That's not me in the picture. But that's where I want my hair to be...right now. I have no patience so I’m having a moment…again. My curly hair is driving me up the wall and this is because, of course, it is not the length that I want…yet. But because of lovely shrinkage, it looks like it hasn’t grown one bit. Dare I say it? Yes, I will…I want to blow dry, and flat iron it right now. We can even add a couple of highlights.
It doesn’t help when I see my relatives with beautifully thick blown out natural hair. So I feel like, healthy hair, shmealthy hair, straightening it at least will smooth my hair out so I can see the length because patience can't do what a CHI flat iron can.
Earlier in September, I had the same meltdown and contacted Teri at TightlyCurly.com and told her of my chagrin, my lack of patience with my natural hair care and how I was bound to go on a hair cutting frenzy soon if I didn’t see some results. Damaged hair, shmamaged hair, I didn’t care.
Kindly, Teri wrote back, and below is my email and her response. I wrote to her because she had already gone through what I was about to embark on. See her hair photo history here. Her advice helps me through my hair cutting and straightening outbursts and fits. So here’s to patience…I mean shmatience.
On Mon, Sep 8, 2008 at 10:06 AM, Eva wrote:
I wrote you earlier this summer with questions about my own hair and I really appreciated all of your advice. Thank you.
I really enjoy looking at your photo history because sometimes when people show their before and after pictures they really don't dwell so much on the before. But you actually show a sequence of unfortunate events with your hair. Your honesty is refreshing.
However, I do have to ask how you remained so patient while growing your hair. I have this idea in my mind of what I want my hair to be and when it doesn't look like that after a while, then I cut my hair or do crazy things to my hair and then have to start all over again. I really want to exercise patience, but it's so hard...Do you have any advice while waiting for one's hair to grow?
Date: Tue, 9 Sep 2008 21:09:32 -0700
Subject: Re: What did you do while you waited for your hair to grow...It's torture!!!
Hi there Eva,
Thank you so much for what you said about the old pictures! I know how it felt for me to walk around with my hair like that, and worst of all I felt like I was the only person who was going through it. I never want anyone else to feel alone with their hair. Plus, if people see what I used to look like, they'll see that if I can grow out my hair, there is no reason they can't too.
It's true it can be so frustrating to wait for our hair to grow out at the snail's pace it grows at. The thing is that if it takes six or seven years to get hair down our back, those six or seven years were going to pass anyway whether you were growing your hair or not. At least this way when those years are up, you will have healthy long hair instead of the same old broken hair.
It might help to concentrate on eliminating the damage happening to your hair, instead of focusing on changing it. Imagine that whatever you do to it, you are doing to a single strand of hair over and over again. Would whatever you are doing hurt that one strand of hair? Would it damage the strand of hair if you added what you are doing to it now to all the other things you are doing to it? How can you treat it even more gently? I guess that is what I did. While I was growing out my hair, I was trying to figure out how to do less and less damage to it. So by the time I figured everything out, then my hair was long.
Once it gets to a certain point past your shoulders, you'll just enjoy having it. Then it's no longer about waiting for it, you'll be so busy enjoying it, how soft it feels, how shiny it is, and getting to know it. And one day you'll see that it gets caught in your shirt when you put your shirt on. And later you'll notice it's getting caught in your pants when you put them on. But in between those two things, you'll just be enjoying it and the time really won't matter anymore.
I hope that helped a bit,
Enjoy your journey,