As my natural hair becomes a regular way of life for me, I’m continually changing my thought processes. One of these areas is length. When my hair was relaxed touch up time was always like a moment of truth – I would see if I had retained length and just how long my hair had grown in the preceding 3-4 months.
But now that I’m not chemically straightening my hair this yardstick no longer exists. I know my hair is growing because my afro is bushier (for lack of a better word), and I’m becoming more familiar with where the bulk of my growth comes quickest – my crown and nape!
I made the decision long ago to not straighten my curls using a blow dryer or flat iron. This is partially to prevent heat damage but primarily it’s to remove the mental crutch in my head that demands my hair be straight to validate its length and growth.
For sometime I could hardly keep my hands out of my hair; tugging here and there to reassure myself that I was achieving reasonable length. I finally stood myself in front of my bathroom mirror and said repeatedly:
“There’s no need to stretch your hair to prove it’s growing. Focus instead on health maintenance!”