Friday, 26 July 2019

AFRO HAIR | 10 THINGS I'VE LEARNT SINCE CUTTING MY HAIR SHORT



Today I'm sharing with you in no particular fashion 10 things I've learnt since cutting the hair off short. Things that I have experienced and noted on this beautiful hair journey I'm currently on......Enjoy x

1. Self Conscious - No one actually cares what your hair looks like. They like you for you and want you to be happy however you choose to style the crown on your head. This may be obvious, but I was so dramatic when telling people in my life about the new hair change. I literally pre warned and told my friends/family with about 20 messages by text and couldn't wait to send pictures. And I even made a point to pre-warn them that I was coming with a very short afro natural hair style, like they were about to see an alien on my head or something. I don't know what came over me but I must of initially felt extremely self conscious and self aware of my hair, and assumed because I'd always had extensions for such a long time, they'd only like 'Me with extensions', rather than 'Me all naturel'. But no one gave a damn! I mean they absolutely loved the style and instantly made me feel super confident, and they actually advised me not to go back to extensions and weaves. So it made me realise that all that surface stuff is superficial. And of course hair is a physically fundamental part of you, but it doesn't actually purely defined who you are. It's about your essence, energy, soul, personality, spirit and more that connects you with the people you have and love in your life. 

2. Growth - Hair actually grows super fast, which I've only really noticed from having a shorter hairstyle. You have a chop which has finely been shaped into place, which may seem obvious, but I didn’t anticipate how quickly the natural curls grow. You may find yourself like me grabbing for a  pair of scissors at home and reshaping the fro DIY style (If you can't get to your hairdresser). There has been plenty of times where I've woken up in the morning and wished my hair would actually stop growing, and stay short for longer......The hair spurts seem to shine at night.

3. Cost Reduction - You’ll save tons of money on the hair products, extensions and hairdresser fees you won't be spending annually on your head. The hair industry is booming with extensions and weaves now being openly talked about. Even with extensions, lace fronts and wigs now available to buy directly from Amazon.....yes Amazon! Hair is the thing and I’m just happy with the savings that I’ve made from not having extension done every three months, I now invest all that money into something more practical.....shoes! 

4. Less Male Attention - This one is actually a bit harder to explain properly on here, so I truly hope you know that I'm not being a narcissist when I say I’ve always had male attention. I think its down to looking a lot younger than I actually am (34 baby!). I've always hated that type of unwanted male attention (ladies I think you can relate to the type I mean). Sometimes it's flattering and can be done in a polite, gentle way but the majority of the time it's not. And if I’m honest the unpleasant situations always make me feel very uncomfortable (especially in areas where I'd have to with stand that uncomfortable feeling for a long period of time i.e on a train or tube). BUT now with short hair I get pretty much zero male attention, which I am soooo happy with. I’ve never been someone who thrives off of or craves constant male attention to make me feel good or pretty. And I do believe beauty in our current society and social climate can deeply manipulate and train us to think that beauty can only be seen in one set form (usually body thin with long glossy hair, although this has changed over the last year). I’ve always loved rebelling against the norm in my life. And what I'm trying to say is I personally get less attention off of the leery man dem, when out on the streets of Lanndan. I certainly don't miss the undressing my body looks or the shouts across the street like I'm a piece of fresh meat. And when I do get attention from men now in that way, it's from the type of man that I'd want to sit down and have a coffee with (if I were single). It just feels different and I hope this hefty bit of writing translates that in some way....

5. Morning Hair Routine - Getting ready takes minimal effort and energy with less than five mins after shampooing my hair. With a zero fuss free leave in conditioner, hair moisturiser quick rub\scrunch and I'm ready to go. It's so frigging easy and I love it. Before washing my hair would take forever in the shower, then blow drying, then combing out, then straightening and then styling with products on a good day. I mean this is probably why the extensions on my head used to look liked I just walked through a bush.....because I never did all of the above on a regular basis.....shhhh. Basically short hair I've found is super quick and easy peasy. 

