New Year; Same Hair Goal

Trying to get past this length in 2013

For my hair journey, the beginning of 2013 looks pretty much like the end of 2012.  My main focus this year will be to protect my hair from ME!  That’s right, I’ve figured out the real reason why I’m still sitting at the length I am now.  Some people call it “Scissor Happy” but I’m now calling it counter productive.  I really like when my ends have that blunt cut appearance and when they don’t, I’m pulling out the scissors.  As far as retaining length, with this way of thinking, I’m at a stand still with my hair.

Lately I have been looking for ways to distract myself because yes, I’ve been thinking about cutting again.  I hit APL (Arm Pit Length) at the sides a couple times in 2012 and saw it as an oppurtunity to even things up.  Now, I do still have bangs in the front and layers on the top and sides, so my bottom layer is still the lengthiest part of my hair overall.  I guess I have always wanted to help the other sections catch up to the rest which would mean trimming the longest bits little by little.  Still, even with that being the goal I figured I would just hover at BSL (Bra Strap Length) before trying to make my hair more even.  At this rate, I’ll never see BSL which for me is only two more inches away (in back; when the hair is stretched).

Last fall I counted and it looks like I gave myself at least 6-7 trims throughout the year.  Some to get rid of heat damage (searching for the perfect curl) and some to give my hair that look of blunt ends.  My last trim for 2012 was at the end of November and I honestly think I should put the scissors aside until the spring.  I really am curious to see where my hair will end up in the coming months but the urge to cut is always there.  Not sure if I can do it but I’m gonna try.

Length Check-February 2011

Since I’m on a hair growth journey, I can get antsy sometimes because I don’t always get to see my hair’s true length under all this shrinkage.  Last month I decided to straighten my hair out to see where it’s at right now lengthwise. 

Since I have layers and bangs, the longest part is in the back which is why I take pictures so I can see where it falls.  At first I didn’t really think that it looked like much because I still have a ways to go before I reach my current goal of APL.  However, when I compared it to a picture that I took last year I actually saw how far I’ve come.  The other thing I noticed is that my hair isn’t as short as I thought it was since my cut in January.  I was scared that maybe I cut a little too much since I did it on slightly stretched hair.  Am I going to make it to APL by May…my 2 year Nappiversary?  For me, it’s still hard to say.  Either way, I can see that I am making progress.

I Did My Own Big Chop

My hair after 9 months of Transitioning;
Relaxed ends and lots of new growth
I have been doing my own haircuts and trims ever since I graduated from high school.  Still, I wasn’t sure if I could successfully do the “Big Chop” myself.  I transitioned for nine months so it was very easy to see where to make each cut.  I guess I was mostly concerned that I would end up with a fro without the right shape.  I had never worn my hair shorter than ear length so the shape of my hair was going to be pretty important to me. 
For awhile I considered going to my Dad or Brother who are both trained barbers.  I even asked if they would be willing to do it when the time came.  I could tell that my Dad was not going to give me a buzz cut because he’s so used to seeing me with longer hair.  My brother however had done the Chop for a few other ladies who were starting their journey so he was up for it.  Before I made my decision though I decided to check out some videos on YouTube to see how other naturalistas got it done.  It seemed to me that having someone do it at a salon meant getting a little more length taken off than I wanted.  This was because of the shaping that was done after the relaxed pieces were cut away.   That’s when I decided that I would just do it myself because then I would only have myself to blame if I there were any mishaps.  Anyway, I could always have my brother fix it if it came to that. 
My hair the day after the Big Chop
During my transition, I made it a point to cut off a little each month so that I wouldn’t have very much relaxed hair left to part with.  I started out by putting my hair into small sections and cut the first piece right in the front.  No turning back!  My fro was bigger than I expected which was a plus.  The following day, I used some Garnier Fructis Sleek & Shine Leave-in Conditioning Cream, aloe vera gel and shea butter on my wet hair to encourage my first little curls to come into view.  I was so proud of my new hair and how the cut turned out. 

New Year, New Trim

My new Stainless Steel Sheers by Conair
I was looking at my hair for the past few months and noticing that my curl pattern had gotten looser.  I knew that henna can have this effect so I added amla powder to my last few applications to prevent this from happening any further.  After wearing my hair straight twice in December, I was pretty sure that I was experiencing some heat damage.  My hair texture is thinner in the front so it always happens there first.  The rest of my hair was still curly but not as thick as before.  After using my Aubrey Organics GPB conditioner for a couple of light protein treatments, I knew that my hair, although it looked better, still needed a trim. 

My stretched hair just before
trimming the first section

I was due for a trim this month anyway so I figured why not invest in some new sheers.  I bought the stainless steel hair sheers by Conair.  I was surprised to find them in a kit that also came with a cape…COOL!  Instead of flat ironing my hair again, I decided to do the trim on stretched hair.  This method showed me that it is possible to do a trim without using heat.  I decided to go for it and take off a little more than the usual 1/8″ to 1/4″.  I cut a full 1/2″ off of each section!  That is a whole months’ growth for me but it was definitely worth it. 
Front View
Thicker, Curlier Hair with Shape
The result…MY CURLS ARE BACK!  I’m so excited because my hair has not been this thick and curly for so long.  The bangs are still pretty loose but I’m okay with that.  The other thing that decided to join the party is my crazy shrinkage.  My hair looks really short since the trim even though it’s still past my shoulders in the back.  This is exciting because I didn’t actually have to cut very much in order to get back where I wanted to be.  I’m still serious about achieving great lengths with my hair this year.  Now, with the trim, I have the healthy ends I need to start things off right.  

Back View
Looks short but it’s still
past shoulder length