My Nappily (or More Like Fuzzy) Ever After!
I find myself revisiting many thoughts and feelings I had just a few years ago. Especially after my recent viewing of the Netflix original film, Nappily Ever After. In 2012, I decided to take the plunge and big chop all of the remaining relaxed ends from my hair. Prior to this, I had been wearing a sew-in installation to ease the process of transitioning. Once I removed the final installation I was happy with the growth of my hair, but not the two completely different textures. I was not able to do any of the natural styles that I like, and was forced to keep my hair in some sort of flexi-rod set. That is when I decided to take the plunge and do the "big chop". I was terrified at first.
To explain my fear, let me start by saying that I love my hair. I am absolutely obsessed with my hair. Before transitioning to natural, my life was surrounded by my hair. I had a standing appointment every Friday at 1:30 p.m with my hairstylist. I would not workout based on my hairstyle, because sweating my hair out was NOT an option. I would not swim, or chose to go swimming based on the date of my next hair appointment. I received so many compliments on my hair, that I was literally a walking billboard for my hairstylist. There was never a day where my hair was out of place. I took pride in my hair and it's style, and it literally controlled my life. I was vain, and I had no idea.
Once I removed my last sew-in installation, I realized that the two textures that was on my head would not allow me to be stylish, polished or take pride in my hair. The vanity kicked in overtime, and I decided to cut my hair. Well for me, having short hair has never been an issue. I actually admire my hair short, and to this day prefer short hair. Therefore, cutting my hair was not going to strike hard against my vanity. What did strike hard against my vanity was an unkempt T.W.A. Oh my, the frizzies I experienced! It was not fun at all, and it forced me to put my vanity to the side and learn to deal with the inevitable.
After years of growing out my T.W.A., I was able to do more with my hair. The issue four years in was that my hair would not hold a style or curl (not even a cute twist out) due to it's fine texture. This is when I decided that I would loc my hair. My reasons for loc-ing was strictly because I am vain. I didn't like the fact that my hair was constantly frizzy, and that the shrinkage was real. Although my hair had been growing crazy for four years, it just seem as if there was a never ending plateau. For these reasons, I loc'd my hair. Little did I know was that I was about to embark on my biggest spiritual journey thus far.
The installation of my locs is not where the journey began. I started my locs with two strand twists, so it felt no different than when I would place my loose tresses into a protective two strand twist style. It wasn't until two weeks in where I started to experience the change. I was use to shampooing my hair once a week, so going two weeks without cleansing my hair and scalp was causing me a bit of anxiety. It didn't help that I had to wait until week three or four for a shampoo and retwist. By week two and in my mind, my hair was dirty and extremely frizzy. I felt like I was six years old with the fuzzy ponytails and bang.
In this moment, lots of changes were taking place. I was not only experiencing an evolution of my hair, I was also experience one of my mind body and soul. I began to embrace my natural self. I began to wear less make-up (more like none more often, because I was not an avid wearer of make-up) and cover my tresses to show off my face. A lot like Sanaa Lathan's character in the movie, Violet, I began to not let my hair control my life but to take control of my life. The remarks and looks of my peers and even my family members, began to roll of my back like water on a duck. I, Brandi Jarrett, was truly getting to know my true self and to remove myself from the woman for who society and those in society have created.
As time went on, my hair began to blossom into the most beautiful locs I've ever witnessed. I became comfortable with my natural hair, and my natural self. Like Violet, I began to embrace everything about myself and follow my dreams and exude extreme confidence in myself. My Nappily Ever After has led me to becoming a licensed/certified Natural Hair Care Specialist, with my own business' and the love of helping others feel good about their natural selves.
Freedom is being your true self...don't ever let anyone take your freedom away!