April 11, 2013

#TBT #ThrowbackThursday The Fro From Hell

This picture is circa April/May 2004. I was headed to senior prom. *Man I clean up nice* I won't reveal my age but just note I couldn't even vote yet.

A month or two earlier I stood in my bathroom after a day of school, looked into the mirror, and in one fell swoop used an old ass pair of fabric scissors to "big chop" my hair.

Really though, it could've been more or less months but I think the experience was a subconscious trauma to my psyche, and my mind has made some details around the event all a blur.

It was a big chop alright. It was a big hot mess, and it's up there as one of the best and worst decisions I have ever made in life.

"Best" because it was a freeing experience to finally have taken action not to suffer the lye of relaxer any more. No more chemical burns! Yay! No more worrying about new growth! Yay! No more  putting my hair in a doobie (for non- New Yorkers, a.k.a wrapping my hair)! Yay!

"Worst" because... well... it's generally not a great idea to take dull ag├ęd fabric scissors to your hair in an attempt to free yourself of anything. You have probably seen this pair in your grandmama's sewing stash - with the black enamel paint handles and rusty blades. Yeah... those.

When I was done my head looked like a furry cat in the throes of chemo therapy. There was a shrunken  knotted solid fro underneath sparsely covered by about 1/2 inch (in some pots) of straightened ends that were hanging on for dear mercy. My head was reminiscent of my family's back yard in Massachusetts. They struggled for years to get grass to grow evenly in their back yard during summers. My head became familiar with that struggle - my fro was the soil, and the straightened ends were reminiscent of the few wily patches of grass that tried to flourish every summer.

In any case, I cleaned up the crime scene hair and covered my head with a bandana, in an effort to hide the evidence from my mother. Honestly, this should have been the first sign that it was a bad idea. LOL

I do not know what kind of juice I was sipping on, but I headed to school the next day (yes, not even clever enough to do this on the weekend -__-). Looking back, either I was really fed up with relaxers or really eager to embark on my natural journey. At school my class mates looked at me in wonderment - mostly I am sure because of the disaster I was sporting for a hair cut. I got alot of this

and this

and this

and this

Yep... that bad.

After the shenanigans of my big chop, I entertained braids and extensions until prom rolled around. It was during my time dealing with this fro from hell that I realized that I do not like to comb my hair. My scalp is too tender for that... always had been. So I began researching natural hairstyles that would not require much manipulation, fell in love with other people's locs and sisterlocs on Nappturality.com and Fotki, and BOOM! "I'ma loc this baby up!"

In my research at the time, the only natural hair salon in my area with a significant online presence was Khamit Kinks. I decided a stylist at Khamit Kinks was gonna usher me into the locdom. But, before that could happen there was prom... and the fro from hell.

I took my behind to Khamit Kinks and they hooked me up with this fly ass Straw Set. The process took a while but it was well worth it. Prom was a blast and I was even crowned one of the prom princesses! (I went to a Catholic all girls' school so there was a prom court of 2/3 princesses and then prom queen.) Having just moved from the islands all this prom shit was new to me, but alas it went well.

Oh, and for all you young ones out there, I went to prom... without a date... and did not die of shame or embarassment. ;-)

The moral of the story is: Take your behind to the salon to get your big chop done!

Do not just walk into the barber shop... they will jack. you. up! Don't do it by yourself, you will jack you up! (Unless you or some one you know is good with the clippers) I am all for DIY but a good salon will consult with you on what shape fro will best compliment your face and lifestyle and how to care for your new texture after your big chop!

Trust me, you are going to need that knowledge! I'll do another #tbt to show you the pics of what happened after my lovely straw set collided with humidity, my tender scalp, and my refusal to comb my hair.  It's as bad as it sounds. :-/


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