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Saturday, June 13, 2009

2 Cents on 2 Years

My 2 year Sisterlocks anniversary came and went (May 25th/Memorial Day 2007). Will it be the terrible 2s or terrific 2s? So far, so good! I am considering getting a grooming to eliminate some lint and fuzz, but no major problems only fake ones. I am, maybe for the first time ever, really content with my hair and hair regimen. I am at peace with my hair.

I had been thinking about my hairstory for some time and finally arriving at a place where bunching doesn't matter to me, my one gripe with my Sisterlocks. After talking to Martine (famous SL consultant) about it, she said bunching is locking. Your hair is fine. I love that! Bunching=Locking. I had never thought about that before because I was too busy worried that my hair would look like this. LOL!

I'm kidding. I was actually thinking about something I read. It said that your birthing story and developments around your time of birth and as a kid, affects you now. No surprise there! But I started to think about how my hair was received into the world around me, with my family, and how I thought of my hair as a kid.

Well, here it goes! The complete Hairstory of Naturally Sophia:

This is me before my first year; as you can see, my first style was a bob. No wonder I keep going back to that. LOL!

ABOVE: My 1st Bob
BELOW: My last bob

Then around 14 months. Mom moved to the bun. Her favorite hair-do for me to this day. I like it too. One of the first styles I did after getting Sisterlocks was a bun.

My 1st Bun/Chignon
My Last Bun/ Chignon

And then there are those 3 ugly four letter words that have always followed me:

Yes, they make me cringe to this day. For along time that was the only compliment I ever received. It was an adjective that other people placed on me to describe my entire being. It either went this way "You got good hair and long too" or "You know her the one with the long pretty hair." It was a way to isolate me from the other little girls. I did feel isolated. I recall one woman told me as a child, " you have the prettiest hair I have ever seen." I was standing right next to her daughter, a little girl the same age with pigtails all over. She looked at me as if I had betrayed her. I had nothing to do with it. Naturally, I loved and resented my hair. I loved the affection and attention but hated the isolation. From an early age, I resented the fact that the praise I was shown was tied to my hair that I realized was impermanent while enjoying the praise all the while. Complicated for a 6 year old!

People constantly wanted to play in my hair. I still don't like that even now. And my mom, who loved daily combings and weekly washings is/was heavy handed. I hated getting it combed.
I still get the "good hair" comments. Fortunately, those comments don't define me anymore. They define the speaker. And long? Who cares? Not me. I don't care about length.

DISCLAIMER :) But I recognize I have always had long hair (relatively) for those of you who will remind me what it's like not to have it.

Sincerely I feel the longer your hair is, the more maintenance there is to clean it, groom it, and style it. One thing that was very freeing to me was to cut my hair. But not only to cut it, but to stop straightening it. Yes, I was a former heat addict. I longed for my hair to be straight without a perm/relaxer (I've never had one). So, I heavily invested in straightening balms and pomades, flat irons, cast iron hot combs, and the "Dominican" salon. Here is a photo of me after a severe heat straightening back in the day.

Less than a year after I cut my hair in college, I started my first set of (traditional) locks. Ah yes! And let me not forget the wild and free stage.

Here I am with my peeps! Both have Sisterlocks! Read this and that. :)

I finally decided on Sisterlocks after a period of regression and exploration after combing out my traditional, 1st set of locks. Those were gone because of peer pressure and family inclination to berate me because of my wild head with messy locks. In this period, I tried everything from hand tied weave, sewn-ins, wigs, color, and braids. None of them seem to work for me.

I am happy with my hair now as it is despite what the critics say. Yes, this includes the Sisterlock critics who say use this shampoo or that, locks should be smaller/larger, and that my hair and it's bunching is a problem.

For me, being natural on its highest level is an intangible thing. You feel it but can't always grab it. I feel after a certain point, the things that used to matter don't matter anymore.

My list of progressively unimportant things include:

Press N Curls

Hot Combs

$20 wash and wraps (never lasted longer than 4 days)

Lottabody Setting Lotion (mostly alcohol)

Braids with Kanekalon

Micro Braids ( too much work to remove)

Cornrows ( too tight)

Weave ( I still have packs in my house, ugh)

Bronner Brothers Pump It Up ( seriously it's marketed as spritz but I know it's glue)

Dominican Salons

Flat Irons (heat damage)

Sitting under the Dryer for 2 hours (more heat damage)

Pro Style Gel (flakes, dries hair)

Making My Own Shampoo

Leaving Organic Materials in My Hair ( I used to shampoo my hair with blended aloe vera and leave the green plant material in my traditional locks, I know, ewww)

Umbrellas (used to not leave home without it)

Shower Caps

Afro Picks

Cholesterol ( used instead of shampoo)

Blow Dryers (well pencil this one in, my consultant says I need to have my hair dry more, faster)

One day I hope to add Sisterlocks and Retightenings to the list. But I am enjoying the journey all the way. Thanks for letting me share my 2 year old thoughts with you. By the way, if you are reading this you have good hair too. There is no good or bad. Hair doesn't misbehave; people do.

Here I am today 2 years and 2 weeks after the initial install. (Today's pic coming soon).

Thursday, June 4, 2009