Monday, August 27, 2012

Blissfully Rooted Style Update #1: Flexi-Rods

MissMondayD (aka me), infinitely pleased with her new 'do.

As promised, here is a visual update of how the unfortunate squirrel-like appearance that was going on last week changed. I had them done this past weekend. You like? I like. Immensely.

The 'do is the result of flexi-rods, which are a great style option for transitioners. Which leads me to my next point and--drumroll, please--the introduction of a brand new feature of Blissfully Rooted! Essentially, as I figure out what style options work for me, I'll update them here on the blog for your viewing and commenting pleasure.

So welcome to Blissfully Rooted Style Updates!

Blissfully Yours,

There's a Squirrel on my Head. (So Not Blissful)

You get the idea. (Photo courtesy of
I couldn't comb my hair last week. It was so rough and crucial, dear reader. My scalp felt like the roots had come in with guns blazing and crazy demands for money and a plane to Meixco. It was serious. I told a friend one evening that I felt like there was a squirrel attached to my head. My hair was dry, brittle, the whole awful nine yards. And when I would try to comb it, I whimpered like my former 10-year old, tender-headed self, ouching repeatedly until I decided to stick a headband on the squirrel and throw the comb/brush across the room.

Sure, I've been going to natural websites since I started deliberating over the decision. But truthfully, I wasn't really absorbing what I was reading/learning. What was I doing then, you wonder? I was gazing at the photos of the lovely naturalistas on the page, imagining the day when my hair would burst forth in its naturally curly mane and glory. Essentially going from A to Z in 60 seconds without acknowledging all the letters that must come in between. But eventually, the Squirrel on my Head made the truth very clear: blissfully deciding and declaring that I was transitioning back to natural was one thing. Figuring out all the things I needed to know to effectively take care of my hair while it undergoes its re-metamorphosis was entirely another. It was time to buckle down. So I've been:

  • Googling like crazy. Google and I are engaged to be married, we're that close now. 
  • Going to websites that cater specifically to the process I'm going through and making notes.
  • Learning to understand the nature of my hair as it is now and working with it accordingly.
  • Understanding that the term itself, transition, is telling me that nothing will happen overnight. Visions of waking up with said glorious, curly mane would simply have to go.
I'll admit it: it's been a tad overwhelming. Co-washing and lines of demarcation and sealing and deep conditioning and two textures and on and on and on...

But I welcome it!

Because quite honestly, and this isn't an excuse but a simple fact: all those years of relaxing breeded a sense of dependence. I depended on stylists to take care of my hair. I depended on scrunchies to pull my hair into a ponytail in between relaxing my hair. I depended on friends to give me tips on what to do with my hair. Never did I take responsibility for the strands coming out of my own head. It was all very complacent.

Until now. Purging the past, taking charge of the present. Is hair really all that serious, someone may ask? If you have to ask, then I don't really need to answer.

Interesting stop on the journey so far, huh? 

(Oh, and there's no longer a squirrel on my head. Stay tuned for the visual update...)

Blissfully Yours,

Saturday, August 18, 2012

all UP in these curly roots.

Yep, fighting ninjas in the woods.

I got my first relaxer when I was eleven years old. The reasons why are unknown to me; perhaps we'll get my awesome mom (herein referred to as The Diva, courtesy of a good pal, you know who you are) to visit Blissfully Rooted for an interview and figure it all out. Nevertheless, pre-relaxer, I hardly thought about what was on my head. Hair had no context for me at the time. I would sit for seemingly endless hours, wincing at the pulling and plaiting of my tender head by The Diva before promptly heading out to play (or promptly heading out to fight ninjas in the woods, based on how crucial my hair looked in childhood photos). Later, as the stylist smeared the pungent cream onto my scalp, I remember wondering what in the world was going on. How long was all of this going to take? And...why did it feel like my head was on fire?

Post-relaxer: enter the flip and the twirl. I had never seen my hair this way, so long and so straight. It deserved to be flipped, and it deserved to be twirled. I would eagerly await "Relaxer Days," when my mother would instruct me to get a clean towel and a comb. I wouldn't squirm on the chair. I was still and obedient. I would even hold my tongue when the burning got to be unbearable, reasoning that the perm needed more time to "take." Nevermind the scabs that would come! My thick hair was now smooth, silky and ready to be flipped/twirled. 

Several Years Ago: Truthfully, I started tiring of relaxing several years ago. Seeing my naturally curly hair disappear was starting to bother me. I even did a wash and air dry once (you read that right; go ahead and shake your heads), forgetting that I had a relaxer and thinking that those soft waves would somehow last throughout the day. Let's just say that by early afternoon, I looked like Crazy Khan, Chaka Khan's younger, lunatic sister, obviously without the Chaka cool. But I kept going back to the relaxer, mostly because I had no idea how to change things or where to even start... 

The Present: I ruminated, researched, deliberated. Didn't take too long, though. I wanted my own hair back. I spoke to my stylist, who happens to be a naturalista, and it was go time.
As of tonight. They're in there! Slowly but surely...
(And yes, there has been an eyebrow progression. Look up.)

Blissfully Rooted means that as I'm growing out my perm and beginning my transition, my curly roots are coming in like gangbusters. So wherever I presently am--work, driving, in front of this laptop--I run my fingers through my scalp and sigh contentedly at the curls I find. Blissfully Rooted means that, at the same time, I'm giddily new to all of this. So my plan is to chronicle this journey and all the thoughts, questions, and changes along the way. Blissfully Rooted means natural hair or not, be happy and rooted in the choices you make. I certainly am.

Blissfully Yours,