Yesterday, as I talked to my friend Crystal about the current state of her hair, I realized a few things through her hair journey.
Crystal has been natural for over 10 years. So she came into the game before it was a "trend" or movement. Since her first big chop she has worn Afros, twist outs, braids, head wraps, had other big chops and other styles. For much of the past 10 yrs her relationship and treatment of her hair resembled the flow and movement of her life's experiences. One day, I'm sure you will read about some of those in a book OR maybe even a guest post on my blog. (Wink wink).
However, a few yrs ago she moved back home to care for her mother who was in kidney failure (last October she was blessed with a kidney transplant). Well, the verdict is still out on the reason why she experienced it but Crystal found herself in a situation where she was losing hair. Her hair was breaking off and shedding in an unhealthy way. She knew she needed to focus on it and get it to grow again but she was honest with herself. She knew that the combo of everything going on in her life and her lack of desire to actually commit to the work of cultivating her hair was not a good one. So she made the decision to get her first sew-in. She was committed to growth but she was honest with herself about her comfort level of involvement in the process.
Since making that decision last year, she has been wearing sew-ins and making sure her hair and scalp stays clean, moisturized and conditioned. Recently, she got a "fresh" sew-in and she reported to me that her hair has grown and is much healthier.
SN: I was a lil perturbed because she didn't let me see it...
But she said that she's happy about the progress she's made with her hair.
I think her process resembles the process of many of us who want growth. We sometimes see the damage or breakage in certain areas of our lives and we know something must be done. But, we are not honest with ourselves about the level of commitment or involvement we are comfortable with. If we were more honest with ourselves and came up with alternate ideas about how to achieve our desired outcome, we would probably succeed.
I believe Crystal experienced some personal growth from this process as well because she made a point to tell me that in years prior she had not been upfront with herself about her willingness to work with her hair. She would do different things to it and sometimes would just cut it off and start over. But, this time she did something different. She had a goal in mind and she knew what she would and wouldn't do; so she aligned her actions and choices with that. I believe that her expectancy was different this time as well because she knew she was doing something she had never done before.
I have learned a lot from her story of growth and as I continue on my journey I'll be mindful that growth requires honesty and commitment.