10 Month’s Post Big Chop – By Xandria Thomison
Last year on New Years Eve, I shaved my head. Was it a protest against traditional femininity? A statement of bold, black lady power?? A desperate act to embody the beautiful Lupita Nyong’o???
I didn’t want to wash it.
That’s right, I was so sick of washing my stringy, bleached, heat damaged hair, to then spend 2 hours blow drying and flat ironing that I woke up and said enough is enough. But before I give the update on my fresh grown curly crown, let’s go to back a bit.
In grade 11, at 16 years old I started transitioning from my dull, tired relaxed hair, into the glorious halo of luscious locks you see above. This was a time of realization and acceptance of self, which blossomed in the midst of pubescent confusion, and a constant struggle to find who I was. It all started with Tyra Banks. I would rush home from school every Thursday to tune into the Tyra show, and one day something amazing happened. Tyra showed her real hair without weave. Wow. Shortly after, she featured a blogger, not so different from the beautiful and inspirational owner of this blog, by the name of Curly Nikki, who imparted all her natural hair secrets and tips. After this episode, I deeply contemplated my many years of feeling like in order to be desired and beautiful, my hair needed to be straight.
Why was it crazy and bold for a black woman to embrace the hair as it grows out of her head without chemical manipulation?
Yes, WHY?? Exactly. Amiright??
So, I started the grueling process of the great transition. Now, let’s be honest. I had no idea what “transitioning” was. I thought, ‘ wow I’m so smart I’m just going to continue to grow the roots out and slowly chop off the relaxed ends as it grows, styling it by pressing and or twisting it to hide the difference in textures. Wow I am, so smart.’ Turns out, this was already a thing, so I’m not that smart. That’s fine, it worked whether I was a genius or not. So after 3 years my natural hair was shoulder length when stretched and collar bone length when pressed, the longest my hair had EVER been.
I slowly began to learn how to manage my 4a/b texture until I moved to Vancouver.
Ok, so did everyone know that Vancouver is like WAY more humid than Calgary? I didn’t. WOW those suckers FIRZZED UP. Also, who knew people were so much trendier out here??
So long story short after 3 years of being natural, I took a big ol’ bottle of 40 volume developer, and a bunch of bleach, and beyonceified myself. Yay!
Wow. Yes, just look at that low quality picture of a blonde 19 year old me, so smart thinking of how much money I just saved, bleaching my own hair. 3 times. OK so believe it or not, bleaching your hair multiple times at home can like really damage your hair and utterly destroy your curl pattern. Good to know! I went the next year and a half coloring my hair every color if the rainbow from red, to pink, to purple, blue, and finally silver. And with each color, my hair got shorter. First one shaved side and a chin length cut. Then two shaved sides and braids down the middle, then finally the sides and the back shaved with my little tuft of white/grey hair.
Totally worth it. Would I do it again? No. But I wouldn’t go back and change it. Yes had I not done that my hair would be so long and awesome right now, but you know what, I was young and it was fun.
So anyway, finally on the first of January, I decided I missed my crown, and began the process of starting all over again.
And just as my selfie game had grown, so has my hair.
This is my progress in late October after growing my natural air out under wigs and box braids! I’m so excited to continue my second natural hair journey. As much as I resist the urge to pull out the bleach again, I have found ways to alter and color my wigs to keep me from damaging my natural hair. My goal is mid back length for my three year mark after the big chop. Every day I accept myself more and more as a glowing black lady, with hair like wool, majestic and unique.
So I hope you guys enjoyed my 10 month update since my big chop, and I look forward to keeping everyone to date on my growth inside, and out!
What do you think of the “Big Chop”? How is you Natural Hair Journey going? Share below! 🙂