Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Why I cut my healthy, long, voluminous afro

Hi everyone! It has been such a loooooooong time, boy I have missed you all! Please, pardon me for going AWOL on you, life has just been so busy and happening all around me. I've found myself at the centre of its spin, wondering where my person fits, myself, me, and me again. I don't know if you've ever had that feeling where you know you are alive but you feel like you are just in simple existence and haven't connected with the inner you? So you end up getting by, just adulting, doing this supposedly cool 'grown up' thing called life.

Do not panic though, I wasn't going through anything tumultuous, just a phase of life that I never thought could consume SO much of my time. And you may have guessed right, motherhood! I am a first time mom and got blessed with twin boys last year, in June. Motherhood is what most young girls (myself included) dream of growing up, but no one really talks about the practicalities behind it, no one even warns you about some pregnancy 'difficulties', instead everyone flaunts and highlights the glorified parts only. I say 'difficulties' because I had a very healthy and easy pregnancy, am thankful I was able to fall pregnant during the time I chose to become a stay home mom, as this helped alleviate possible stresses that could come from work, commuting etc. If I ignore the 3 month morning sickness I had, I'd say my pregnancy was beautiful, to a point I even miss being pregnant. And if someone paid me a ridiculously rewarding amount right now, I'd probably be a surrogate for them :-)!

Anyway back to the topic at hand. Why did I cut my long, healthy, full hair?

Let me start with the challenges I found while I was pregnant. My belly was pretty much non existent until I hit 17 weeks of pregnancy. At that point, I started noticing it get in my way while I was washing my hair over the sink in my bathroom. Yes, you may ask what I was expecting, but trust me, you really don't realise how many muscle you use even in the most minuscule activity until you are pregnant. Neither do you realise the effort needed. By 17 weeks, the struggle to wash my hair wasn't that bad. Fast forward to 6 months pregnant, I honestly couldn't do my hair. I was out of breath all the time, and the baby bump was now so extended that all of my washday routine had to be done in the shower. Now imagine, a shower when you prepoo, then again when you deep condition with protein, yet again when you deep condition for moisture! I found it tedious and was tempted to cut my hair then. Nonetheless I survived. I won't even mention how long, and how hard I found it to detangle and braid my hair. I'm exhausted just replaying how I felt then, lol. The point I'm trying to relay here is, I realised my hair wasn't getting enough care towards the end of my pregnancy. And the little care it got, took everything out of me. By the time I hit the third trimester, I easily got tired. To put this in context, when I was 30 weeks pregnant, my gynae said my belly measured the size of a woman carrying a singleton at 36 weeks pregnant. I was masssssive! So at this point, doing my hair required digging deep and drawing strength out of every once in me. At that point I decided to do mini twists so my hair would be 'put away'. It took me 4 days to finish the mini twists and although my arms and fingers were pretty much dead by then, I was happy. All I did for the remainder of my pregnancy (5 weeks) is invest in daily spritzing of the hair with a mix of water, castor oil and extra virgin olive oil. I think I only washed the hair once in that 5 weeks.

After giving birth, I realised there was simply no time to do my hair. My time was consumed by two babies. I never knew babies took up allllllll your time like that! In case you think I'm exaggerating, I am not, take a simple activity like taking a shower; if I didn't get one quickly before my husband left for work, trust me, he would come back in the evening to still find me in PJs. But I didn't want to become a 'slob', so forced myself to just get it done.

Back to my hair - I ended up only managing to undo the mini twists when the babies were 3 weeks old, I have no idea how I did that. My hair didn't get properly detangled, after 2 hours of detangling alone, I had to get back to mommy duties. The full realisation that my new life as a mom is far from the one I had with just me and the hubs hit me! There was just no time! I had to juggle loads, nappy changes, breastfeeding & expressing, baby laundry, remember to feed myself, crying babies that woke up at different times (twins aren't in sync, one is up and the other asleep &a vice verse), dinner with hubby, lack of sleep etc. So I decided my hair wasn't a big priority, and that it needed to go as it didn't fit within my new lifestyle.

Many people have expressed their disappointment in my decision to cut my hair. But I am grateful that:

  • It now takes me only 5 mins to get ready when going out of the house
  • Washday now takes up to 45 mins instead of the whole day
  • I have zero to minimal detangling to be done, unlike 2 to 4 hours of detangling
  • I get to raise my kids, an opportunity that most moms who are working can't get (maternity leave is only 4 months). So being a stay home mom is a blessing I am very grateful for.
  • The milestones I am enjoying (first hand) with my twins, certainly trump keeping long hair! I'm right at the forefront of the action, and get to see and experience the small things that are such a bliss to any mom! For instance, when one of my babies started crawling at 5 months, when the other got his first tooth at 6 months, and now at 8 months one of them can say mama. I'm sure you get the point :-). 
  •  I know that one day I'll be a working mom again, so for now, while I'm a stay home mom, why not split the time I would normally give to my hair between my babies and my husband? Trust me, as a mom you value ANY time you get to spend with your partner because children take up all the time you have!
  • I also have gotten to a point where I know that my hair grows when taken care of. So cutting it means eventually if I grow it again, it WILL grow.
  • For now, I'm enjoying my short hair. It's the most liberating part of my healthy hair journey that started in 2013! 


  1. Awesome post of "Why I cut my healthy, long, voluminous afro"

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