In case you are just coming to the party, in January, I came “out” with my hair sans extensions. I caused a quite a stir, especially in the natural hair world and I was pleasantly surprised.
Ok, ok, I know I keep talking about my hair. I’ll even admit it, I’m obsessed!

Folks keep saying “It’s just hair,” but my choice to go natural has been affecting all aspects of my life.

Trust me, if you had the SAME hair for over 20 years and you made a radical change, you would feel it too. Add to that the whole public aspect of being “Kim Coles” and the fact that the hair revamp actually mirrors other changes in my lifestyle–physical, spiritual and emotional. Perhaps you could empathize feeling slightly uncomfortable with all this new and different stuff! Oh yeah, I just experienced a breakup of a romantic live-in relationship, too. UUUGGGHH!

So after a few sleepless nights, I realized that what I really had for 20+ years was a guaranteed look that I could count on. Even on bad hair days with my extensions, I could still make it work. I could spritz it, curl it, or ponytail it. I had CONTROL.

I also realized that a lot has NOT changed in my life because of my need for control….ummm, well at least the false sense of it. I like certain things to be stable and predictable. Although I can spontaneous sometimes, for the most part, I like things to be a certain way and I like LIFE to be that way. But is it always? No, I don’t think so.

As happy as I am that I made this change, I’ll be honest and say some days I find it very difficult to look in the mirror and feel good. I don’t know what I am doing, yet. Just combing my hair feels brand new. I think that the last time I saw my hair in this state, with no relaxer or braids, was when I was 13 or so. Chile, I am 49! I have to learn a whole new world and a new way of doing things and I have given up the need to CONTROL. I am amazed at how the same lessons that I’m learning about my hair relate to life too. The metaphors are here for the taking!

1.Give up control–What can we really control, anyway?

HAIR: Sure I can use globs of gel but if my hair wants to misbehave, I just throw on a hat, go on and enjoy the day.
LIFE: When things don’t go YOUR way, accept what you can and get creative to find another way to deal with the situation.

2. Be gentle.

HAIR: If you are rough with your hair, it will break and tear. Treat you hair like a fine piece of silk. Note to self: Go and buy a fine piece of silk.
LIFE: Same thing, go easy on yourself, use compassion and self-love. You are a one-of-a kind masterpiece!

2. Be patient, growth takes time.

HAIR: If you just wait and take great care of your hair, it will grow up to 1/2 inch each month.
LIFE: If you nurture yourself and work at it, you too will grow and flourish immeasurably.

3. Seek your community.

HAIR: Ask for help. Find folks who will embrace you and give you advice on your journey. Check out You Tube. I did.
LIFE: Find a community of like-minded individuals or choose a mentor who has been there and done that and listen.

4. Sometimes you get haters and naysayers.

HAIR: Ignore them, or tell them to back up off your scalp!
LIFE: Ignore them or do like I do and stay up late at night debating mean twitter followers and nasty bloggers. Trust me, a colossal WASTE of time and energy!!!

5.When in doubt, lubricate.

HAIR: Keep your scalp clean and your hair well moisturized.
LIFE: Hey, do what you can in all areas to keep things s m o o t h! : )

6. Celebrate!

HAIR: Your hair is your crowning glory and a part of you. No matter what it looks like, show the world what you are working with!
LIFE: Sometimes I know what I’m doing and sometimes I don’t. I only have control over how I choose to respond to things. I can choose happiness and joy everyday. I invite you to do the same.

If you have any hair or life tips to share, post them here. I am ready and willing to learn!

Love and Laughter,

Have you accepted the CHALLENGE?! If not, what are you waiting for?!