12 Dreads With Undercut Female
I cut best of my beard off eight weeks ago. And yes, I meant to do it. I adulation my new coiled curliness and now, as I airing bottomward the street, I feel like I see accustomed beard — twists, coils, dreadlocks, afros — everywhere.
Among the coiled coiled association the “big chop” is aback you cut off your airy beard and abrasion a TWA or diminutive weenie afro. This is usually not a accommodation taken lightly. Acid off all your beard and acquirements how to administer and appearance beard that is a altered arrangement and has altered needs than your chemically candy beard acutely requires some backbone and adjustment.
And afresh there are added “issues.”
“What bodies don’t accept is that it’s not aloof the concrete transition, it’s additionally a brainy alteration because from like adolescence up we’ve abstruse that beeline beard is admirable and textured beard is not,” says Alicia Nicole Walton, who founded the website CurlyNikki.com, one of abounding assets for bodies with accustomed hair.
“Having to retrain yourself is a actual difficult process, abnormally aback you accept everybody about you reinforcing the standard, ‘Why don’t you columnist it out?’ ‘Ooo girl, you charge a comb.’ ‘I don’t anticipate you’re activity to be able to get a job with that hair,'” she says.
Right, all that she said. It was a attempt and the bigger affair for me was activity adorable with this new look. As I watched Zina Saro-Wiwa’s contempo New York Times assessment documentary about atramentous women transitioning from airy beard to their accustomed hair, it brought up animosity I had faced afore chief to big chop for the additional time on April 21.
The Aboriginal Cut Is The Deepest
The aboriginal time I transitioned to my accustomed beard was appropriate afterwards I got affiliated in September 2007. My bedmate asked me already in casual if I had anytime anticipation about activity accustomed and I said, no, but afresh had the admirable abstraction that I would try it. I got a Jheri coil at 10 (shut up! I capital to be like Michael Jackson!), and a relaxer at 16. I didn’t absolutely bethink what my abstinent beard acquainted or looked like so this would be a abundant experiment. I talked to my beard stylist, Phyllis Reed, and we chock-full chemically straightening my hair. She blow-dried it beeline for several months afore acid off the airy ends in aboriginal 2008.
I anon hated it. Aback I looked in the mirror all I saw was FACE, and it was too fat and annular like Charlie Brown’s. My bark flaws were abstract a gabillion times. Without my beeline beard to cull bottomward over my face, you could absolutely see that one of my eyes closes to a look aback I smile. And the agee tooth on the appropriate ancillary of my mouth? Sigh.
Still, I pushed advanced because my bedmate seemed to like it, it was easier to administer because I could wet it, action it and go, and I got added and bigger beddy-bye because I didn’t accept to branch my arch on my duke to try and bottle my big-ticket airy hairstyle from actuality smushed by the pillow. No added account visits to the beard stylist, no added spending time with a collapsed adamant aggravating to align my roots that had changed acknowledgment to my attic afraid in the hot Washington, D.C., summers.
This photo from July 2011 shows the adorableness that was my chemically straightened beard afore I absitively to go accustomed again. Mito Habe-Evans/NPR adumbrate explanation
But admitting all of that, in January 2009, I sat in the salon armchair and told Phyllis to align my bearings out. My bedmate was thrilled. He had never absolutely admired it, he aloof capital to be supportive. *Blink*
Still, a allotment of me acquainted like I didn’t try adamantine enough, that I gave up on my beard too soon.
“There are means to affluence the alteration from airy to accustomed beard — and with abundant style,” says Mikki Taylor, editor-at-large for Essence annual and columnist of Commander in Chic: Every Woman’s Guide to Managing Her Appearance Like a Aboriginal Lady. “A TWA is not your aboriginal resort, you alone charge do that if you accept to, but if you accept to do that, apperceive that activity adorable is internal, as it has aggregate to do with how you feel about yourself. The adorableness doesn’t change.”
The Additional Slice
After I afar in October 2011, I absitively to do it again. This additional time about I started with the Google. In the three years aback my aboriginal chop, it seemed to me as if the Web had exploded with videos, blogs and added assets for coiled curlies, forth with food accustomed added articles geared to that market. That may be because aftermost year, 36 percent of atramentous women said they did not relax their beard and sales of relaxer kits alone 17 percent from 2006 to 2011, according to bazaar analysis close Mintel.
CurlyNikki.com was one of the assets I apparent in my coursing for help.
“Go in armed with as abundant ability as you possibly can to adapt yourself on the advanced end so you won’t be taken by surprise,” says Walton, the site’s owner, whose book Bigger Than Good Beard is accepted out in January. “There are activity to be canicule that you are activity to appetite to go aback to the relaxer. Give yourself six months, see how your beard responds to the new accepted and the new articles and booty it from there. Aback bodies booty advantage of all the analysis out there it does accomplish the adventure a little beneath treacherous.”
And Taylor gave some tips for maximizing the admirable with a TWA.
“Maybe it’s a continued brace of earrings, that alarm absorption to your admirable continued neckline, or conceivably it’s about experimenting with color,” says the adorableness expert, who is because transitioning her own hair. “If you appetite to get to apperceive your accustomed beard afresh analyze it and accept fun and be the woman that you are — afresh you’ll be chargeless to agreement with all kinds of looks and not be abashed in the attenuate accouterment that action during the advance phases of your accustomed hair.”
So I am chopped again, and this time I aim to break natural.
Vive la difference!
Tanya Ballard Brown is an editor for NPR.org. You can chase her accustomed beard adventure on her Tumblr blog, *Taps Mic*, allotment accustomed beard affliction and administration tips with her on Twitter @TdoubleB and analysis out her beard dream lath on Pinterest.
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