Happy Nappyversary to meeeeeeee! ^___^
What is a Nappyversary?
Whatever you prefer to call it- Nappyversary, Hairversary, etc- is a Natural Hair Anniversary. If you’ve been natural your whole life, it might be puzzling to you lol but yes, for those of us that made the conscious decision to go back to embrace their kinks, it’s definitely a thing.
I love mini-celebrations. Sometimes, I cook special meals for the people I love to celebrate them on their days when they’re away. I’m all for random reasons to celebrate (merry unbirthday to you!!) – BUT this day is actually significant. I wouldn’t have wanted to be negative and say this when I chopped but to be honest, despite the endless hours I’d spent on blogs and youtube, I didn’t know how my journey would be. More so, Consistency is not my strongest suit as a person. Quite a few times I wanted things so bad and when I finally got em, I simply did not care anymore. I really didn’t know for sure if I’d stick to this, but look- here I am today! I don’t know how I’m going to do it- treat myself to ice-cream or cook a super special meal, I’m going to do something nice today. This small thing that’s definitely not contributing to world peace or ending global warming is worth celebrating : )
When is a Nappyversary?
My last relaxer was September 2011 and I big chopped 30 May 2012. By September 2012, I could have had a Nappyversary, celebrating one year’s worth of natural growth- but for the reason already outlined above, the big chop day is more significant to me. It’s the day it became real, hence my reference. SO whichever you please, do you okay? You could treat it like a relationship or like a mom notes markers for her baby if you’d like- 3 months, 6 months… Nappyversaries are fun times for you to look back on how you’ve been doing. You could read my post about Going Natural/my Big Chop here.
MY FIRST YEAR
This was me after I chopped. So happy! ^_^
This is me now (last Saturday)
It doesn’t look like a lot has changed since last year, does it?
Let me tell you a bit of a story.
I chopped May 30. There’s something liberating about cutting your hair. True. I decided to transition because I thought I’d be ugly with short hair. After my chop however, I liked my face. It was very different, yes- but definitely not ugly (yes I’m preaching to you too) so I was really thinking about that shorter cut. So I went to a barber in that dead village called Bwari. I felt, yes- this isn’t exactly the centre of excellence but a barber in this area should be able to do a decent cut now? Shey it’s just to trim hair. Wow. Was I wrong. Barber didn’t attempt to blow my hair out. I think my hair was a little damp sef. He just went through the thing and I had a feeling that the circumstances should have been different but I did not speak up. I paid and went home with my head. It was horrible. The right side was way higher than the left- so bad that if I was going to wear my hair or head out, I’d have to go to a proper barber and get a trim to level the field. I did not want to do that because I was then holding on to my 8 long hard months of transitioning! Lessons learnt: Speak up. Nothing is too mundane to Google. Don’t let just ANYONE near your hair.
So I went from one Protective style to another until October when I had my re-chop. Four months of going from braids-weave-weave-twists, and I was tired. There’s something very frustrating about not having a choice. This time (like my Big chop), I went to a female salon, had my hair blown out and they did their best to make the right as long/short as the left. Till this day, a small portion on the left side is still shorter than everywhere else.
I was ready. I guess it was in October that it really began. That I really started OWNING my twa. I showed up at the beginning of the new session at school with my freshly trimmed twa and did not protective style till January.
I braced myself for the negative comments but to my surprise, they did not come. I got asked about it a lot- won’t you relax your hair? Will you be like this forever? But mostly, people would tell me that they loved my hair. I got used to the occasional random stranger pulling/pinching my hair out- it was really interesting. Seriously, I’d never been so complimented in my life.
Then by January when I did a weave and later when I did twists, some people asked me why? They told me they preferred my fro. And to that I simply said, “So do I.”
Opinions are fickle things
Most of my classmates met me with my fro, so seeing me with extensions was a change for them. If they’d known me with straight hair, they may not have been as welcoming or as positive about it. That’s the thing with people’s opinions on the way you look. They really are fickle things. Most people react based on what they know. They aren’t seeing your new look, they’re just seeing that you’ve departed from the familiar- and unfamiliar doesn’t always sit well with everyone- at first. So really, don’t mind them. I like that people like the way I look, but I realise that what I think about the way I look matters a lot more.
Growing or nah?
