Of all the things I was most excited for when receiving household goods I was especially looking forward to finding three bags stuffed full of…. hair! (I bet you didn’t see that coming) I love braiding hair and I’ve tried a bunch of different brands and colors and styles with it since I’ve started! I was in desperate need of a redo and it seemed that my hair was arriving at the perfect time!
You can imagine my surprise and extreme disappointment when after the last boxes and totes were emptied and turned inside out, the only bag I had was one. Of all the things that could have been lost in the move I wasn’t expecting to be missing all of my hair! I was naturally bummed and furthermore my combs, most of my masques and clips and hair ties were also missing!
So while silently fuming and wondering if the hair store at the Exchange would have any of my missing products I took to taking my current style out and couldn’t for the life of me remember when I had last let my hair breathe.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I decided to shave my head completely, I knew I probably wouldn’t have the time or energy and ANY desire to take time away from my baby. And what little rest I could snatch would not be spent focusing on my hair, but I also didn’t want to neglect it and the thought of going bald had been very tempting for quite some time.
So off it went! I loved it, there was very little maintenance involved and it was one less thing I had to worry about as my due date approached and the anxiety of waiting for baby to arrive reached a fever pitch. The only complaint I ever had was how quickly it would grow back!
There were some people around me who did NOT like my choice to cut it all off and at first that made me very self conscious of how it looked and made me wonder if I had a funny shaped head. I knew I wasn’t anywhere near as beautiful as Danai Gurira but I thought I was pulling it off pretty nicely…
A strange thing to think but when you’re 38 weeks pregnant can’t see your toes are constantly fighting the urge to stuff everything into your mouth at once while simultaneously feeling like crap for being so huge…. it tends to add to the negative flood of emotions almost constantly coursing through you.
It took me a while to accept that I was happy with how I looked and that I liked not having any hair, that it was not only what was currently working best but what felt best. I continued to have my hair shaved off during the weeks leading up to my sons birth and a few months after the fact.
I was fully comfortable not having it and I started noticing that I was getting more compliments than comments urging me to let it grow back in. But then it also struck me that I shouldn’t give people that much power over MY life. That their personal preferences over my appearance came second to how I felt and wanted to look. Also my husband was on board and supportive and at the end of the day he was the only one I was living with and trying to look good for so! And they can manage their own expectations that isn’t my job! (quickly moving on before someone grabs the pitchforks)
My son was around 3ish months when my hair reached just under my chin, my style before I went fully bald was shaved on either side and in the back with a nice thick chunk up top, so I guess I had a woman bun. I’d often leave it lying to one side or if I was feeling particularly lazy I’d allow it to rest atop my head in seriously tight curls after generously applying my favorite hair lotion/grease. (Fro Butter)
But if I had a few (between 8 and 10) hours to really sit down and work I would break out my X-pression hair pick a color and get to braiding. It’s honestly become one of my favorite hair styles and since the baby had already been sleeping through the night I could start early on a weekend and finish while he slept.
I’m thankful he’s so adept at playing by himself, so long as mom was within viewing distance and Elsa within crawling distance we were usually okay to sing and point at toys while getting the task done. I can’t imagine the amount of breaks it probably would have taken had he not been so understanding and good at playing and only stopping for changes and food breaks. Also I imagine the amount of time it took would amount to days instead of hours had he not been so amazing.
My braiding skills in those early days were VERY rusty and lackluster, they could have used a little work, I was self taught through Youtube videos and determination to be semi self sufficient during a dire hair situation.
Sorry rambling again!
Once my hair reached just under my chin I shaved the sides and back again and set to work braiding, I maybe had three different styles in before it was time to move and I needed to pack my hair away, and I did so with much reluctance and hesitation. But I figured if things got really really really bad I could order some more offline and wait it out. So it’s been a pretty quick minute since I’ve had my hair out and free to do whatever it wants and I can honestly say I missed it.
I love the way it feels and despite the overwhelming urge I know I’ll have to braid it whenever I wake up, and it is shooting in a thousand different directions! I don’t think I’ll be braiding it anytime soon, in fact I think just letting it branch out and grow freely while combing and adding lotion and doing regular hair masques WILL be my style for awhile….of course the option to go bald is still a VERY valid and tempting one.
I want my son to love his natural hair as much as I do. His curls are still coming in so beautifully/quickly and I hope I can give him all the right information and tools so he grows up to have healthy hair and finds it a breeze to do if he so chooses to have more complex styles.
And as much as I hate to squash my husbands dream of having matching high and tights…. I don’t think he’ll be ready for anything like that soon. The only thing he’s ready for right now is a nice mid-afternoon nap and snuggles! Thankfully his dad is all too happy to oblige and I get the satisfaction of very cute photo ops!