Road to Recovery – Part Two

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By Milsie

Hi all, so it’s mid May, a month later than my scheduled length and hairline check time since the last time. But I have had an interesting occurrence as I have been walking down this road to recovery. I kind of stumbled upon the road to self discovery which I believe is a key element in recovery.

When I first started out on this road I had 3 goals that I wanted to keep you updated on:

My hairline challenge – a fuller hairline in the next 3-6 months

The hairline continues to be coming in very slowly but comparing pictures and the feel of my hairline from December till now there is a tiny bit of progress but it is progress nonetheless.

General back to healthy hair challenge, less breakage, dryness, less scalp issues and split ends etc

My hair is still thin but much healthier. I don’t have dandruff or major scalp issues. I keep checking my hair for split ends and I haven’t seen any in the hair that I shed  and my breakage has also been minimal. I attribute this to the more frequent moisturising that I have been doing with glycerine and water. 

Collarbone length in the next 3-4 months 

Just a clarification on this goal, my hair doesn’t all grow out evenly. The hair in the front grows much slower than the hair in the sides and the front, so this target was more for the hair in the back and sides as I tried to grow out the front hair as well. But my hair has been gaining length even in the front were I normally have thinner shorter hair. So the last I checked, the hair in the back and sides was about an inch short of my collarbone. But like I said, I have stumbled upon another road, or rather, another lane on the road to recovery.

Self-Discovery Lane

I attended the ZedHair Natural Hair Show in Lusaka on the 6th of April 2013, which was awesome and for me beyond all the hair care tips, styling etc the show became a milestone event in this road to recovery. If you had asked me a few weeks ago if I had self esteem issues and if I didn’t feel like I accepted myself I probably would have said no, even though looking back now these issues are now glaringly obvious to me. As I listened to some of the ladies at the show talk about how their hair journeys had been transformational from the inside out, I was like ‘yeah right’ we all just want to look hot. What’s all this about hair being about what’s going on inside and how you feel about yourself??? etc.

At the end of the show I went to one of the organisers to ask about some products and processes etc and because she knows me she asked me to think about what I really wanted from my hair, and she told me that once I had that figured out my hair would begin to respond.

I went home thinking about the question ‘what do I want from my hair?’ And to be honest I had never really thought about it. I just wanted it to be beautiful which in my mind is AKA long. But as I gave more thought to the question I actually realised that I wanted/expected my hair to make me feel beautiful. That realisation really disturbed me because if I was looking to my hair to make feel good about myself, I was going to run into problems as I go through life with hormonal imbalances, medications, stress etc that all have the potential to impact my hair.

So I went through a process of journaling about my hair issues which led me to digging out pictures of myself with different hairstyles from the last decade and a half or so and began to think about how I felt in each hairstyle. And as I looked back, I had rocked every hairstyle I knew of during this time,  a short permed cut, short dreadlocks, long braids, basic push back styles, S-curls, weaves, braids etc. It was interesting to me that the pictures I liked the most were pictures where ‘my hair’ wasn’t all flowing down my back  and as I thought about this I realised the fact that these pictures projected what I felt back then  contentment with who I was’.  I didn’t feel the pressure to have long weaves or braids to look good. In fact I would chop my hair at the drop of a hat if I felt like it. But I realised that somewhere along the way I had began to believe the lie that I wasn’t beautiful just as I am and that I had to have extensions of some sortin order to be beautiful. This belief set me on a journey, the last half decade or so, where I have done more damage than good not only to my hair but to my self esteem. I honestly could not remember the last time I looked in the mirror and actually truly liked what I saw without a wig, make up or other accessories. As I looked at those pictures that night  and literally asked God to help me see myself as he sees me.  I was actually able to look at myself and see the beautiful person that he has created me to be -no extensions or make up just ‘me’. I began to actually believe that I did not need a weave to feel beautiful so the next day I took it out as I was travelling to Mozambique for work and figured no one knew me there so I would be less self conscious. So for most of the week I basically rocked a flat twist out and began to fall in love with texture (cause I used to think I like my hair straight)  but more importantly I began to fall in love with who I am as a person.

When I got back the other day,  I went to the hair salon and cut off about an inch and a half of hair because I wanted to not do anything drastic just because I was feeling good about myself. But after leaving the salon yesterday and spending time today with straight hair I miss the texture I had the past week and have become  more decided that I am about cutting it all off and taking the step of becoming an intentional natural – no wigs or weaves unless I just want a rest from dealing with my hair.  The great part about all this is that I feel like I actually ‘like me’ to quote Kirk Franklin and this is something I haven’t felt in a long time. And it’s so freeing!!!

So my BC is scheduled for the weekend of the 29th of June to give me some time to grow an extra quarter inch of hair. You will definitely be hearing from me after that…..

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2 responses to “Road to Recovery – Part Two

  1. Thanks for the encouragement sister. I have tried both the regular TWA and a tapered one and gotten compliments on both from very people I would least expect. I will be putting up pictures of me post BC in my next R to R update. Don’t miss it

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