Length is something I did not give a lot of thought to this year. I’ve been preoccupied with staying moisturised and minimising breakage. I haven’t mastered moisturising yet- and maybe I should be a little more gentle when I comb.
The fact that I wasn’t measuring coupled with my failed trim and re-chop make it a little difficult for me to tell how fast my hair was growing in the past year. I can’t really tell. But on the bright side, if I used a flat-iron, I know it’d be decent. I can do a short bob if I please, or get bangs lol. This is progress abi?
THERE HAVE BEEN A FEW CHANGES…
Hair colour: When I was relaxed, my hair was Colour 4. Now, it’s closer to Colour 1B. Black extensions still feel too harsh but my hair is definitely darker than it was before.
Coils: Felt the back of my hair yesterday and I noticed more 4A curls/coils than before.
Positioning: My neck is always straight! LOL. Like I’m pretty sure I can count the times I’ve rested my head on anything without having my satin bonnet on.
Also, because the only time of the day I’m really in the mood to comb my fro is in the morning before I go out, I don’t rest my head on the head-rest when I’m in the car, or anywhere for that matter. I don’t want the fro pressing and being flat at the back. Lol.
General habits: I make greater effort to stay hydrated (still not perfect sha) and I think reading all this stuff about natural hair and being conscious about what I let interact with my hair has made me start thinking seriously about what I put in my body. I’m considering joining awon #fitfam soon lol- healthy eating, a healthier, more natural lifestyle is definitely on my mind.
Making my own hair decisions has been a really good experience and this is something I encourage more people to do. I should get a dryer/steamer before the end of the year. Then, I will only have to go out to get my hair braided or something.
WHAT I’VE LEARNT
SO much about my hair and hair in general- of which I’ve shared as much as possible, with you guys on the blog.
The hocus pocus is real yo. Most of the stuff you read about natural hair at first can get you like “hmmmmmm side-eye.” For all my life I’d used stuff with long lists of ingredients I could not explain. So it was a little daunting at first to trust these people over the internet telling me that this can moisturise, that this can do this or do that. I’m beginning to believe it. It’s true.
Hand-in-hand with the hocus pocus is that natural hair mantra you’ve heard quite a bit. ‘Listen to your hair’. I was sceptical at first but now I know it’s true- hair speaks. Blessed are the girls who listen to their hair, for they shall avoid frustration.
DO I MISS RELAXED HAIR?
That invisible parting thing is not the same abeg. It’s just struggle.
I also miss straight hair sometimes when I see Michelle Obama or when I’m on ‘Naija Hair Can Grow’ and I see Dabs’ luscious happy healthy LONG hair. But then I remember that I did not decide to go natural because I wanted long hair.
I’ve been interested in healthy hair since I started growing my hair out after secondary school and it was this healthy hair consciousness that managed to lead me here, to this healthy kinky hair journey.
When my hair was relaxed, it was not long like that but it was healthy and full.
I discovered that I preferred the look of natural hair and I learnt about how so versatile natural hair was, and that it’s actually very manageable with the right knowledge and treatment- and so the fire was lit in my mind.
I love my hair kinky. One year on and I’ve still got Hand in Hair syndrome. I love my shrinkage, I love my tight coils- and even the knotting sometimes gives me cause to wonder about this amazing living-dead organ. Sometimes a hair strand will break off and then knot itself at the end or near the end of another, making a really long strand!
Good hair is healthy hair. I believe that with a focus on keeping my hair healthy, it will definitely make me proud. As I continue, my goals are:
- Soft, way better moisturised hair (without over-reliance on product)
- Length retention/ hair growth.
- Cure myself of Hand in Hair syndrome (it annoys my mom SO much and it’s actually unnecessary, all that touching)
I also realise that I’ve really embraced my shrinkage- I love the twa and I know I’ll love a bigger fro BUT I’d like to get out my comfort zone and try my hand at a little styling.
Shallah to my bestie for actively encouraging me on this journey, to my friends for being supportive- and to you reading this, and every single person that has visited this blog- this is like my hair diary so even though I write TO YOU, most of it is me writing to myself and I still think it’s crazy that even one other person cares! Lol
Wow, this has been a super long post. *face palm*
Thank you, thank you so much! Here’s to many more happy natural x healthy hair days ahead!