I last relaxed my hair six months ago, on November 6, 2014. I hadn’t planned for that to be my last relaxer but as time went on, my frustrations about relaxing my hair flared up, as they always do. Then I discovered the blogs of some Nigerian women rocking natural hair and I got inspired…and developed a serious case of hair envy! Three months post-relaxer, I decided to see how long I could go without relaxing my hair. As I mentioned in my hairstory (hair history) post, I’ve relaxed my hair regularly for the past 18 years, only changing up my style during my visits back home in 2008, 2010, and 2013.
“Going natural” as they say hasn’t been a joyous process because I’m a low-maintenance (lazy?) person. If your hair is longer than an inch, wearing it out in its unrelaxed state in a way that looks like you put effort into it, requires, well, effort. I wash and deep condition my hair once a week, and I wish that was all the upkeep required to make it versatile for the rest of the week. Styling aside, my main challenge has been dealing with the loss of hair when I comb it due to tangles—oh the tangles! I wish I was exaggerating when I say that I’m surprised that I have any hair left on my head after all the knotted hair I’ve pulled out! Parts of my hair became dreadlocks without trying, making me think that this is how dreads were invented: someone’s hair got matted, they couldn’t deal with it, and a new style was born! I tried to comb out the tangles gently and finger detangle, but I still lost so much hair that I would start to worry that something was wrong with me health-wise, causing me to abandon combing my hair, leaving parts of it tangled—of course this only made things worse. To hide the tangles, I’ve been wearing my hair in its signature style (a bun) for almost six months, looking and feeling quite blah as a result.
After pouting for a while, I started thinking about a strategy for my hair. I’m not yet at the stage where I want to invest oodles of time on my hair; I’m still after the “wash and go” lifestyle. But detangling my hair was a must, no matter how much hair I’d lose in the process. It was painful but it’s now done. Next, figuring out some decent styles that don’t make me look like I’m about to give up on life is the next project—I see a lot of headbands and hair wraps in my future! Eventually I’ll consider the one idea that comes to me every week: chopping off the relaxed parts of my hair and rocking a short haircut, seeing as relaxed hair will never go back to its natural state. The only thing stopping me is a suspicion that short hair won’t suit me, but if that happens I can resort to a protective style, such as braids.
If you’re looking for Nigerian hair blogs, check out my Twitter list that I’ve only just started keeping; those with blogs have their blog in their Twitter profile (Note: this list includes both natural hair and relaxed hair bloggers).
If you keep your hair the way it grows out of your head, who inspires you? Have you ever done a “big chop”? How much hair did you say bye to at one time?