more versatility & with the added length also came more work. I had cut my hair to make it less work, because I didn’t really have the extra time to spend washing, de-tangling, styling, etc. Weave, extensions, wigs all make my head itch & I’m cheap (lol) so while I admire from a far, they’ve never been an option for me. Maybe that will changed one day, because I go through phases, but I digress. Even though I had graduated & my financial situation had improved with my new career, I was (& currently am) still working full-time as a nurse, still a single-parent, & still in school to get my bachelors degree. My overall health is still a battle for me, my stress levels are still high & there still aren’t enough hours in the day. A lot of things in my life were making me feel weighed down & my hair was one of them & I didn’t want it to be. I wanted to feel free & feel like I loved my hair again. So, I made the decision after years of secretly wanting to loc my hair, to do it.
My dad had loc’s down his back before I was born & cut them off around the time I was born. When I was, maybe in my pre-teen years, he decided to loc up again, & I would watch, and eventually help, my mother twist & re-twist his hair while they’d tell me what they’d use back home for loc maintenance. I know locs are not maintenance free & still require care, but not nearly as much care as loose natural hair. I found a website that directed me on how to make my own loc gel, gave my hair its final deep wash & condition & spent a day putting comb coils in my hair, installing somewhere around 70 locs. When I finished the last one, it was like a weight was being lifted, I felt so free. It immediately felt like a weight being lifted.
It has now been almost 3 months since I began the loc’ing process. Buds started popping up 3 weeks in, after my first wash. I now have budding on most of my locs throughout the length of the locs. I re-twist myself, but not with every wash, & it is still less maintenance & still feels free. Sometimes, I struggle with the length, because I want something to play with & pull up into a cute bun or pony, but I am really happy with the progress and can’t wait to see where they are this time next year. I’ll keep you guys posted. 😉