Beauty & Growth: Taylor's Hairstory

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Credit: Kinsey Mhire Photography

 

I was sitting in a salon chair when I first saw a picture of Solange’s big chop. She looked stunning. When my stylist told me that I had the same hair texture as her, I immediately started considering going natural. I went back and forth for a few months, eventually deciding to go for it in February of 2012. I debuted my new look at my high school sweetheart’s homecoming dance.


Over the next few years, my afro grew and so did my relationship with that high school boyfriend of mine. Matthew asked me to be his wife in March of 2015. It was time to get serious-- not just about spending the rest of my life with him but also about getting my hair wedding ready.


Once again, I found myself inspired by Solange’s dynamic tresses. Her carefree wedding fro became my hair goal, beyond my wedding day.  I knew that my hair had some growing to do if I wanted it to have that kind of volume.


Hair growth is hard, especially when you have a full-time job, a wedding to plan, and a side hustle. I went natural partly because I thought my hair care routine would be simpler. And it was when I had a teeny-weeny afro. I didn’t have to go the salon every six weeks for a touch up, but I had to relearn how to take care of my hair as it continued to grow.


Building a routine seemed like a good place to start. Sundays became wash day. I conditioned and detangled before putting my hair into the style for the week. My go-to look was two simple two strand twists that framed my face. It didn’t take too long for me to get frustrated with doing my own hair. Even with a set routine, I wasn’t seeing the growth that I wanted. My go-to was quick and easy, but it put extra pressure on my edges. I knew it wasn’t getting me closer to my wedding and overall hair goals.


It was time to pay an expert. So I got Havana twists for the summer. They framed my face and highlighted my shoulders. When it came time to take them down, I saw that my hair had grown a lot.


A style that made me feel beautiful and grew my hair? I wasn’t ready to give Havana twists up, so I didn’t. Youtube videos and trial and error taught me how to DIY the style.


I built a new routine. Every month, I washed, detangled, and Havana twisted my hair. Every month, I saw growth. Protective styles clearly work for my hair. It is fuller and healthier than it has been since my big chop, but, as the wedding draws closer, I’m more motivated than ever to accelerate my growth.


I just finalized out my wedding day ‘do, a soft halo braid, and I imagine myself rocking a voluptuous fro during the first weeks of my marriage. I’m slowly finding what styles and products work best for my hair. Shedavi will be the latest addition, and I can’t wait to share my experience.

Credit: Kinsey Mhire Photography

 

My wedding is now about more than changing my last name, I’m also changing my relationship with my hair.

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