Protective Styles

I Think I Am My (Synthetic) Hair…

Compliments are like a drug. I would say that I don’t get that many compliments but it’s more likely that I don’t hear them when I get them. But I definitely heard them when I had this purple hair.

Since chopping all of my hair off almost 2 years ago, I’ve had an interesting relationship with the stuff that grows out of my head. As it’s grown, we’ve been through many stages – learning how to care for it, dealing with awkward phases where I literally couldn’t do anything, celebrating my first protective style, sharing my journey on my blog. At the end of it all, I know now that I love my natural hair. I want it to flourish. I want it to grow (in this order) –

Healthy, Strong, Big and Long.

One of the ways to help me achieve my goals is to protective style and for me, with my hair at its current length, the easiest and most enjoyable way for me to do this is with braids because I can add colour. Since my chop I’ve been:

Purple & Blue

Blue

Mostly Purple with a little Blue

Dark Brown and Red

And the colour combo to end all colour combos – Purple On Purple on Purple

I loved this hair from Cyberloxshop so much. And I loved how it made me feel. I love how it photographed. And a part of me was struggling to let it go. I got almost daily compliments from strangers. It happens to be my favourite colour. I was in in love. But I know that feeling was temporary and it was probably not that healthy too.

I shouldn’t derive confidence solely from something that I attached to my head. Of course, it can boost my confidence, give me a little extra oomph, like makeup or a great outfit or just waking up rested and in a good mood. I originally planned to take this hair out after 4 weeks and I’d been holding onto it because even though it was only in for a short time I wondered how I’d feel without it.

This lack of confidence most likely is caused by the fragility of my positive relationship with my hair. It’s still quite new and I’ll be honest it would probably not take a lot for someone to knock me off my Type 4 Hair loving pedestal.

But wearing braids for too long was part of the reason I had to big chop. I made sure when I was pregnant with each of my children, my hair was in braids to cut down on maintenance at a very busy and tiring time in my life. But it then became quite hard to find time or motivation to take the braids out. I also believe I had post-partum shedding after each child. My edges were shot, a mixture of pregnancy hormones and bad hair care practices.

Before my chop, I mistakenly believed that the fact my hair was in braids was enough. I didn’t care for it and I felt myself falling into bad practices again with the purple. It needed to come out.

You can see the re-growth here…it was definitely time for it to go. I think I’m about 7 weeks in here.

So reluctantly, I let the purple dream go. It was time to reintroduce myself to my fro. We’d been apart for too long.It was time to remember that you can love yourself with all the beautiful embellishments but it’s the you that you see when you look in the mirror, naked, alone, bare. You need to love her/him. You need to not rely on the things you could lose. Love the things that will always be there. You need to love yourself (I did say somewhere recently no more happy clappy BS, does this count?)

So I love my hair, natural and fake but I think I love myself more. That’s why ultimately, I was happy with my purple dream braids going in the bin. Mostly.

Plus I took some awesome photos of it so…roll on next pay-day when I can buy some more hair that I will put in for 4-6 weeks, love it, take it out and move on. It’s there to protect my hair not boost my ego.

Let’s keep loving ourselves and our edges!

xx Lee xx

PS – If you didn’t know, it’s World Afro Day tomorrow, September 15th so I think this was all good timing really!

Comments welcome below – Are you guilty of holding onto a style for too long?

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