Howdy, everyone! The Unleashed One here, back with another entry for Affirmations August. In case you missed the whole definition and back story, check out my 1st entry. As you know, here at "Unleashed", I like to keep it pushing around here 😆😆😆.
Side Note 1: This is one of the few baby pictures of me I actually have on hand. I do wish I had some more to coo and shake my head over, but for now, this will have to do.
I would describe myself as an old baby.
Here's what I mean. I didn't do a lot of what typical babies do.
For one, based on what my grandparents told me, I seldom cried and actually stayed put whenever they would run errands.
I wasn't the kid who touched everything in the store. I didn't have to be told to behave. I just innately knew these things. I wasn't the baby getting her ass whooped with the switch I'd have to choose from the yard (I know some of you know what I'm talking about).
Side Note #2: Do you know how psychologically twisted that is, for the kid to choose his own method of punishment? 😮
Side Note #2.5: Look, this post isn't about whether the belt or the switch is an effective form of discipline for children. Besides, since my butt was saved from all of that, I'm not really the person to ask anyway.
I have always felt a bit old in my body, which probably led to me being set in some of my ways. In what I chose to wear and how to dress (from the accessories to the shoes). To the way my hair was tended to and styled, even who I trusted with my hair (Note: I'm still mad finicky about the latter). And especially with what I ate and whose cooking I'd consume. (Yes, I'm still highly picky about that latter, too.)
In other words, newness and I didn't always come to an agreement or even take space in the same setting.
What led me to stop perming my hair in 2001 didn't have anything to do with not liking the style anymore. It had more to do with affordability. In my home state, it didn't cost a lot to get a perm and style from my beautician. When I moved to Georgia, it was a whole different ball game. Like, think of what I typically paid ... and quadruple it.
After that revelation, I attempted to do the task myself, but I noticed that no matter how well the perm would initially take, it did not stay in that state for long. I didn't want to keep placing chemicals in my hair too frequently, so I was investing in styling gel (for the slick back) and the old school snap in place ponytails to get me through. On rare occasions, I'd get my hair braided.
After I made my 2nd move, this time to New Jersey, I made a decision to start anew. There were only a few miscellaneous strands of permed hair hanging on for dear life. So ... the 2nd day being in a new place, I snipped them.
Side Note #3: I wish I did have more pictures taken of my hair when I first did this.
Sadly, I had no idea what to do with my hair in its natural state. I started with the creamy crack (another name for perm) back when I was around twelve years old. I washed and conditioned my hair. It was in a fro or tiny twists most of the time, although I would get annoyed being called sir at work. I mean, it's not like my body stopped appearing female because my hair was short ... sheesh.
After about a year or so debating on what to do with my hair, I began researching Earth locs. I am aware many people call them dreadlocks, and technically, that is correct because of the process the hair does. For me, I don't like referring to them as such because of the "dread" part in front of them, for I don't think there's anything dreadful about them.
What motivated me to choose Earth locs as a style was actually the commitment. Not having to constantly manipulate the hair. Wash the hair. Retouch the roots when needed. Because my hair wasn't long enough for two-stranded twist, my Earth locs origins are comb coiled. My loctician Nedjetti (Hair by Nedjetti) did an amazing job with them and those in the New Jersey and New York area, I highly recommend her.
With patience and cultivation, I had my locs right up just before my 40th birthday in 2017.
So ... what made me try this level of newness? What made me not only get rid of my locs but take some of the strands and burn them?
The locs had been in my hair since 2004. Most individuals would have been on their 2nd set, 3rd set, maybe even 6th set, in thirteen years. Not me, I was still on my first.
A lot of events happened. Some good, some not so good. All of that energy was in the strands of these locs.
Once the divorce happened in 2017, I wanted to feel free, in all aspects. With the old hair, it was like parts of the bondage was still attached to me.
To keep from losing my length, I opted to do the long process of unlocking as opposed to just doing the big chop.
When I debuted my new look, there was quite a bit of shock, disbelief, and from some people, even sadness. I guess they had gotten attached to the long flowing locks. Even more attached than I had, which was surprising to me.
This opened the door to me being even more experimental with my hair, with wearing new types of things, and with trying new foods and products. I realized there are different aspects of me that want to be showcased. I noticed that my mood dictates my style.
I can feel like a ray of sunshine and decide to dress as such ... 🌞
Or I can surprise and amaze at a special event ...
Whatever the case, trying new things no longer instills fear. It instills anticipation. If the new item or venture suits my fancy, then I can decide on frequency (once in a blue moon or consistently). If it's a flop, there's no law that says I ever have to try it again.