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Curly Nikki

Hair Therapy and Recreation

By January 27th, 202126 Comments

Hair Therapy and Recreation

by G G of The Write Curl Diary
“Love is what we were born with.
Fear is what we have learned here.
The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear
and the acceptance of unconditional love back into our hearts.”
– Marianne Williamson

A reader who recently suffered a devastating loss, left a comment yesterday that really touched me. This is an excerpt:

“…A few days after finding out about my sister, I broke down in the shower and cut off my extensions and relaxed hair. I was left with my short natural growth and have decided to try to use the growth of it as a kind of therapy.

Anyway, I came across an interview with you on the flygirls blog and noticed that you mentioned a synchronicity between hair transitions and emotional transitions. Obviously, that really spoke volumes to me and it would be great to hear more about your views on this…”

As women, we have an emotional attachment to our hair. So often when we are going through emotional changes, we make drastic changes to our hair like cutting, coloring and going natural to symbolize the change within. The reader has lost something that she loved and was attached to; and she had no control over that loss. Now that she has cut all of her relaxed hair off, she’s lost something else that she was attached to, but she chose to lose it. Symbolically, she has taken her power back, because with the loss of her sister, she feels powerless.

When going natural, we view the new growth as a new us emerging and thriving. We are constantly in a process of recreation. As the ups and downs of life mold us, we must be open hearted and open minded to the lessons they teach. It’s often painful and scary, but faith is our assurance and love is our shield. Nothing, not even death, can conquer love.

Miggy, I pray that your hair journey will be a constant reminder of your love for your sister, and an experience that constantly reveals to you the truth of who you are. Please check out and support her new blog which is a dedication to her hair journey: Hair and Healing.

The following post is from about a year ago, when I was reflecting on my life, my hair, and my personal growth. I thought it was quite appropriate to share it again today.

originally posted 11/7/2009:

My hair and I are in a very happy place. I’ve been relaxer-free for about six months, and thanks to plenty of trial and error, I’m learning what works for me. My journal to natural and beyond gives me something to feel excited about. I look forward to trying new things and I feel so much love for myself for how consistent I’ve been with my haircare regimen. So much so, that I’m looking at every aspect of my life for that same enthusiasm and persistence.

I won’t accept the status quo, and I will no longer allow myself to make excuses or sabotage myself. As you all know, I likes to liken hair to life. For me, there are too many parallels to ignore. I’ve mentioned that my whole life has been a cycle of hair growth and hair loss. My financial, professional, and personal life has been the same way. At the root of it is fear.

In the past, I’ve thought of myself as lazy, selfish, incompetent, unlucky. And perhaps I told myself these things so that I would have an excuse to not try… or to try a little and blame my flawed nature…my brokenness…for things not working out.

These thoughts still sneak into the forefront of my mind sometimes. But now I have ammunition to fight them. I decided to grow out my relaxer and have natural, thick, sayin-somethin hair. And I did it. I decided to start a blog with a friend to practice honesty and to heal. And I did it. If I wasn’t so hard on myself, I’d give myself even more credit…but I’m not there yet.

I’m on the same journey towards honesty and simplicity in every corner of my world. Some areas I’ve made progress and others I have not even begun to address yet. But the more I set goals, no matter how humble, and accomplish them, the more confidence I gain.

Three years ago, I didn’t really know why I felt so inclined to stop relaxing and try something new. Who knows – what might seem like a little idea or change, or an exploration into something you’ve never considered, could open up your life in ways beyond your imagination.

Recreation is dope.

What triggered your journey???


  • Anonymous says:

    The first time I cut my hair short I was ten. My mother is a paranoid schizophrenic and couldn't recognize me half the time. I had moved in with my grandparents and everyone who knew my mom as a child kept telling me how alike we were. I didn't wasn't yuo be like my mom, I didn't want to grow up crazy so in the school bathroom with a pair of safety scissors and crying the whole time, I hacked all my hair off. Off course this triggered a few years of school counseling sessions which I severly needed and brought me to a healthier place.

  • shamigreen says:

    WOW LADIES… I'm so glad I read this post… I too decided to transition shortly after ending a 5 year relationship that didn't suit the woman I have become. It's funny how we subconsciously make changes to our outward appearance to symbolize the changes that take place on the inside.


  • Funke says:

    Hmmmmn…reading these posts makes me feel like see that there are beautiful women out there who have had to go thru some hard things in life! I first cut my hair in June (short Rihanna style but still relaxed) because I was tired of being the me that i had been for 23+ years…that was d first time in my life..I had super long, thick and healthy hair and was called crazy! I immediately transitioned out of that style and in october cut all my hair off..I did this cos I was going thru a phase..I was in a confused rltnshp with this dude that had turned emotionally messy. Cutting my hair for me symbolized a new beginning of knowing myself, being comfortable in my skin, loving myself and not requiring validation from anybody! It took me a while but I put the man-mess behind me! Now I am moving forward-learning about my hair and my self! And just like the phoenix rises up of the ashes (Harry Potter anyone?), I rise to a brighter and happier future!

