Happy 8 Months Rocco!

8 months? It feels longer… really… But yeah, 8 months since my BC today, which is cool. Nothing much to add to that really… I’ve been keeping him moisturized as best I can. I don’t know how he’s dealing with wearing a helmet… He doesn’t seem too traumatized.

I deep conditioned Monday overnight and I wore a braid-out today. Otherwise, nothing too exciting or too horrifying to report. It’s been a great journey and I’m bound to learn more.

Shadow ‘Fro Rocco

Trimming My Ends

This is one topic I haven’t even touched on or mentioned! Or have I… regardless, I haven’t done it. I’ve been natural for 7.5 months now and I have yet to trim my hair. I have been researching the crap out of this topic because I have NO idea which direction I should go. To trim or not to trim?

When I was ‘relaxed’…
I didn’t trim on a schedule or anything. I had this cycle down that went a little like this:

1) Relax hair
2) Wait a week or two for it to settle into its new state of relaxedness
3) Get a haircut

Now, I didn’t do this all the time, but because of the breakage my hair was never nice and even. I didn’t get my hair relaxed in a salon (too much money and I hate how harsh the chemicals were there) so I did it at home. I’d wait about a week for my hair to get over the initial shock and then I would go to a salon and get the simplest cut I could. I would usually tell them to ‘even it out’ which always ended up differently since I never went to the same salon twice.

Now it’s different. My hair isn’t long enough that I can pull it down and inspect the ends myself. From what I can see I haven’t seen many split ends. Some SSKs for sure but not a lot of split ends. When I braid or twist my hair, the ends are usually fuller and puffier. But if my hair was damaged or breaking then the ends would be thinner right? So, I’m not sure. Recently I took a good look at my ends, the ones near the nape of my neck where they make contact with clothes. I didn’t see any split ends… Really. So does that mean I’m in the clear? I think they’re worth re-visiting in a bit. I don’t plan to trim if I don’t need to but also I feel like chances are after what’s almost 8 months of being natural, my ends may need some refreshing.

When was your first trim post BC? Did you do it yourself, enlist someone’s help or go to a salon? Did you trim hair in twists or braids or just by taking sections?

Update: I ended up trimming my hair Nov 29. You can read about it here.

A Letter To Rocco

Dear Rocco,

It’s good to see you in this state. Healthy and full. I know it wasn’t always this way and well, I’m sorry. I’m sorry it took me years to realize you were a great gift to my head. But… I never really knew you. You were just a bit of fuzz even when I was two. When I was closer to five you made more of an appearance. Awkwardly standing on my head. After that mom made sure to braid you and treat you well. Except for those days when the hot comb would come out. Mom didn’t mean to burn you and the tops of my ears. She put you in box braids and you grew. You were cool.

And then I forgot about you.

Remember those times when I put that cream on you? It burned but I told you to chill and just relax. I thought you were sooo uptight. I know, I know… You were pissed and you broke off and stuff. I was pissed because you broke so we didn’t really talk a lot. I just flat-ironed you. Nearly daily. So you broke off some more. Let’s just say we weren’t very good at communicating. Or maybe you were communicating but I wasn’t listening.

Back in February you broke off so much that there wasn’t a lot left of you. Actually you left a great bit of length in front but not a lot anywhere else. You made me look kind of silly. I didn’t really know what to do. I watched YouTube and read blogs and realized: “I don’t have to treat you like that.” So that’s when I took you in and gave you a fresh start.

You see?

It was sort of an audition. I’ve known you for 24 years but I never let you be you. When I let you do your thing 7 months ago today I could see you your excitement. It was your chance to shine and baby you put on your tap shoes and danced. I watched. I learned. I wanted to know what made you flourish so I watched other girls and their curls and did what they did. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t, but this time when you talked, I listened.

You’re free. I think you’re happy finally. All you wanted was to be you. And that’s all I need.

-Ndeshimona

Length Check!!

Alright Rocco, let’s see how you’re doing. I don’t think I’ve done a length check on my blog so why not add one now. It has been 6 months and 13 days since my big chop and Rocco has been doing well. I only have one pic here but my lengths are pretty much 3.25inches all round except for the front of my hair which is a little over 4 inches. At first I was like ‘what is up with that?’ But then I remembered that when she chopped my hair she shaped it so my hair in the front was a wee bit longer. So that’s cool. I don’t mind that.

