Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Great Hair Offense

Today was an extremely traumatic day for me.  I went to the beauty shop to get a trim and I left the shop with the length of my hair being less than two inches long.   I was devastated!

Over the past few months I have noticed that my full, thick and lovely locks of hair have been shedding and breaking off by the handfuls.  I have always prided myself in having very kinky, thick and long hair but now I was facing the hair graveyard because of emotional stress, hair care neglect, harsh product experimentation, and the continual use of excessive heat.  All of these things finally pushed my (usually strong) kinky hair beyond her health limits.

My stylist explained that she would have to "trim my hair" substantially to get it back at a healthy state. I hesitantly agreed to move ahead with the hair care plan.  However, the moment she began to cut off my damaged tresses I began to feel a flood of emotions.

I wanted to yell, "Stop, please don't cut off my hair!" But I remained silent because I knew it was time for a cut.  She saw my distressed look and asked, "Are you okay?  Do you need some time before I go ahead with the cut?" I courageously looked her in the eyes and said, "No, it's okay. I am ready.  It's just hard for me to let it go but I know that it is time."

Then I looked at myself in the mirror and thought, "Why have you been holding on to this damaged hair? Why is it so hard for you to let go? How did you let your hair get in this condition?"  
I was also hit with a revelation that in many ways I demonstrated that same laissez faire behavior in other areas in my life. More specifically, for the past year I have been working so much that I haven't been taking the time to handle my personal business.  Plus, unfortunately I have taken many of my personal gifts and attributes for granted.

As the stylist cut off my damaged tresses; a thousand thoughts flooded my mind.

snip...snip..."What if your hair doesn't grow back?  You know that you are getting older. Who will find you attractive?"

snip...snip... "Don't you know that a woman's hair is her glory? Didn't Samson in the bible lose his strength this way?"

snip...snip..."Don't you remember that the men in your life use to love your BIG hair? Remember.... when "he" use to love you and your hair."

Before the first lock of hair could even hit the floor the tears began to flow and the questions swirling in my head quickly transitioned into statements of doubt.

sniff...sniff... "I'm not pretty without my big hair. I need my hair to feel attractive.  My hair is my security."

sniff..sniff..."I was totally neglectful to the things that I loved and that's why they are gone.  I am being punished. "

sniff...sniff... "Hold on a minute...Is she REALLY going to charge me $200 for this??!!! My hair looks a hot MESS. "

On the surface level, it seemed like the emotional flood was only about my hair.  But I realized that my hair also told a story about who I have allowed myself to become.  My hair made a statement today.  Somewhere along my journey I became distracted from my self-care journey.
  • I use to be the sister that regardless of what hair style phase I was in at the time I made sure that the perm was touched up every 4 weeks, the kinky twists were done every two months and my hair was always well moisturized and "greased-up". 

Perhaps my hair condition is symbolizing  and offering a few life lessons:

Lesson #1   It's time to let damaged goods go in my life if it takes away from my overall health.  Damaged hair, damaged feelings, damaged relationships and damaged people.....

Lesson #2   It's important to give myself a healthy start and commit to self-care.  Whether that consists of scheduling consistent trips to the hair saloon, going to the doctor, getting massages, exercising, taking my vitamins, etc.  As the bible says, "You can't put new wine in old wine skins."

Lesson #3  It's important to make the time to take care of my personal needs.  This may mean taking an extra 20 minutes to lotion my body thoroughly after a shower, 15 extra minutes before bedtime for a nightly facial, 30 additional minutes in the morning for meditation, and 30 extra minutes of prayer.  I can give myself 2 hours a day.

Well, the one positive thing about today's traumatic hair experience is that I have shifted and adjusted my attitude.  LESSON LEARNED: It's important to take care of the things that you love.  I love my hair so I am committed to taking care of it from this point forward.  

Let me go now and find my silk hair bonnet....Good Night!


h2w said...

Sorry to hear about your tramatic experience, but it is as you have noted a bit of a renewing. I had the same experience about 2 years ago and it taught me a great lesson about patience.

Kristen Harris said...

Aww Tosha! Sorry you had to experience that but Im glad it helped you put things into perspective. BTW, you are beautiful so Im sure whatever style you are rocking, you are doing it WELL!

LuvSeeker said...

Tosha I told you my "attempt" to get a jheri curl story this morning. While humiliated at the time. My hair grew FAST...God always restores and you are his beautiful creation with 1" or 10" of hair.

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Unknown said...

So sorry for what you went through, I guess I'm blessed to have my daughter as a professional that does my hair.

Samara said...

Sorry to hear about your experience, but this is a new start for you. You now have a healthy head of hair since the damaged ends are gone. So rock those huge earrings and experiment with different makeup looks to enhance your natural beauty. You are beautiful no matter how long, short, texture, or style your hair is!