Curl Anxiety

Anyone who has taken the road from relaxed hair to natural hair is very familiar with...anxiety? I use the word anxiety because I think for most of us, we never knew what our hair looked like pre-relaxer (Note: if you get lost at any point I suggest taking a look at blog post on my journey; it's more explanatory in terms of the hair journey itself). You either cut all your hair off and wait for it to grow, or watch as it grows above your relaxed hair before chopping off the relaxed ends, all the while you ask yourself, "what is it going to look like!?!"

When I began my transition, I was shocked to find that my hair was curly even with the relaxer. After watching youtube videos and talking to others who were journeying to natural hair, I came to the conclusion that my hair had rejected my relaxers. Which gave me the false impression that was what my hair was going to look like, period. Six months later, I realized the truth: my hair was so curly it couldn't be straightened! That's when my curl anxiety began. Anyone who saw me during those first couple months know, my hair was clearly curly. The idea of it being even curlier... I had no idea what was going to expect at that point.

Somehow, from my vague memories of childhood, I had the idea that when all was said and done, my hair would look like this:

By the one year mark, I realized that was definitely not where my hair was headed. Instead it looked more like this:

During my rampage of natural hair blogs, vlogs, pictures, etc., I fell in love with all the curls. So while I was disappointed that my hair was going in a different direction than I thought, I was still excited. It was only at this point that I could actually see that the relaxer had affected my hair. Because I was transitioning, I knew that I wasn't experiencing the full shrinkage yet and I was anxious to see what my hair was going to do.

Fast forward to the two year mark and I cut off the relaxed ends. I've seen alot of blogs where people talk about how they were disappointed in the their hair--I can't say that was case with me; I still love my hair. However, I discovered that instead of the pictures above, I ended up with patches that looked like this--

and this...

O_O ????????????????? O_O

My first question was, "what do I now?" After I wash my hair, the front has these nicely defined wavy curls about the circumference of a pen. The crown has these tight corkscrews that look like the spring inside the pen. And then the back, is practically straight. Which means that the crown of my head shrinks drastically and the hair directly under it doesn't shrink at all. The crown is drastically curly and the hair beneath it is drastically straight. 

It drives me crazy!

Last December began the anxiety of "when will it all blend together?" I thought the tight curls would calm down as they got longer. I keep saying when it gets long enough that I can easily ponytail it, I'll cut it like a bob. Theoretically that would solve the problem... Of course, so far everything concerning my hair has turned out contrary to what I thought.

The important thing is that I love all three parts of my hair. As I'm working through the sections I don't find myself favoring a particular section. I can't lie and say I don't want it all to be the same (that would be so much easier!), but I can honestly say that I don't have a preference between the three sections. If at the end of all of this it turns out that there's no way to blend the sections, at least I know that I have respect for the hair itself...I'm just a perfectionist.

For all my other naturals, hang in there. We're prone to curl envy, curl anxiety, curl fear... it's curl insanity! And no matter how frustrating those curls, waves, kinks, coils, etc. get, they are awesome and beautiful. :)


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