6. Invisibility - So I watched a film on Netflix called 'Nappily Ever After', recommended to me as the lead female character in the film has a weave with long straight hair, she has the perfect life but drastically shaves all her hair off.  And one of the clear narratives within the film touches on her sudden emotional sadness of feeling incredibly invisible with short hair. And from cutting her hair short she felt disregarded and that the world looked at her completely differently. And it's funny because I could really relate to that feeling as I have felt exactly that at times. Again struggling to explain, but I've definitely felt a bit lesser than or looked down upon from certain people. Mainly from strangers, new colleagues or train commuters stepping directly in front of me like I'm not there, or being served last at the bar, or a colleague not checking in on my opinion. At first I thought I was being paranoid but I know I'm not. And from recently experiencing it I sense that in some cultures (including my own) hair can symbolise a hierarchy status, the more flashier your clothes, the bigger your car and the longer your straight hair - the more powerful and successful rates your worth. Horrible to say but it's like an instant lack of respect, like I'm lower than lower class, ugly or I'm poor because I've openly chosen to have short afro hair. The thing is I'm strong, I'm opinionated and I naturally make my presence known if needed, but if you're not as confident, this may come as a knock to you. Again this is from my own personal experience with short hair and hopefully you won't feel like this. It's only from a very small percentage (not everyone as people are generally lovely), but certain people I encounter along the way. You have to stand your ground and own it and let people know that you haven’t lost your voice to be heard...You just have short hair and you're not dumb but intelligent and beautiful. 

7. Admiration From Women - I have been approached by so many women of all nationalities, backgrounds and ages complimenting my natural short hair. Women have said things like 'your brave for cutting your hair', which at first I didn't understand. Because I didn't feel brave and shared that feeling more in detail on my instagram feed here. But I've grown to understand that lovely acknowledgment now. A lot of women I feel want to go short but fear that they won't feel as beautiful with short hair. But again that's beauty conditioning and the mould that we are told and shown to aspire to. When people compliment me now, whether its on the tube or in Sainsbury's I assure them that I know short hair would look fabulous on them too. I talk about the fact that two years ago I would of never of gone short. Again it's a personal choice, but if you're deeply admiring someones look from a far, have an urge and time to stop them on the street.....take the plunge!

8. What To Wear - I wouldn't say I over think styling, but I do enjoy balancing out my overall look with feminine and masculine touches. I love playing around with clashing contrasting pieces to create that popping juxtaposition. For example piecing a dainty soft pink dress against a chunky black tough doc martin boot. And I've tried to do that with my everyday style since having the chop. Short hair is very striking to look at on a woman, so I like softening the style by accentuating my beautiful womanly qualities like my curves. I also tend to go for bold accessories like big hoops, statement earrings, feline shades and natural soft makeup. To be honest I've always worn quite natural make up so that hasn't really changed (maybe I can share a blog on 'how to style your body and still feel feminine with short hair' (mock title) type of post). The celebrities I go to for fierce style and hair inspiration are Amber Rose, Zoe Kravitz and Lupita Nyongo. I also love following the beautiful instagrammers Afiya Muir and Poppy Okotcha.

9. It's Your Hair - Just because you've gone short doesn't mean you can never ever go back to long hair, as there are no set rules out here. Do what makes you happy, it's your life and your head. I've always loved playing around with different hair styles as I quickly get bored with having the same set look for too long. Don't let a community of people tell you what to do with your own hair. I went natural (here) then got it cut into a easier afro style. It's your expression and your personal hair journey. I've had people preach to me from natural hair communities and I've had girls with weaves fear natural hair. I've just been brought up to have fun through watching my mum change her hair style every two weeks, lols. Life is too short to worry about judgement, have fun and just do you. 

10. Emotionally Liberated - When I first had my hair done I cried. I think it was a mixture of seeing my true unfiltered self and dare I say it.....natural beauty. I just felt like it was the way I was born to look. I had chopped off all the things in life that we sometimes don't realise we hold on to. I instantly felt lifted and just even more in control and confident. I know hairdressers say doing something drastically different with your crown is like becoming a new you. But personally there's a whole deeper meaning behind going full on afro with black hair. Because it's making a true statement to yourself and others that our hair is beautiful and shouldn't be hidden in the western world. It's the epitome of true strength. Embodiment of acceptance and historical bravery of my black ancestors. I wear my afro hair with such pride as it has helped me to learn and growX.
Pink Eyeshadow | Mac
Blouse | Vintage
Camera | Olympus-E-PL8
No.1 Hair Product I Swear By For Curls | Shea Butter Curl Activator





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