Not long after I wrote that bit about my hair for TheHighCalling.org, I decided to let my hair go natural again. Perhaps you’ve noticed? I don’t know; maybe I’d made the decision long before that, and writing about my hair was the thing that helped me realize it.
It’s more than a notion.
The most important thing about transitioning from hair that is relaxed to hair that isn’t, is minding the breaking point. The point where the relaxed hair and the natural hair meet is so fragile and brittle it will simply break off into the sink or onto the bathroom floor or onto your pillow if it’s not treated with care. For this reason, those of us going through the transition from relaxed to natural hair search those YouTube channels and Facebook pages and Web sites to find transition styles for our hair – styles that will allow us to treat that breaking point with care.
There are three primary transitioning options: protective styling (braids, weaves, wigs, extensions), the long grow out (dealing with the two different textures for months), and the big chop (cutting off the relaxer and wearing your natural hair ultra short).
Right around the time I decided to go natural, one of the best opportunities of my entire life dropped right into my lap. It’s one of those stories other people tell. You know the kind of stories I’m talking about. The ones that make you shake your head in wonder and amazement. It’s one of those moments where the door opens up wide in front of you, and you didn’t even know there was a door there at all. I still can hardly believe it. I’ll be leaving my job at the insurance company to be the managing editor for TheHighCalling.org.
It seems more than my hair is in transition.
My last day at the insurance company is Thursday, June 7, and I am being careful to mind the breaking point. In fact, the transition styles for hair transfer right over to the rest of life. The relationships I’ve built at the insurance company have been my salvation (and I mean that) as I tried to find my way after moving to Nebraska in 2005. Leaving my coworkers will break my heart in many ways. Without them, however, I would never have been ready to take up this new challenge.
Of course, I knew I’d be leaving the insurance company for a while before I actually told my manager. Those days before I told her were like the protective styling phase – where I knew I was headed in a new direction, but I hadn’t made any changes that were too noticeable to onlookers. That couldn’t last forever, though.
In the days since telling my manager, I’ve been living the long grow out, with my mind and my alliances in two different realms. It’s exactly where I am with my hair. In the morning, I struggle to find a compromise between the relaxed and natural hair textures that share space on my head. In the same way, I am trying to be present in both the insurance company and at The High Calling, two places that share space in my head.. Some days are easier than others, and this won’t last forever.
On June 7, I’ll leave the insurance company for the last time. In many ways, it will be like the big chop. I’m sure there will be tears. And there will be celebration. On a day not far from June 7, I’ll sit in the chair at my favorite salon and ask my stylist to cut the relaxer off. I don’t think I’ll cry, but I probably won’t look in the mirror until it’s all over. I hope I’ll celebrate.
One thing I know is that once I drive out of the parking lot at the insurance company, and after the last bit of relaxer has been cut from my hair, there will be no turning back. What I’ll have left will be completely new – virgin even. Sometimes it scares me nearly to death and I say to myself, “What are you doing?!?! Have you lost your mind?!?!”
But I am past the point of no return, and it looks as if there’s light ahead. And did I mention this is one of the best opportunities of my life?
How about you? Are you in transition, heading toward transition, or finishing up some sort of transition? Do these transition styles resonate with you?