:-) No, this post is not about any illicit substances. It is about my natural hair journey. Creamy crack? That is the relaxer that I have had in my hair since....well, let's just say I can't remember.
I will be honest. It was not by choice that I chose to embark on this journey with my hair. November 2014 - January 2015 were a few of the most stressful months of my life. There were significant changes going on at work that were a challenge. And then my Dad became acutely ill, was hospitalized and died in hospice all within the space of about 4 weeks. During that time my goal was to be "The Rock". My Dad needed me present and clear-headed and I was not going to let him down. My goal was for no one to see the pain inside. The human body is an amazing creation. Nonetheless, I have come to believe that our response to stress is very much like squeezing a balloon and that your body will manifest stress in one way or another.
Hair loss. Bruxism. Ocular migraines. Yup! I was a hot mess.
In early January 2015 my hair dresser, Nina (of Nina Creations....I strongly recommend you visit her sometime!) commented that the hair on top of my head seemed to be thinning. I was busy and just ignored it. Until the next month she made the same comment but also suggested that I needed to have a "doctor" take a look. Hmmm.....not so good. I was busy and had little time for this but I reached out to my PCP and also made an appointment with a local dermatologist.
Thank heavens for Dr. Meena Singh. Dr. Singh is a board certified dermatologist who has an interest in ethnic skin/skin of color. Dr. Singh diagnosed me with Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia or CCCA. She started me on a regimen of steroid injections, topical therapy and oral therapy. She also suggested that it was time for me to stop doing anything that might damage what hair remained. What?!?!? I don't think I had seen my "natural" hair since kindergarten. Nonetheless, I started a campaign of education and I tried to "transition". I don't know how to thank the Natural Ladies on YouTube who taught me how to manage my kinky-curly 4C hair. Finally, in June of 2015 I was done. I did a "big chop" and I have not looked back since. I cannot thank Dr. Singh for her advice and encouragement. Her quick diagnosis and aggressive treatment has allowed me to preserve most of my hair.
Would I be natural today in the absence of all the events described above? Probably not. Am I blessed that I was able to take this journey? Yes. I love my natural hair. We are still learning how to peacefully co-exist but I have disposed of all my "creamy crack", flat irons, curling irons and any products that are not all natural. I also need to thank K.K. who has been a rock throughout this process. You can see a picture of my hair from last summer and more recent photos on Instagram.
Next challenge...how to stop grinding my teeth....