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FEATURES Jun 10 2013 7:29PM

How One Huge Mistake is Causing Me to Transition... Again

by Martine Foreman of JustDiva

Last May I chopped my hair off, and I began a journey that surely changed the way I looked at my hair, and even more importantly, the way I looked at myself.  Since going natural, I have felt liberated.  I can’t say there has been a single moment where I felt like I missed my relaxed hair.  Rocking my natural hair has just felt – well, natural.  It’s been great.
But, a few weeks ago, everything changed.  I wanted to get my hair blown out.  I wanted to see how long my hair was.  I also wanted a very easy and simply style because I had a job interview coming up.  I have always believed that simplicity is best for interviews.  I was still getting the hang of the different styles that worked with my new texture, and since checking out the length was a priority, I figured I might as well just blow it out for this interview.  This decision was the first of a series of bad decisions that I will never forget.

I contacted my hair stylist to hook up my blow-out but she was unable to take me since it was a last minute request.  I totally understood and I told her I would move on to Plan B.  Unfortunately Plan B involved a trip to a Dominican Hair Salon about 15 minutes away from my home.  I went to that salon hoping for a quick blow-out and I left completely changed – although I didn’t know that for another week. 

A week after getting my hair blown out I woke up at 5am to work out.  After my work out I decided to wash my hair since it was sweaty.  I washed it once and I was puzzled because my hair was still straight – like I had a relaxer.  I thought, “wow, that’s weird… maybe I need to wash it a few more times.”  Well, I did.  I washed it three more times and I became increasingly concerned.  My hair was not going back to its coily state.  I could not figure out what the hell was going on. 

I tried to tame my unruly hair and I went on with my day.  A few hours later I did a few google searches and I quickly began to panic.  I did not like the search results and I just wanted to go back in time.  I sent my stylist a text message and soon after my phone rang.  I knew the call back meant I was in trouble.  I spoke to her and she told me that she would need to see me but it was very likely that the damage done to my hair by the extreme heat I subjected it to was permanent.  I cried.  I cried because a decision I made, without much thought, completely damaged my beautiful, kinky hair, and I was left to start all over.  I could not believe the news.

I spent a couple of days mourning the loss of my hair.  I was in the middle of having a straight-up love affair with my hair, and I felt like I just got dumped out of nowhere.   My hair deserved better and I failed it.  After processing the loss I pulled it together.  I gave thanks to God because my hair loss was not due to illness.  I also thanked Him because I have grown to love myself enough to know that although my hair is a huge part of me, it does not define me.  It will grow back and I will go on.

Today I am still dealing with shedding, thin hair, and I am trying to determine if I will transition back to my natural hair by keeping the length and rocking transitional styles, or by chopping it off all over again.  I still haven’t decided.  But I have decided that I will never subject my hair to extreme heat again.  I have decided that I will never let someone care for my hair unless I truly trust her.  I have decided that my mistake was meant to happen and I know that other women will learn from it.  And, finally, I have decided that I will learn new lessons and have new amazing experiences as I begin to transition… again. 


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