Still loving your site and Congrats on the growing number of fans!!!! Watch those numbers continue to rise:) I just wanted to drop a note and say hello and vent a minute about a recent incident with a stylist. If you are able to cut and paste the question, maybe some of your readers have suggestions?
I am currently transitioning, it’s been 9 months. I’ve done braids and currently doing weaves (which personally I am not a big fan of) until it gets to a length where I am comfortable doing twists etc. I just have not being able to muster up the courage to BC and applaud all the strong, beautiful women who “Just Do It!!!” I am in a crisis right now because after a recent trip to my stylist, my edges that were left out of the weave will not hold a press and appears to be damaged really bad. I have washed, deep conditioned, coated it in coconut, olive oil and shea butter. The hair feels dry and brittle and when flat ironed is crispy and looks really kinky. I did not have this problem previously and asked the stylist what she put on my hair, she said just wrapping lotion. Whatever was done has left my hair dry and lifeless. I am starting to suspect that she burned my hair while flat ironing it. I am so frustrated and depressed. I have waited nine long months to have natural hair and to have it just destroyed just sucks. So at this point, I have come to the conclusion that I only have two choices: BC my whole head to make it even with the dead damaged hair in the front or weave IT ALL up and let it grow out more and eventually cut it off. I was almost at the point where I was about to let the weave go and roll with my length and make the most of it. Now the stylist has put me in the position where I must BC or keep wearing this darn weave!!!! ARGH!!!:(
Oh yeah P.S. the stylist made the following statements to me while I was there:
We are about to make you pretty again (referring to putting my Indian hair back in)
“He really doesn’t mean it” (referring to my boyfriend’s desire for me to rock my natural hair)
If we shingled your hair at this point it would just look like a little afro. (?????)
Any support, advice, words of encouragement would be sooo appreciated!!!
Shonda, I am so sorry to hear what you’ve gone through! It sounds like your stylist may have induced heat damage on your hair. I’m not sure what was in your wrapping lotion, but I know that many oils are not encouraged for use when flat-ironing/blow-drying your hair because they are great conduits for heat. As they heat up quickly, if the heat settings are too high, this will cause heat damage to your hair which is basically damage to the cuticle layer that serves to protect the hair follicle. De-protection of the cuticle layer is irreversible and once that happens, you should avoid any further contact with heat and minimize friction on the hair.
Now this is one thing I will say to anyone transitioning. If you are not feeling comfortable enough to do the Big Chop (BC), don’t let anyone try to “force” you into it, if you really have other options. The BC is a big step, even if you’ve rocked a short relaxed look before. You need to be positive that it is something you want to do and also understand why you’re doing it. With that being said, I would encourage you Shonda to maybe even consider getting braids, as that will protect all of your hair and give it a break for a while. If you are thinking about putting it back in a weave where you will have to leave some of your own hair out, you risk allowing your hair to undergo further damage. I actually believed that happened to my own hair when I was transitioning and wore a sew-in-weave for about 2 months. The texture of the hair that I left out is definitely different from the rest now, and I even had some breakage in the front (due to the tension of the braids) [Sidenote: this is why I was so glad when I found about other transition styles that I could do with my own hair!!]. However, if you feel you are comfortable with the BC… go for it girl! Dealing with a short TWA was so much fun for me, and a great relief from having to deal with the two textures. You could let your hair grow in for a several more weeks if you’re unsure about the length after damage. If you ever need any inspiration, check out the ladies on the blog who are rocking their FAB TWA’s with confidence and style : )
At the end of the day though, don’t beat yourself up about it. The good news is that hair grows continually, so your hopes of going natural aren’t down the drain : ) Trust, I understand the anticipation as it took me two tries to go natural and I wanted to kick myself when I had to start over from scratch because I got frustrated with transitioning and relaxed again!
Now for this stylist….mercy! Sounds like someone needs to get kicked to the curb. You’ll find that throughout this natural hair journey, you’re bound to come into contact with ignorant people who will say things that don’t deserve breath. The thing is, we have to learn to be confident in who we are…and when that happens…people can say anything they want but it won’t phase us at all! As I’ve heard some say, we need to stop waiting around for people to accept the “natural hair” thing and show that we are fully confident in it ourselves.
I hope you’ll continue down the natural hair path because it is soooo worth it in the end. Remember, if you ever have more questions or need a bit of encouragement…WE ARE HERE FOR YOU! Right ladies??? Yep yep : )