Updated: Aug 3, 2019
I am 19 years old and I have always had my hair “natural”, but it hasn’t always been healthy.
As a child I had long, somewhat silky curly hair that my mum managed well. Ignoring the time when I begged her for a fringe, because that’s what my best friend with straight hair had, and she cut one which ended up being about 2 inches long after shrinkage haha. However, when I got to an age where I started looking after my own hair, I was using all the wrong products and combing it to death which resulted in barely wavy, very dry hair.
I desperately wanted my hair to be different, I eventually ended up using products that made my hair look constantly wet because I thought wet was better than frizzy. It used to take me 30 minutes to detangle my hair after washing it, because the harsh shampoos I used were drying my hair out so badly. I’d actually throw fits before school because I couldn’t "tame" it into a ponytail.
When I was about fifteen, I found some curly hair vloggers on YouTube and was inspired by how beautiful their curls were. With a new-found confidence that my hair could change, I went and bought a hair custard and twist outs became my new go to hairstyle! This was the first time in years that I wore my hair down and actually felt comfortable. The ringlets were cute, but it still hid my natural curl pattern.
Meanwhile YouTube was teaching me about Shea Moisture products, which I was sure would change my life. The prospect of these products, and possibly the stress of my GCSE’s led me to do a big chop! Quite spontaneously. Prior to this, on my sixteenth birthday, I had my hair straightened and it was down my back around bra strap length. When I cut it, it was just above my shoulders. I did it for a fresh start, I thought it’s no good using expensive products on already damaged hair.
I’m so happy to tell you that it worked! It started me on a new journey of learning to love the hair I was born with, wearing it down and embracing its natural texture. If anyone feels stuck in a rut with their hair journey and is contemplating a big chop, I think it’s a great idea because it gives you the chance to start over (in so many ways) and this time with the proper hair care to help you grow HEALTHY, long luscious locks.
I’ve since learned that healthy hair trumps long hair any day. The big chop was only the beginning of my story, and nearly four years later, I am still learning new and better ways to care for my hair, but I am so much more confident with my hair just being the way it is.
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