Going on 7 months of no heat, I feel my youth coming back. As I watch my curl pattern come alive and the shrinkage appear in full force, I am reminded of the days before sitting by the stove while my mother heated up the hot comb. The days where I’d run around barefoot in the yard with my cousins–our curls rampant and unrestrained like wild children.
What I’ve noticed so far:
I’ve seen a decent amount of growth, around two inches. Although recently I was spontaneous and chopped off at least an inch split ends knowing full-well I don’t trust myself cutting my own hair. I accidentally gave myself a bob so I’m looking forward to more growth.
My curl pattern is flourishing. I see loops and ringlets where there once were none. I swear sometimes my hair has more confidence than me. The nerve of my curls to flaunt when no one asked them to, it’s like they are woman I wish I was more of. And although shrinkage is annoying, I know it’s a good sign that my curls are healthy.
I’m still messing around with the back. The back of my head is where I find the sections that dry faster, tangle more, and curl less. Although it’s still healthy back there, I still haven’t managed to find a way to add more consistency around overall. My hair is very thin (although it’s getting thicker now that it’s healthy), and when I comb fingers through it takes away from the curls, however, I need to comb it to lock in moisture and product. I’m thinking a good curl defining product will work from DevaCurl. I had a wonderful experience when I used to add their products in my hair routine.
Originally I wanted to make it one year without heat, but now that I’m seven months in and chopped some of my progress off, I’m thinking one year is too early for a length check. I have so much still to learn before about my 3b/3c curls before I even think about heat again. I’m still working on perfecting my wash n’ go routine so that I can make my hair last longer before my next wash, but my next main tasks are to learn how to part and section my hair so that I can do more styles as well as establish a night time regimen. Also, it’s on my list to purchase a scarf and get serious about protective styling. Slowly but sure I will work my way up to learning more advanced skills like braids and bantu knots, but for now, I’ll just work on finding a routine that works for me.
This journey has taught me that black women are strong as hell. The patience, frustration, time, money, doubt, and all the wtf moments it takes to learn how to do your own hair, honestly it’s unbelievable. There’s a reason black people refer to themselves as kings and queens– all this work we put in needs to be honored.