Hey everyone. Well, I am sad to say that this will be my final post on Natural in Nashville. Because of time limitations, I've had to step down from writing for this blog. I've been going back and forth about this decision for quite some time and last Sunday I decided to finally fess up to our editor Melissa that I simply don't have the time to give this website the attention it deserves. I also had to confess another little detail. The conversation went something like this:
Me: ... so after going back and forth about this for quite some time, I've decided that I'm not going to be able to write for Natural in Nashville anymore.
Melissa: Aaaaw! Oh no!
Me: Yeah, it sucks. And in more news, I am currently in the parking lot of CVS because I'm about to buy a kiddie relaxer and relax my hair because this mess is out of control.
Now before you think I have completely jumped ship, let me explain to you as I did to Melissa. Although my hair has been growing, it has been getting curlier and curlier and thus looks like it is getting shorter and shorter. This has been driving me crazy. On top of that, due to the thickness of my hair I haven't had a completely dry head for most of 2013! I could wet my hair in the morning and come 10:30 at night, still have a spot in the back of my hair that is soaking wet. Due to my hectic schedule of working two jobs, I have been wearing my hair in an afro puff for at least two months because it is entirely too much effort to wear down because it takes too long to dry. I was really missing the fun of wearing my hair down so what I decided to do was try something that I did the first time I big chopped in the late nineties. I bought a kiddie relaxer, let it sit for about 20 minutes, and then prayed to high heaven that it would still turn out curly for me to continue wearing a wash and go hairstyle. Fortunately enough for me it has. My hair is easier to manage, takes more than half of the time to dry, and my curls have dropped which is what I have been waiting for them to do for months. I think for my curls to drop the way I wanted them to naturally, I would have to grow an insane amount of hair and I just don't have that kind of patience. Thankfully, I have learned a lot about maintaining healthy hair by having gone natural and am confident that I will be able to do so with relaxed hair. At the end of the day, isn't maintaining healthy hair what it's all about anyway?
Not only am I going to miss writing for this blog but I am going to miss being a part of the natural hair community. There is so much pride and I am so proud of how it continues to expand! As much as I hate not being "certifiably natural", it was Melissa's support that has made me feel entirely comfortable with my decision. "It's YOUR hair, Toya." she said as I shopped the CVS aisle in hopes of finding my answer to looser curls and a dry head of hair. "You have to be okay with you. Do what makes you happy!" Her support really has meant a lot to me. I am so privileged to have her as a friend and am so proud of what she's done with this site. It's an honor to have been a part of it.
I've learned a lot on my hair journey and I'd like to leave you with my latest lesson as I've transitioned from natural to relaxed (or "texlaxed" as some would like to call it because I'm still a curly girl): be your own standard of beauty. I relaxed my hair because I want it to look a certain way and I love it. There are sistas that get weaves because they want to look a certain way and they love that. There are women that shave off their hair because they want to look a certain way and they love that as well. My point is that we have to not be so judgmental about what other women do to feel beautiful and comfortable with themselves. I have definitely been guilty of this. So much so that when I decided to relax my hair, I was nervous about what some natural women would say. Who cares?! I think to a certain degree there is a misconception that if a woman does not wear her natural hair that she has not fully embraced who she is. In some cases that is quite the contrary. I think a lot of women that change up their hair quite often have a better grip on who they are than some would realize. You have to fully embrace yourself to say "This is what I am feeling today. I love myself enough to allow myself to freely express that." To me that's admirable. Some women just have it like that and then there are women like me who could only get to that point by chopping it all off and starting over. This is why I will always be an advocate for going natural. Sometimes starting over is the best way to get to who you you've always wanted to be.
I wish everyone the best on their hair journey. Thank you for allowing me to share mine with you.
Best wishes for healthy hair and happiness,