Thursday 5 May 2011

Epiphany Break

This post is a bit of a long one - apparently, when it comes to my relationship with my hair, I'm quite the philosopher. Chew on that Socrates!

After I did my Cassia treatment and saw all the broken hairs in the bottom of my shower, I was miffed. I thought that the Cassia hadn't worked properly, that I needed more protein my products, that my hair was incredibly weak. It's usually at moments like this that I consider shaving all of my hair off, as doing so will spite my hair into doing what I want, but I know I'd regret it (though wouldn't it be awesome to graduate with a shaven head?).

Basically, I blamed everyone but myself as I asked "Why is my hair breaking?"

And then I remembered this post.

Truth be told, it was almost definitely breaking because of me. Usually, my breakage consists of long strands with no white bulbs, but this time, after handling my hair far in far too rough a manner; after the shrinkage and tangling I'd experienced from the Doomed Twistout; after using a new comb on my sopping wet and weak hair to make detangling easier, when I know my hair is too fine for me to use brushes and combs on it...well, there were a lot of those dreaded short curly bits on the floor.

Then I actually took a look at my hair and was like "Whoa. Why am I so upset?" The fact is, despite all the 'problems' I keep finding with my hair, I love it. At the moment, it's probably the best looked after it's ever been in my entire life. Even when I'm mad about breakage, I love the way it feels when it's wet, when it's dry, when it's twisted or when it's fluffy.

Hold up. Freud insight moment!

*breaks it down on her chaise lounge*

I've been so focused on getting to Waist Length and proving my mum wrong, I'd forgotten what I'd first thought when I'd stopped relaxing - that I wanted to enjoy my hair.

I was still bitter over the hair that got cut and kept thinking, if it hadn't gotten cut, I would be down to here by now... Which is stupid, because being bitter over it isn't going to make the hair miraculously grow back like it never left.

Obsessed with preserving my hair, I'd continuously been watching Youtube videos and reading blog posts and advice and wondering what I was doing wrong, whilst ignoring the most important piece of advice they'd all given:

Leave your hair alone and treat it extremely delicately.

And then prepare for the fact that, even after looking after it incredibly well, hair will still break eventually, because nothing lasts for ever.

My hair is not perfect, but neither am I. And there's a funny sort of liberation that comes from realising that your very idea of perfection is flawed - whether its to do with hair, or appearance or intelligence and talents.

I'll get to Waist Length, but there's no rush, except on my part. People can do it in two years, but I'm not prepared to put my hair away for 2 years in order to do that. I want to enjoy it!  If I set myself a certain goal of achieving it, it'd more than likely be a measurement a year, because I'm taking it nice and slow now.

Armpit Length by the end of 2011, Bra Strap Length by the end of 2012, Mid Back Length by the end of 2013 and Waist Length by 2014.

Totally doable.

And even if takes me five years, or even ten, but I will get there eventually, but at my own pace.

But I really need to stop obsessing over my hair. Which for me consists of no longer compulsively recounting the hair journeys of other people and comparing my progress against theirs, and always pulling my hair down to check how length I've gained in 2 hours and signing up to so many challenges, because I always fail or find myself lacking.

Gets helluva boring pretty quickly. My only hair challenge for this year is no more hair challenges.

No more limiting myself by rules that are focused on gaining length.

Remembering the art of patience and the fact that I do have a life outside of my hair (even if my blog does not seem to indicate this!).

After I finish Loo's 3in6 challenge, I guess I'm dropping out of Milan's challenge.

So in order to honour this promise to myself, my hair and I are on a break.

After having this incredible epiphany, I went ahead and put my hair into braids.

Tiny, tiny braids.


  1. Everything that you have said is so true! Have you thought about writing a book? I needed to see, read and hear this. It's the best piece of advice I read in a long while. I too have been thinking about braids, but didn't want to jump on the band wagon since Solange did it. Also I read a comment by you on another site, can't remember which one, but it was something about you tubers/bloggers not posting their wrong moments and only showing what went has gone right with their hair. So thank you for this Ephihany and for showing us your wrong moments. It's more easy to relate to, plus your from the UK, so I'm biased..ha ha ha.

  2. I didn't even think about Solange's braid - hers kind of remind me of Brandy's 'Moesha' braids. I'm glad I'm not the only one feeling this kind of way though - when I see someone from the U.S who's like "I grew my hair from TWA length to butt length in three years!" I think, yeah, I should do that! *is a sheep*
    I like my hair but following the 'rules' of retaining length is a lot of hassle. Power to the UK and our more relaxed development! :P


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