    Cyber hug Miggy, Tianna Mae & Anon 2:22pm

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow! It is so amazing how a hair blog can reveal epiphanies about life. I never truly connected the emotional reason behind my transition until now. I always thought I was tired of getting relaxers and going to the salon. Thanks to you guys I realized that my transition is far deeper than that. My decision to finally transition came after I finally realized that my boyfriend of almost 4 years was not ready to get married after we had planned and discussed that marriage was the next thing in our future. This truly had a great impact on my life and I went through a period of depression. After this period of time I completely focused on myself and what I wanted and that lead to my decision to transition.

  • Anonymous says:

    What started my natural journey is that My 2 little cousins died in a car accident, and when I heard the news I was getting my hair relaxed. When the time came along to get another relaxer I just didn't because I feel like it is something that holds me to them. I would never want to loose that, so I may decide to grow locks or change my style, but I will never relax again, for other reasons also, but this one primarilly.

  • Anonymous says:

    The life my husband and I chose is stressful. He's a sailor and he leaves for months at a time. You think i would be use to it(he's been in for 13 years) but it is still hard to say bye. the last time he was gone it was 22 months and we were at the tail end of his deployment. My friends were being flaky, they never called me, like to treat me like less of a person sometimes, They joked but there jokes hurt. We had illness and death in our family at that time also. I was stressed, and my hair started to show it a huge chunk broke off at the center of my head. I was preparing for my husband to return with a bald spot(it was less than an inch long and inch wide i could hide and I did) I was already a month or more in need of a touch up. The next time i got the chance to talk to my husband I said "I'm going natural again, this time for good. What do you think?" His reply "As long as you look good I don't care it's your hair do what you like."
    When he stepped off the plane and saw me his eye told me what he thought, he liked it. I didn't big chop but did cut a lot off and set it in rollers. it was curly and soft and first thing he did was touch it and tell me I was beautiful. All the stress I had up until then went out the window. And I never looked back. that spot is now 3 inches long of strong natural curls(un-stretched). My husband still has to leave us at times, but now I have my hair to play in and watch grow. Oh and new friends.

  • Anonymous says:

    The decision to leave my marriage and put my son and happiness first. These two decisions have changed my life and I have NO REGRETS! Shout out to having faith!

  • *Collegegrad* 11 says:

    I started transitioning after a short term relationship I had with a guy ended. He was my first, and although I don't regret it, I wish I had thought about it more. He always made comments about my hair and if it wasn't fully straight, he would make fun of it. He would also say things like don't ever cut your hair and you have "good hair". After he moved back home and we lost touch, I began to transition and haven't looked back since.

  • Unknown says:

    I was diagnosed with breast cancer on 11/10/06. That was enough for me. When my hair fell out from chemo, I just let it grow back and I haven't looked back since!

  • Sharmer says:

    A close friend, all these blogs and youtube channels, plenty of research, and boredom with my relaxed hair has caused me to begin my journey to natural. A close friend of mine is natural, and seeing her with naturally curly hair really inspired me (longhairdontcare2011's youtube channel is a HUGE inspiration as well). Ive also began a solid workout plan with Zumba to finally reach my fitness goals. So i've already started taking steps to achieve these goals before the new year even begins ill be for months post relaxer January 1st and I cant think of a better way of starting the new year! A healthy head of hair, and a strong fit body will be mine before I know it!

  • Danielle says:

    I did it after my grandmother died. I was there alone in the dark with her at 3 AM when she took her last breath. I felt the energy rush out of the room; I was devastated. I had never been so close to death before. It literally woke me up. I have been on a mission since that moment. It took me a while before I realized that that moment changed my mindset on life. I miss my granny, but I love her for gifting me the power to change.

  • Unknown says:

    Thank you all for sharing your stories, my prayers are with you. My story is not unlike the post, one of my most constant and giving friends died suddenly on March 19th at home after undergoing a "successful" heart surgery. I was thinking of calling him to check on him that morning so when I got the news, I was floored and so hurt. I was transitioning with a long weave at the time and was overcome by this urgency to take it out and be free. After feeling the stark difference between my permed alien hair and my soft curly new-growth I told my sister to get a pair of scissors to help me cut "this mess" out. I haven't looked back. As hard as my hair is to care for at times, so thick and dense, I am grateful for it and for life.

  • Anonymous says:

    I started transitioning after the end of an abusive (verbally and physically) relationship during my first year away from home at college.
    My hair was something he loved to verbally abuse, it was never "right or straight enough" to be seen with me.

    My sister has been happily married to a great man and natural for years, and his accepting who she was in all of her natural beauty really made an impact on me. A real man should be able to love me and my curls. (I am now very happily *back* in a great relationship with my high school sweetheart/now fiance. -and he loves my transitioning hair. 🙂 Sometimes I have to make him stop playing in it.)

    My becoming natural has been a journey of loving myself for who I am and not being afraid of what others think. As my hair as grown- my self-confidence and courage has as well.

