Follicle Failures: How Billi Learned to Let Go and Celebrate Her Hair
"Aye CURLrumba Girl! What happened to your hair?!"
Ever had a mother, sister, home girl, curlfriend or worst of all – YOUR HAIRDRESSER - utter these words to you? If you’ve been on this natural journey for any good amount of time, more than likely the answer is a lowly muttered yes. Contrary to the saying “misery loves company,” I would never wish any of my bad hair days on another sista or delight in the fact that I wasn’t the only one walking around lookin’ extra cray that day lol. But the truth of the matter is I know I’m not the only one floating on this Carnival cruise ship of follicle failures.
My 20 years as a relaxed, straight haired girl was speckled with “uh oh’s,” “oh no’s” & “what have I done” moments, more than I would EVER want to claim! Most mistakes were due to me thinking I was equipped to do many of the things my hairdresser could do or looking at a hair appointment as an inconvenience or unneeded expense at the time. Once I tried to give myself a “simple” line up & taper back when I was rocking the Toni Braxton cut, right before a date with my boyfriend. When he arrived, he was a greeted by a reverse skinhead named ME! I had messed the cut up SO bad, I shaved all my hair off in the back out of frustration. Another time, I accidentally bought a Super relaxer instead of a Mild, only to realize that mistake as my hair fell out in the sink like wet spaghetti noodles when I rinsed it out. I could go on, but I’m gonna stop this train(wreck) right here lol.
Fast forward to October 2011 to me as a natural girl!!! I was happy & excited about going natural for several reasons, one of them being able to rid myself of all hair boo boo’s. With chemical & heat damage out of the mix AND me big chopping so I could start with a fresh batch of hair, there’s NO WAY this could go wrong, right?! WRONG! I wore my Cesar for about 3 months & really enjoyed the ease of the cut & how it accentuated my face. But I decided to let it grow to finally get a glimpse of my natural hair texture. At my 6 month mark, I started getting a little anxious. My hair was so tightly coiled, I really couldn’t tell if it was growing or not. I wanted to see how long my curls really were so I decided to blow it out. Now, I have to remind you that I BC’d so my cupboard was bare as Old Mother Hubbard’s! I blew it out raw…no prep, no prime, no nothing! When I turned around & looked in the mirror, all I saw was Chewbacca lookin’ back at me! Needless to say, I wasn’t happy & I felt myself creepin’ back down the reckless path of hair “don’ts” I traveled during my permed days. Fortunately, I am pleased to announce that THIS list stops right here!
As I celebrate my 36th
birthday this month, I’m proud to say that I’ve learned a lot in the 3+ decades I’ve been on this earth! One of them is to be able to laugh at myself, which I do often! Another is that bad hair days are gonna happen as long as you’ve got hair on your head. I was foolish to think I had escaped this conundrum by becoming natural. But, I’ve also learned that I don’t have to make the same mistakes all over again. So even as a natural, I have regular appointments with my hairdresser for proper blow outs, trims & color changes. I’ve even found a few natural stylists to give me some of the hairdo’s I’ve seen that I KNOW I’m gonna mess up if I try them at home. My job is to take care of these tresses, not treat ‘em like little guinea pigs on my head. They reward me by remaining strong, healthy & beautiful and that, curlfriends, is the best birthday present ever!
HAVE A QUESTION FOR ONE OF OUR EXPERTS? ASK IT HERE.