It took about three years to grow all of the relaxer out of my hair previously, but in April 2014 I returned to relaxing and weaving to 'look glamorous' for my birthday. But after all the celebrations were over I regretted trading my soft kinks for limp, straight, lifeless hair.
I convinced myself that styling my hair everyday would be quick and easy straightend but within a few short weeks of renewing my weave I took it off myself, snipping away purposefully at the stitches of each carefully sewn weft to let my scalp breathe again.
My hair was in a dual state: half natural, half straight. I wanted to grow it out so came up with the idea of wearing a bob wig over neat cornrows underneath. But I found it uncomfortable and not really me, so I then took to a combination of relaxing and flat-ironing and wore the same hairstyle every day, swept back into a chignon. As time went on I grew tired of all the blow-drying, flat-ironing and a dozen hairpins everyday to force my hair into looking 'neat'.
I was frustrated but had no idea what to do next – until I watched an episode of Atlanta Plastic – a weekly reality show about the working lives of three African American plastic surgeons based in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. A woman called Tiffany (left) who sought surgery wore the most beautiful locs and looked stunning – a stark contrast to the the other Black women featured on the show 99% of whom wore weaves.
So Tiffany helped me make my mind up to once again return to wearing my hair natural, except this time I will grow locs. I had originally planned to wait six months or so until the relaxer remaining in my hair grew out – but I lost patience and instead had the chop – three to four inches of limp straightened hair fell to the floor in the salon, later to be swept up and binned. It was actuallty quite liberating.
Seeing other women in the salon with long, flowing locs reassured me that my new short hair is only temporary. However, it will be somewhat dishevelled for several months until the hair starts to loc.To keep locs looking lovely and healthy like Tiffany's means regular visits to the loctition every six to eight weeks -but I know it will be worth it.