A couple of months after giving birth to my second son, I decided to do the ” big chop”. If your not aware of what this is, you must be sleeping under a rock. The “big chop” in the African American culture is cutting all your relaxed hair off, until your left with your natural hair. I decided during this time that I wanted to return to my natural curl pattern. It sounded like such a great idea and something easy to manage. This was normal for me because I used to cut my hair every time I was going through a break-up or wanted a little change. It seemed easy, but I had no clue how attached we women are to our hair. The first day I cut it and went to the jail to work for night shift, I hid in the locker room during road call. I already was tired of explaining the diversity of my hairstyle to my Caucasian male co-workers. They would always notice a change, or new hairstyle, and seemed to think I had this magic hair growth serum. This was when I was going between my natural length and 18 inch weaves. That night I did not want to explain why I looked like my newborn son, with about two inches of tight curls on my head. I knew eventually I would have to expose this new do, but I preferred to hide in the dark and listen to the inmates roast my new do. For about a month, I tried to find ways to conceal my nakedness. I felt like I was baring my soul, without my hair being able to cover my ears. Time passed and my curls and length were in a not so awkward phase. I enjoyed flat ironing and seeing the true length. Soon I was ready to be adventurous and try other healthy hair straightening ideas. I decided to hit a local hairdresser and get a silk press. A silk press is a flat iron, and a under dryer wrap that leaves kinky tresses silky straight and flowing. I didn’t do much research on the hairstylist, but figured she was black and knew how to deal with my hair type. I was so wrong! After one silk press and twelve months on a healthy natural hair journey, my curl pattern was gone. No deep conditioner, or hair treatment could bring back a year of very minimal heat and gorgeous curl pattern. I was extremely disappointed but what I did afterwards was an example of lacking self love. I figured since it was damaged that I would just continue to do so. All it took was one person to damage the progress I made within that year. I was finally where I wanted my hair to be and looking forward to the years to come. I sacrificed and dealt with some serious emotional attachment to something that never made me Kieona. Similar to my natural hair journey, we as humans go through situations in life where one person, or situation can occur that takes us off our path or goals. They can put you in situation where you have to hit the restart button. What about that diet and exercise you have incorporated in your life the last three months? You have been working so hard and one cheat day led to five. All the weight you worked so hard for you gained back. What I learned from my natural hair journey, is to not be so hard on myself. There are going to be some major setbacks when you make commitments to make changes. It’s not the fall, it’s what you choose to do after falling. If someone has hurt you and your heart was broken, is it smart for you to continue allow others to do the same. We have a choice when the downfall occurs to either get back up, or continue to damage the very thing we allowed another outsider to do. To make a long story short, I plan on going back to my curls. The process is going to be a little easier emotionally because I plan on slowly cutting away the damage ends. It may take longer but this time around I will know better. Take it as a lesson learned an opportunity to do better the next time around. We all have been there, failed school and worked harder when given the second chance. Maybe failed at the first marriage and learned more of what to expect for the next. How to pick your battles and appreciate the process. My natural hair journey wasn’t just about my hair. It was returning back to the very thing I once was. It was to celebrate the hair God gave me. It was about returning to my natural state. #Natural 


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