So if you follow me on Instagram then you already know that I have a new do. I did what’s called “The Big Chop” and cut off my relaxed hair to rock my natural texture. In preparation, I rocked braids for 3 and a half months to transition so that I could at least have a teeny weeny afro or TWA. I took my braids out last night and just took the plunge and did my big chop myself. Now I make it very clear that I’m #teamrelaxed and proud on this blog and if you’ve been reading for a while then you probably remember my post Relaxed & Proud that caused quite the stir. Now all of a sudden I’ve switched to #teamnatural and you’re probably wondering why so here goes.
I’ve been relaxed all of my adult life and childhood. In fact, my mom relaxed my hair when I was just 9 years old as I guess my natural texture was just too much for her. I remember spending all day Sunday every other week getting my hair washed, deep conditioned, blow dried, lightly pressed and then braided. Yes all of that. My hair was extremely thick and coarse, and shriveled badly. When my mom relaxed my hair she didn’t know how to take care of that well either and it broke off bad.
I began taking care of my own hair at 12 years old doing my relaxers and braids, flat twists, weaves, phony ponies you name it, when I wanted to switch it up. My hair grew and broke off a lot during this time period as well. It wasn’t until I started going to the Dominicans in HS to get my relaxers and wash & sets on a regular basis that my hair begin to thrive and grew to almost bra strap. I cut it into a bob with bangs after I started college and had cut it into a pixie for the first time when I was turning 21. When I let my hair grow out I once again begin to take care of it myself. This time around I knew what I was doing and I’ve managed to maintain a healthy, well for the most part healthy head of hair.
I got my pixie cut about 4 years ago and never looked back. The first time I had it cut professionally, but maintained the cut along with my relaxers myself. I never had any problems until about a year and a half ago. My hair started to get really dry and brittle and started to break off in patches. I thought that I had a bad relaxer. So I stopped relaxing as frequently and nursed my hair back to health.
I started to get random spots that would itch really bad. And I’d scratch it and notice that it had broken off to the new growth. My hair was still suffering from extreme dryness and would break a lot, especially at the crown. I started doing protective styling more in the form of box braids to give my hair a break from relaxing. But I found out what the problem was almost a year ago.
I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis. An auto-immune disorder in which the body attacks the thyroid as if it’s foreign. It eventually causes permanent Hypothyroidism, which is an under active thyroid. You can find more information on Hashimoto’s Disease here.
My thyroid is still functioning and I don’t have to take medicine as of yet. But I still suffer from pretty much all of the symptoms of Hypothyroidism. One being hair loss or thinning, brittle hair. Since my thyroid will eventually stop functioning and Hypothyroidism is something that I will have to deal with for life… I decided to stop relaxing as the process in itself can make the hair dry , brittle and thin. That is why you must take really good care of your hair when relaxed with proper moisture and protein balance to avoid these things. With my body working against my hair I felt that it would be best to just avoid the chemicals for optimal hair health.
As mentioned, I have not seen my natural texture since I was a child. And with all the work that my mom put in I figured that it would take some work. My natural hair is still really thick and coarse. And now dry as the desert on top of it all so moisture will be my best friend. I did my research while transitioning. But I know it will take time to learn my hair. As well as find products and a routine that works for me.
I’ve been getting a lot of compliments but honestly I’m still on the fence about the new style. I absolutely love my pixie cut and I have to get used to this new do. Eventually I know the style will grow on me. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes to keep my hair healthy so here starts my new journey. I plan to get it tapered a bit in the back and on the sides. Whew that was long lol.