Monday, 17 September 2018

WHY I'M NOT WEARING WEAVES ANYMORE

You've probably got the gist of today's post from the title, and I just want to say a wee disclaimer. That this talk isn't ever to shame or hold any judgement towards anyone, on how you choose to style your hair on your own head. This is just an account of how I've personally been feeling since I decided to stop adding extensions and weave to my hair....And go fabulously afro natural. X

THE BEGINNING......So growing up as a teenager my hair was often braided as a student in school. It was so easy for my mum to do and didn't require too much fuss, apart from sitting in a chair for six hours to get it 'done'. I think as I started college I really began to experiment and play with different hair styles, to eventually go on to relax my hair. I also began adding a few tracks of extension into my relaxed straight hair for added volume. The weaved extensions were threaded and sown directly into my cornrowed hair, or I would actually glue tracks onto my scalp. Which I remember over time was very damaging and actually left me with serious bald patches (don't glue extensions to your head people). So after a while from adding tracks I went on to having a full head of weave done (fixed straight extensions permanently sown into your full head of cornrowed natural hair. I hope this is making sense to you). With the weaved hair style I really liked how I immediately felt more grown up as a teenager, and that I could simply just get up and go in the mornings (no faff). 

ROUTINE......Over the years into my twenties I carried on having different weaves done. Mainly changing in hair lengths from bobs to shoulder length to long 18 inches, but always sticking to a 1b dark brown shade (matching my natural hair colour). I would usually plait my straight weaved hair over night to create that tussled haven't brushed my hair morning look, or as I would say 'I want my hair to look like I've stuck my head in a bush', random but true. I was just never ever keen on the  sleek fresh 'just been done look', the more messier the better for me (I mean there definitely were days when I 100% definitely didn't brush my hair!). Every night I'd wear a head scarf over my weave just to keep my hair looking clean and to stop any over hair fraying. 



GROWING UP......I never really thought too much about the actual hair process. It was just a routine of getting my hair re-done by my amazing hairdresser to feel good, roughly every three months (the extensions I used was natural straight hair that you could wash. Again I hope this makes sense to you). Looking back it felt more like a habit that I didn't need to think twice about. My hairdresser (aka hair god) is super amazing, and I think because he did my hair so natural looking. I had so many people from the community asking me who did my hair, or they'd say they didn't know it was a weave. I even remember being complimented on my hair and me immediately replying with 'It's not my real hair' and the lovely lady saying "Girl, its on your head, so its your hair". At the time I just felt super comfortable. Although I think at the age of twenty seven-ish I completely stopped relaxing my hair, and started texturising instead, which was a lot safer to use with less enhanced harsh chemicals.  

WORK.....Then for an acting job a couple of years ago I was asked to have braids for the character I was playing. Which I initially loved once done (after eight long hours). But after a while I did start to feel very different about myself. I looked more caribbean in the mirror, which of course I am...but I guess my facial features appeared different and I really loved rocking this new braided, dare I say it (because I actually can't stand the term) - 'edgier look'. But after the job finished I immediately went back to my routine of wearing a long weave again. 

NOW.......Pushing on to this year (2018) and after finalising on another acting job. I naturally had this real urge to not want to wear weaves on my head anymore. I don't know why, i just didn't like the feeling of it on my head. My hairdresser for years had been telling me to have my gorgeous natural hair (his actual words), also had my boyfriend for years and even my sister has beautiful naturally afro hair. But it wasn't till I'd say, July time this year that I was really craving the change of look style wise. 

YOU.........Like I've mentioned I have nothing against a woman or man feeling truly themselves by wearing extensions. I just didn't feel like that look was truly me anymore. Not sure if it's part of me growing up but I'd look at pictures and hate my fake hair. So I decided on my next routine hair appointment to not go spend a ton on hair extensions in the shop. And to actually have my own hair out. So you can imagine my hairdresser who actually makes more money from me as a client (now a close friend) to have weave instead of treatments, was delighted with my decision of a natural hair style. He said trust me we can treat your hair (special professional products used to keep afro hair naturally soft and deeply moisturised, so it doesn't dry and break) every two weeks and get your real hair looking amazing. And I haven't looked back since. I just honestly feel more me now and it actually doesn't take too much time to style in the mornings. I do need to do more research and get a few more natural hair styles going, but I'm loving every second of my new hair so far. I just like how funky it looks and I love my natural colour. 


REVOLUTION......So now what I'm noticing, is more women with natural hair like me that I didn't really notice as much before. I do believe as a society growing up, we as women are deeply conditioned to think that our hair isn't beautiful enough, if it doesn't appear exactly how hair looks on the women in the glossy magazines (that I haven't read for years). But it really doesn't have to be that way. You or me should never ever have to feel lesser than anyone  because we don't have naturally long flowing commercially straight hair. We are all uniquely pretty and beautiful naturally as we are. So that's my current hair journey and Happy World Afro Day which is now every day for me. xX
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