“I was shy, but it came out in a big personality. My turning point was when I let my hair go naturally” – Tracee Ellis Ross
Here I am, at a turning point. Ditching the heat from my hairdryer and straighteners, choosing the life of curls and I cannot tell you how excited I am. It wasn’t something I thought about for ages, I just knew that something needed to change because I couldn’t handle having thin lifeless hair any longer.
As a child/teen my family really didn’t have a clue about what to do with my hair…most of the time my natural curls were brushed back and put in a ponytail, with the most ridiculous frizzy bits sticking out at the side. I remember at one point, my grandmother, took me to an Afro-Caribbean hair salon and their answer was to relax my hair. I now find this absolutely outrageous because my hair was so soft, all it needed was the right products with some good know how. Haha peep the triangle hair!
Going further into my teens, I got my first pair of straighteners, the old school Futura ones. My aunt was always telling me “don’t straighten your hair everyday”, but seeing as I was the geeky teen who always had the ridiculous hair thats exactly what I did. And my beautiful virgin long hair gradually got shorter and shorter and shorter.
I started hairdressing college when I was 16 when everything just got dramatically worse…does everyone who does hairdressing feel determined to absolutely fry their hair or was it just me? I did everything…cut it, shave it, dye it, bleach it and relax it. By the time I left I literally had nothing left. Now here is something that I never ever told people but I’m about to share for the first time…due to some tragic circumstances that had happened during my childhood and adolescence, at 17 I developed an impulse control disorder called Trichotillomania, TTM for short. It basically means I have the urge to pull out my hair strand by strand, and people that suffer with this can do it for hours on end without even realising. Before you know it, there’s a ball of hair on your lap that you have actually pulled out of your own scalp. The risk of this is that if the pulling is not stopped over the years, it can leave lasting damage and cause your hair not to grow back at all. At the time I didn’t even realise this was a ‘thing’ and a few years passed. I had given birth to my son and was watching television…Channel 4 to be exact. A documentary came on called ‘Girls On The Pull’. I sat there in tears that I was finally realising I wasn’t this weirdo keeping this secret from everyone. At one point I always wore a hat. Can you imagine how that made me feel? Feeling that insecure that I couldn’t go through life without a hat. I developed some coping mechanisms over the years but still to this day suffer with it on a daily basis. I have certain pull sites on my scalp that are practically bald. At the moment if I’m honest I don’t have the confidence to show you a picture of my scalp but hopefully as time goes on and my hair improves, I can show you before and afters.
In 2014, I started experimenting with wearing my hair curly but didn’t really know how to do it. It looked frizzy but I kind of tried to make it work. Then I saw someone post about a curl creme from Boots, and it was so inexpensive that I thought why not? For the first time in forever I found a way to make my curls work and it was so much easier than the straightening routine, so in truth I stuck with it out of pure laziness haha. A couple of years went by and I went through a breakup, so I wanted to bring sexy back so to speak. I straightened my hair and because I had not put heat on my hair for so long it was no longer damaged and so shiny. Don’t get me wrong I was still pulling out my hair, but it hadn’t been in such good condition for so long. So instead of sticking to the curls, I got my hair bleached and straightened it day after day after day. So here I am back at square one, damaged thin hair…I needed to make a change.
Yesterday I got out of the bath, my sister was round at the time. I needed to get ready pretty quickly and tried to leave my hair to air dry. What I saw was frizzy stringy damaged curls and I knew my hair had seen better days, so in a split decision I decided to go natural and I mean seriously natural. Natural hair needs natural products and I was determined to get the ball rolling. I jumped on YouTube to get a few tips and hacks, in addition to stalking a womans Instagram dedicated to curls (@definedbycurls). She has done her own hair journey and I swear to you her hair is absolutely insane…I practically got every product she put on her Instagram. They haven’t been delivered yet but when they do I will be testing them out and blogging about them as well as other tips I’ve picked up from my 6 hours of research.
Eventually the goal is to get one of those fabulous deva cuts, but I have a long way to go before that happens. I have cut off some of my outrageous damaged ends and will start a regime to curly fabulous hair. I feel this journey might help me control my struggle with TTM and give it a chance to grow and hopefully raise awareness of a disorder that can completely strip away your self esteem and femininity.
If anyone out there suffers the same as me, you are not alone in this. Sam Friers suffers with TTM and pulls out her eyelashes which inspired her to bring out her own lashes.
That is the first time I have ever shared that with anyone other than my closest friends. Honesty hour is officially over. Keep your eyes peeled for more posts on my hair journey. Below is my selfie from day one of my journey, I love my curls already……