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Saturday, April 16, 2011

New growth ruined my relaxed facade


New growth. Wow! That phrase brings back a rush of memories of my relaxed hair being overrun with my natural hair. When I saw this image, it brought back a rush of emotions (Image found at: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/3c/77329-opininion-3b-3c-4a-i-am-confused.html). The funny thing is that when I searched “new growth” on the Internet and looked at images, I came up with verdant images of strong spruce trees, plant stems all glistening with dew, budding shoots and many other beautiful images from nature. This made me pause. New growth is a good thing. It represents rebirth, life, strength. But why did new growth have such a negative connotation when I was younger? Was it that I was resentful, afraid of the fact that the real me was rearing its ugly head and peaking through the cracks of my relaxed façade?

How do (did) you feel about new growth? This question pertains to most women, not just Black women so please chime in! J How did you feel when your color grew out and you had undyed roots? What about when your curly permanent grew out and your natural hair grew in? Did this affect how you felt about yourself? Did you go about your normal daily routine or did this prevent you from going out? I’d love to hear your stories.

6 comments:

  1. Your hair is beautiful! I used to get relaxers when I was younger... a few times a year. My hair is 3c textured. When my new growth came in, people said, you don't even need a relaxer. You have 'good hair.'s how I hate that phrase! Regardless of the grade of my hair, I hated it. I wanted it to be long and silky smooth like the women on tv. So, I flay ironed it til the next relaxer!

    Very interesting what your search brought up! Now I love my ' new growth ' cause I want my hair to get longer! I have bern completely natural since december 2009, and waiting for more and more strong, healthy, new growth to come in!

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  2. Hi J Renee, nice to meet you! Thank you so much for your comments. It's interesting to hear you talk about how much you hated to hear that you have "good hair". I'd never thought about that perspective before; thank you for opening up my mind (love it when that happens!). Didn't we all want long hair (don't know if you saw my earlier post but I talked about how my sister and I used to wear towels and shirts to "lengthen our hair" http://tropie7189.blogspot.com/2011/04/one-of-my-earliest-hair-memories-is-how.html)? Also, I checked out your website through Blogger and you are such a talent! Great photos! Best wishes with your journey (natural hair and photography)!

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  3. By the way, just to clarify, that image is not me...I found it at the provided link: http://www.naturallycurly.com/curltalk/3c/77329-opininion-3b-3c-4a-i-am-confused.html).

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  4. I'm having a tough time with my new growth. I don't want to perm it ever again. I have at least a half inch new growth and rest is straight...Hate it!! I have very dry hair and I purchased leave in conditioner with Olive oil paste moisturizer that I use daily to keep it from drying up and breaking. Finding it hard to style. Not ready for the big chop yet. Trying to let it grow out longer. It's rough but I guess I'll make it through!

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    1. You should try Ultra black hair products specificaly made for blac hair.

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  5. My feelings towards my new growth changed over time...when I was younger - high school and college - new growth was the enemy, to be hidden when it reared it's head. When I lived at home and my parents were paying the bills I got my hair relaxed like clockwork every 6 weeks and I never even really saw the new growth. Once I went to college and had to get my own hair relaxed, sometimes I had to stretch out the time for cost reasons, but back then no one was really talking about "stretching" relaxers so I would hide the new growth - pomades, flat-ironing and avoiding water at ALL COSTS. As college wore on and I went into grad school, though - now about 22, 23 years old - I started realizing it was unhealthy and expensive to get relaxed that often, so I would wait 2, then 3-4 months in between relaxers. I would just flat-iron my hair once a week and let it do what it did - sometimes just setting it not to deal with straightening it. That's when I started using products for curly-haired girls; I started using Shea Moisture's milk to moisturize it when I had new growth and just work with the growth, and some olive oil to stretch. I was surprised when I really liked the feeling of my "new growth" - it was soft, moisturized, thick and healthy feeling. After a while I started trying to recapture that thickness when my hair was straight - I preferred my relaxed hair after a week or two had gone by and I had to wash and straighten it myself. Pretty soon I recognized that I liked the versatility of my "new growth" better, and that's what made me decide to go natural.

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