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No Heat For Rocco

Rocco has had 6 blissful months without intentional heat touching his strands. I don’t think I would have ever thought that there would be a time where I could walk away from the my flat iron. Honestly.

When I first moved away for school one of my first purchases was a flat iron. A good one. Me and roomie-friend went halfies on a $100 salon quality flat iron. I was elated. I could replace my crummy drug store flat iron with this sleek salon one. Life was good. I remember one Christmas, my roomie and I were both heading home and we were trying to work out who would take the flat iron with them. I think I ended up taking it because her mom had one. Ooh those straight styles. I was a pro with the heat protectant. Clipping the mess of curly hair up and taking the flat iron to it. What a feeling as my hair steamed and lay down stiffly. A pile of straw-like hair on the floor in front of my mirror where I had been surrounded by clips and styling sprays. Off I went, with my hair so straight. Some of my itty bitty hairs sticking straight up, but overall a good look.

And then March happened. Suddenly I had no use for a flat iron. I had no use for a hair brush. Or blow dryer. Or ponytails. Or clips. My hair didn’t need any manipulation. There wasn’t enough hair to manipulate! Perfect. I got used to feeling the wind on my neck and my ears. I got used to having shorter hair than my brother. I got used to reaching up and not having a whole lot going on up there.

And then the weirdest thing happened. My hair grew! HAH! You know when you have one of those days after your BC and you look at yourself in the mirror or you just tell yourself, ‘my hair isn’t going to grow’. I don’t know why, it’s so illogical. But I was so happy and surprised when I would grab a curl and pull it and see, that curl has so much potential. It has so much more going on than it shows. My hair grows!!

6 months later and my hair is thick, resilient, it is curly and most of all it’s happy. I think Rocco is happy. He may not be the most cooperative but life is good when there’s no flat iron or blow dryer coming to get him.

This isn’t to say I’ll never straighten my hair again. Straight looks are great and I can’t wait until I have some amazing length to show off. Maybe on my one year BC anniversary I’ll give it a go. It’ll be strange, picking up the blow dryer or picking up the flat iron. I know, without a doubt, it will be scary. Heat damage is my NUMBER ONE fear as a natural girl. All those years I destroyed my hair in an attempt to remove the curl. Now the thought of that curl remaining straight and lifeless and have it all my doing would really be disheartening. So I know I’m going to be learning everything I can about doing a blow-out and straightening natural hair. I’ll be there in 6 months youtube tutorials! What a journey. So glad it happened 🙂 I have to say… I’m thankful that 6 months ago my hair was in such shit shape, breaking and falling off everywhere, that I had no choice but to cut it all off. So thankful =)

HAPPY 6 MONTHS DEAR ROCCO!

Hello everybody. Meet my hair. My hair is 6 months old today! March of this year I cut it all off. I was unsure of what was ahead of me. But Rocco has surprised me in many ways and I have learned so much throughout this journey. Rocco and I have had a good run. Some rocky bits but we got through it together. Keep on growing Rocco! Keep on growing 😉

HAPPY NAPPIVERSARY ROCCO!!!!

Grr…

I’ma laugh it off. It’s different for everyone. I changed my profile pic to one from this summer of my dad and I at the lake. My cousin’s comment was “wow…..” and then “where is your long hair?”

My LONG hair?! My hair has never been loooong. It’s always been shoulder length and thin and fragile. I live in Canada. My cousin lives in Zambia. I have never met him but by the good graces of the internet and social media, we have the ability to chat and such. I know I’m interpreting that comment in a way that I feel slighted, that may not have been his intention. The girls he’s surrounded with and meet may wear their hair differently. I responded with “Hah! I liked my dad’s haircut so much I decided to get the same ;)”

Update Sept 28, 2012: Looking back at this… I can understand my insecurities. But also looking forward I can see it was a simple question from someone who has only seen me through photos. He didn’t ask: “what happened to your hair?” yknow? I think it’s important that I keep in mind that it’s not me vs the world. It’s not my hair vs everyone else and their opinions and views. I make up part of this world. I live here alongside everyone else doing my thing and getting. No use getting caught up and overanalyzing the slightest comment yknow? Laugh, smile, hug, be grateful. Don’t worry 😉