Relaxed to Natural: New Stylist, New Hair

I spent the better part of Thursday on pins and needles. I had an appointment with a new hairstylist that evening.

My relationship with my previous stylist, L, ended somewhat suddenly after a 21-year run. I spent a good six weeks in denial before I made an appointment with T, a stylist who specializes in natural hair care.

Three good friends sang her praises, but that did little to ease my nerves. After 21 years, I was spoiled. I could walk into the salon, sit in L’s chair, and know that whatever she did would be fabulous.

I first met T for a consultation. She examined my hair while going over a list of styling options and prices. I pointed to the small halo of gray forming at my brow.

“How do we get rid of this?” I asked.

T explained (as L had months before) that rinses didn’t take well to non-relaxed hair. A full-blown color treatment was the way to go. I took a deep breath and told her I wanted color and a rod set. We made the appointment for the following week.

I changed my mind by the time I got home. I wasn’t ready to color my hair. I want to grow out the relaxer completely before I layered on another chemical treatment. It would be nice to see my natural hair completely natural.

Plus, rod sets barely last a week, which meant I’d be doing my hair again before I knew it. The thought of planning my after-next hairstyle before the next one was even done made my head hurt. I needed a break.

I sent T a text message and told her I wanted to get an interlock weave instead. It would hide my halo, allow me to play with color, and give me the break I needed. But, it would also be a drastic change. Other than blond highlights I had during my college years, I had never worn a weave. That’s when my nerves went haywire.

By the time I sat in T’s chair, I was a wreck, but I tried to hide it. She could sense my uneasiness.

“A few things,” she said. “The hairstyle you picked is really BIG, but I’m going to try to keep it as small as possible.”

“Ok,” I nodded.

“And,” she went on. “The colors you picked — I bought more dark than light. I’m going to put the lighter color around your face, like highlights. It looks more natural that way.”

I nodded again.

“Some people are afraid of color, so I didn’t want to overdo it. If it were me, I’d go for it with color.” I looked up at her hair. It was nearly bleach blond. It was brown with gold highlights last week.

I kept nodding.

T worked fast. She shampooed, blow dried, and braided my hair within an hour. It took two hours for her to put in the hair and style it. When I finally saw the finished product, I was thrilled. It didn’t look ridiculous or overly fake. It just looked like me.

I sent a pic to L to see what she thought.

“I really like it. I’m proud of you for being adventurous. You look like the creative person you are!”

I can’t wait to see what Hubs thinks. He gets home later this week.

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