After reflecting on my desire to cut my hair off, again, or start locking it, again, I have come to realize that the real frustration stems from what happened about several years ago to make me start locking my hair in the first place.
So here goes...In middle school, I stopped getting perms due to extreme breakage and started wearing extension braids of just cornrows for a long time. I mean, no one, except maybe my mother and sisters, saw my own natural hair for years. Finally, in high school, I got tired of scrounging up money for micro braids or other professionally done braids and instead decided to wear my own afro out and about, which took a lot of courage. When I went to school, my peers looked at me like I was crazy. During short intervals, I would still wear my hair in extension braids from time to time. I would also wear my afro out. What did I know about natural hair care? Little to nothing. There was no Black Girl Long Hair of CurlyNikki in those days. Finally, I decided that due to constant breakage (I would pick out my afro almost everyday, hardly ever condition my hair, and never used all natural oils), I decided to say goodbye to combs forever. In the Spring of 2006, I started my locs and maintained them for four years. The important lesson I learned from that experience was that my hair does grow, like wildfire, but that it also breaks very easily.
Then in Spring 2010, I decided that my loc journey had come to an end and I was ready to wear my natural hair in an unlocked state. I Big Chopped and starting rocking a TWA. Initially, I wanted to keep my hair short for easy maintenance, but as it grew I could never bring myself to cut it off. I experienced some breakage, but breakage is inevitable, you just have to minimize it as much as possible. I also embraced the life of a wash and go curly regimen. Early on this natural journey, since BC'ing, I would co-wash daily, then every other day, then shampoo and co-wash alternating each week. Now that my hair is longer, the tangles and knots are just OUT OF CONTROL. The breakage is annoying and I am feeling exactly how I felt when I started locking my hair back in 2006. But this time around, I know so much more. So instead of giving up on having long, unlocked hair, I am making some major changes to my regimen. The products will stay the same for the most part, but the regimen will be tweaked to minimize breakage and shedding to as little as possible.