In April of 2013, I married my best friend and decided to follow him anywhere the military would take us. As a Naturalista, I began to panic. What was I going to do with my hair? I was 3 years natural and knew the stress of moving wasn’t going to allow me to give my hair the TLC it deserved. I stockpiled all of my favorite hair products and decided to get a sew-in.
After I got it done, it felt tight. I dismissed the thought and assumed that I wasn’t accustomed to the style. A few days later, my scalp felt itchy. I thought if I washed it, it would relieve all of my problems. I washed my hair and a day later it was unbearably itchy! I finally decided after 8 days to just take the style down. As I was taking the braids down, chunks of my hair fell to the floor like black clouds of smoke from an exhaust pipe. At the top of my head where it itched the most, was a black spiral in the shape of the braid pattern. My scalp was red, swollen, and looked nothing like my head.
I consulted a dermatologist. I was told that a portion of my scalp died from the tension and that I would be left with permanent scars. Yes, I said DIED!! I literally cried as the dermatologist prepared my treatment plan for the days to come. I was so upset at myself for ignoring all of the warning signs. As the wound in my head was healing, I got tired of my hair never fully drying from the frequent washing and decided to cut it off. I thought a clean slate would help me feel better.
When my husband finished cutting my hair, I looked in the mirror in complete horror. He stared at me in silence waiting to get my approval. I made a beeline outside to cry in peace. I HATED my head, the scar, the situation, and was ready to put hands on the person that styled my hair. After sobbing for a few moments, my husband came and sat beside me. He said you are beautiful. I didn’t marry you for your hair. I married you for you. I cried again because I felt the bricks from my shattered wall of confidence start to rebuild itself. I felt like India.Arie was in the background singing. *cues I am not my hair…*
From that moment, I started to embrace my bald head and was shocked at the overwhelmingly positive responses I got. I was called Brave, Beautiful, and Bold. I struggle to say thank you at times. Mentally, I didn’t quite connect with the new look more so because of how it happened. Once I forgave myself for ignoring the warning signs and the stylist that did my hair, I was finally able to embrace my New Crown of Glory.
Who would have ever thought it took forgiveness to make me love my hair again? Have you ever had a hairstyle leave you emotionally scared?
This feature was submitted by Liz Love