Not a lot of things are constant in life but change is one thing you can most definitely count on.
Sometimes we find the need within ourselves to make a change and that’s usually to improve our life or a situation we’re in. There are other times when change is forced upon us and entirely out of our control and we either swim with the tide or get swept away.
On January 23rd of this year (2015) two days before my birthday in fact; I decided to make a change. It’s a change I felt I needed to make but also one I wanted to make. On one hand, I needed to make it because my health was affected and on the other hand I wanted to make it because I wanted to prove to myself that this change wouldn’t make me any less “me”. 🙂
The change I made was a physical one. I decided in January to cut my hair. 🙂 I know some people might have burst out laughing at that revelation as it’s something that many people do regularly and others don’t see as a big deal. It’s not really a big deal on a “certain level” as it’s “just hair” and on another level it can be a big deal if you’re someone who for personal reasons chose to grow your hair and incorporated that choice into a life style.
For myself, I chose to grow my hair in locs in 2003 and not out of any sort of “rebellion” (for some crazy reason there has been the idea that people grow locs because they’re rebelling against something). I can only speak for myself. l started growing mine then not because I was rebelling but because I wanted to continue to fully embrace my natural hair journey. My loc journey evolved as an extension of me re-embracing my hair in its natural state.
Throughout my journey as the months turned into years, I enjoyed the different stages of my locs evolution.I had some moments in the early years when I almost lost them or was tempted to start over due to stylists shenanigans (and some of my own) which damaged them but I stuck with them; or maybe they stuck it out with me. 🙂
Eventually, I just let them be. It was “just” hair but I also learned a lot about myself just in the process of growing locs.
A major lesson growing locs taught me was patience! That’s a biggie! I’m possibly not the most patient person in the world and I’m still a work-in-progress but I’ve come a long, long way! 🙂 I realised that people will stereotype you; they will try to “figure you out”. Some people will think you’re following a trend and others will try to lump you into a box where they think you fit in (why am I thinking about that Zendaya and patchouli statement?) Anyhoo… all that to say something as “simple” as hair can cause you to be viewed a particular way; sometimes negative but mostly positive (in my case).
As my locs grew,so did my love ❤ for them.
I had individual locs that even had their own traits and just did their own thing no matter what I tried. After about 10 years of growth, I realized that the weight of my hair started making my migraines worse. It also didn’t help that I have a deviated disc in my neck.
Never-the-less, I was aghast at the idea of saying good bye to my locs after all that time together; all the trials, tribulations and triumphs were too much to consider.
For another year I toyed with the idea of cutting but I figured I’d trim instead of cut all the way. So I took 6 inches off here, then a few months later I took off another 4; of course my hair grew back and I was right where I started. My migraines led me to more and more medication (something I don’t like).
Finally, at the start of this year after listening to “I am not my hair” by India Arie on repeat 😀
I made the decision that even though I was my hair to an extent…because it’s an extension of who I am as a person and my own individual sense of self; I was not only my hair. I am who I am essentially locs or no locs.
So I cut them.
My headaches still occur of course but without the added weight I have less to contend with. I miss them sometimes but I also enjoy the “new” feeling of getting re-acquainted with my loose hair. I’ve begun seeking natural remedies for my migraines. The research continues; so far I’ve done acupuncture with some success and may consider this as treatment in the future but I’m still searching.
Hopefully, I find a way to manage my migraines better as I have a feeling there will be another loc journey for me in the near future. 😉