5 Things I Thought Would Happen After I Chopped My Heat Damage

Day 2 with this #washngo! @soultanicals Mango Dip Detangling Slip as my leave in, @tginatural Butter Cream Daily Moisturizer to lock moisture and help define, and @kurleebelle Jelle Coconut Styling Gel for light, touchable hold. Sealed my ends with @creamandcoco Green Tea and Hibsicus Black Castor Oil. #DevaCut #bigchop #minichop #naturalhair #naturalhairuniverse #naturalhairdaily #curlygirlcollective #curlkitchen #trialsntresses #teamnatural_ #kurleebelle

So....about this chop thing.

I've been working on trying to get my Devachan Salon experience video together, but unfortunately, I'm having some technical difficulties...like half the video is a green square difficulties. I don't know how or why. So while video technology conspires against me, I figured I'd do a little reflective/update piece that will hopefully answer a few questions and shed some light on the chopping experience. Without further delay, here are 5 things (in no particular order) I thought would happen when I chopped my heat damage...but didn't.

1. I would regret it/miss my length
Wrong, wrong, WRONG! As I was preparing to have my dead ends cut off, my stylist asked, "When was the last time you had a haircut?" I laughed and replied "May of 2008." Yes, I had trimmed away at my ends little by little, and increasingly more in the months leading up to it. But a legit haircut that resulted in more than 2 inches of hair cut at once? Definitely 2008. Check the grid I put up on Instagram of my short blonde cut if you don't believe me. Because I was so length obsessed (hence my reason for transitioning instead of starting from a big chop), I automatically assumed I would miss my bra strap length hair - damage and all - the second the scissors severed us. I won't lie, the chop was a shock. And to date, I haven't done a "length check" (although it has only been a week) to see where my hair actually is. I just know that in the truly natural wash and go state, it rests comfortably/slightly beyond my shoulders. The truth is, I'm glad I got the cut and don't regret doing it for a single second. It is thicker than I can ever remember my hair being, the curls are off the chain, and I had one of the best 3 day wash and go runs I've ever seen to date. My hair has volume like I've never seen before, and moves with amazing body. I can't say that I miss the length, because I've been so over the moon with the volume. But by no means am I going to stop my quest for growing longer, healthy hair. I tend to shoot a quick *side-eye* when people say they value health over length, because to be honest, I value both. I've had short hair before. It isn't for me. A lot of folks look down their nose at naturals who desire lengthy hair, for reasons I can't understand. Seriously, what's wrong with wanting long, healthy, natural hair? Granted, you won't catch me doing headstands for half an hour or rubbing Monistat on my scalp, but I will do every reasonable thing to help my hair be as long and healthy as possible.

2. I would know my hair type.
I'm still laughing at myself for this one. In every transitioner article that I've written addressing texture typing, I've pretty much advised that transitions stay away. Not because I generally disagree with how typing can easily turn into a natural hair hierarchy, but because relaxer/heat damaged hair can distort your hair's true texture. At best, I had surmised that all my hair fell somewhere within the 3 category; and I just knew as soon as I chopped it, I'd be able to identify it for sure. To be honest, I still don't know. Every time I begin to try to understand the parameters of what separates 3b from 3c and 3c from 4a, I get confused and give up. My hair has some loose curls, some tight curls, some fine hair, and some waves. It's all over the place. I will probably never be able to concretely define what my hair type is, and I'm okay with that. I'll just settle for products that work and don't work.

3. Detangling would still suck.
This one came as a total shock. In every article I read about detangling, some natural is always lamenting about the arduous task of finger detangling into the wee hours of the morning with a jar of coconut oil and some reruns of Law & Order: SVU. As a transitioner, I understood. Trying to carefully detangle two textures of hair was a complete pain in the behind. Even when I could glide my fingers through my natural/new growth hair, the ends would inevitably snarl and tangle (I guess because that's how heat damage rolls). Sidebar: with relaxed and heat damaged ends, the cuticles are damaged/lifted, which makes them rough and more prone to tangle and attach to each other. Sorry, I just had to get that out. But with my new all-natural hair, detangling has been nothing short of a miraculous breeze. I'm sure things will get more complicated as my hair grows, but for now, I am able to completely tackle my entire head in about 20 minutes - maybe less. Yes, this is meticulous finger detangling. Not only is detangling a breeze, but I am experiencing way less hair fall and breakage. So no, detangling does not still suck. In fact, I don't mind it nearly as much as I used to. Don't worry! Soon, I'll drop a post about which products I'm using that make this process a breeze.

4. I could rid myself of texture blending "tricks".
Cue more laughter. Inasmuch as I no longer had to battle healthy and damaged texture blending, I thought my manipulation days were over. I was so focused on my heat damage being gone that I neglected the fact that I still have a bajillion different textures across my head. Yes, they did seem slightly more in step with each other. Nonetheless, they're still different. So to rock my wash and go's, I'm still pulling the front/center hair back to stretch and avoid mushroom helmet hair. My braidouts still have satin strips on the ends. Whenever I do get around to twistouts (the bane of my existence for some reason), perm rods will still be on the ends. I don't know if I haven't mastered the methods, or if my hair just doesn't "curl" at the ends like everyone else's on YouTube. Either way it goes, all the tricks I've adopted along my transition will still come in to play.

5. I would go through an awkward "IDK what to do with my hair" phase.
I don't know why I thought this would happen. I suppose after reading about so many choppers and their awkward growth phases, I just knew it would happen to me. But then I said to myself, "Christina - what the heck  have you been growing out your hair for 21 months for? Just to have an awkward cut you hate? Girl, bye!" Yes, I really do talk to myself. And yes, I do answer myself from time to time. Turns out I was right - 21 months had been incredibly generous to my hair, and Sergio (my Devachan stylist) cut my hair in a way that not only flattered my face, but made it incredibly easy to manipulate my hair into wash and go's, buns, and even ponytails. My hair is still just as versatile as it was before I chopped, and now I think even more so. I think I made the mistake of buying too much into other folks' anxiety, rather than being in step with how I truly feel.

Bottom line is, thinks weren't as bad as I thought they'd be! In fact, they're better. Hopefully, I can get this video together soon and give you all the full Devachan Salon experience!