  • Montina Portis says:

    My then boyfriend (now husband) asked me to cut it all off. The rest is HIS-story and HER-story working together.

  • Anonymous says:

    Wow, this was a really deep post. I love everyone's rawness. Thanks for sharing.

    I wasn't really setting out on a journey. When I became pregnant I did not want to perm my hair until after the baby was born. But after he was born, I realized that my hair was not really that unmanageable-so why get a perm? But after pressure from my sister, I got a perm and really regretted it. So I said that would be the last. I BC'd in May 2010 and have not looked back.

    I love my natural hair & it has set me on a journey to free myself in other areas that others have always tried to define for me as well.

  • Anonymous says:

    I think my natural hair journey began as an extension of the changes I was making to other parts of who I was — physicallly, emotionally, and spiritually. As a family, we had been through a lot with my husband being diagnosed with bipolar disorder. He is doing excellent now, and we are very happy that we are still together and in love, but it took three years to get to this point. So once the dust settled, and he began treatment, I focused on myself so I could began to heal also. I lost 20 pounds, welcomed more spirituality into my life, and started my natural hair transition.

  • lauren says:

    seeing women with natural hair looking like themselves–confident, made me want to look like myself too. it was really sudden. i was on the photo blog, lecoil, and i was just looking at all of these really good looking confident women. thier hair wasn't an issue. it just added to who they were. i liked that a lot.

  • shamarah says:

    God moved me to do it. I think He knew that this time was going to be one of huge transitions – as far as academics, relationships, and health-wise. I think order to get ready for my life now, He knew that I would need some kind of step in the right direction. A step into the unknown, so that when trials came, I could just look up (to the sky, and at my little afro-shaped symbol of confidence and trust in The Most High) and know that I'd be alright. So on my 20th birthday, I cut it all off, and I've been totally natural for nine months and four days 🙂 never looked back.

  • LadyNiki says:

    I always styled my hair as I thought others would want. Even though I never permed my hair, I came to the conclusion that pressing it is doing the same damage (externally and internally). I decided to embrace myself. After going through too many failed relationships in my age and seeing my current situation deteriorate, I had an epiphany to just say fudge everyone who wants me to be how they want. This is my life and I have to love ME first. So…here I am 🙂 23 and born again…

  • Anonymous says:

    My husband came back from deployment lost his mind and decided we needed to separate, by the end of the month I was back in my parents house wondering what happen to my life,after looking at my hair and the damage I'd done by putting in weave for months I decided to let my sister cut all my hair off. She had just pick chopped a few weeks ago and I figured I need a new start 1year and 3months later I know going natural was the best thing I could've done for my hair and emotional well being

  • HairPolitik says:

    Very very powerful. Thank you for sharing and taking us along on your journey. I will follow.

  • Anonymous says:

    I must say that the last 5 years have been hard as a single parent with an ex-husband from hell that has done everything possible to make me miserable and the climax of that misery compounded in the last two years. As this year closes I'm ending a long road of unfortunate events and decided to transition into my most beautiful self. But after 8 months of transitioning fear took over and I became nervous about the unknown . . . so I had a talk with myself and said if I can come out on the other side of lifes pressures SURELY I can cut my hair off. And I did – the weekend after Thanksigiving I beat fear and took control of what is mines. And that did my heart good – I feel like the #1 Stunna now!!!

  • Anonymous says:

    I started my journey primarily for style reasons, but it really has become a norm for me to change with my emotional seasons when it comes to hair. I've been loced several times and locs especially seem to hold something that it's necessary to "release" from time to time. It's always a feeling of renewal to let those years go symbolically with hair.

    Blessings Tianna Mae.

  • b. says:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you, TiAnna Mae.

    I was (and in some ways am still) on a quest to explore who I am and cultivate the good things within myself. Learning to appreciate my physical beauty was part of that journey, and having control over my hair and allowing myself to become acquainted with something deemed "bad" (my hair) was a powerful step for me. The physical change was part of my mental transition.

    I know some women change their hair for less drastic reasons. If I cut my natural hair short again now, it probably won't be for anything more than ease of style. At the time, however, going relaxer-free was a big step in my personal growth. Thanks for the post!

  • Rachel says:

    I wanted to finish college and begin a new chapter of my life with a clean slate so I transitioned and big chopped. I am so happy that my hair represents a new beginning in my life.

  • TiAnna Mae says:

    I had just found out that after 34 weeks in utero, my baby was dead. I hadn't had a perm the entire time I was pregnant, and I wanted to look nice for the funeral. In spite of the consequences of getting a perm and having those chemicals mix with all the medicine I was on and fluctuating hormones, I went against my better judgement and my beautician's advice, and I got a perm. I may have been heart broken, but I at least wanted my dignity. I knew nothing about caring for natural hair. However, in the six months following that relaxer my hair began to become severely unhealthy (probably due to relaxing too soon) so that's when I decided to cut it all off. I just wanted a fresh start from everything. I haven't looked back on my hair since.

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