It’s the new year, and I’m taking a trip down memory lane with old photos of my natural hair journey. I took them once a week every week in the first year after my big chop.
All I can think is, “I’m not sure how Instagrammers and beauty bloggers do it.”
After a whole year documenting my progress, I was so glad to be done with all the picture-taking! But, you don’t have to be that committed to benefit from the occasional selfie. Here are five the ways my year of weekly photos helped me.
It’s just plain flattering
Take a photo of a particularly bomb twist out–makeup and outfit on point–and feel your confidence rise. You’re doing this natural thing and looking damn good, too. If you’re the sharing type, post your pics to natural hair communities where we’re always ready to compliment each other.
It’s your own personal style catalog
Remember that time you tried small bantu knots instead of medium-sized and you ended up with a snake’s nest on your head? You will if you have photographic evidence. You can also snap a couple shots of your prep stage, too, so you remember exactly the steps you took to achieve any keeper style. You can compare the results of different attempts at that coveted braid & curl, see whether more or less volume, for example, looks best on you.
It’s a journal
Like any photo album, it will immortalize all the good, bad, and in-between of your natural hair journey and life in general. See what styles you were heavily into at various stages. From the way I was cheesing in my twa phase, I loved, loved having hair that short & low maintenance. On the other hand, was I ever a noob at flat-twisting back then, with that triceratops-head-looking hairstyle.
It wasn’t until I photographed the back of my hair saturated in product, and really looked at the images, that I realized just how different and distinct the mixed textures in my fro were. I even took pictures of individual strands and blew them up for width comparison. #TheMost. If you, too, would like to take time out of your busy day to examine the peculiarities of your hair, take a picture. It’ll last longer.
Last but not least, it’s encouraging
We all fall into the trap of wanting length right now, or thinking our hair just isn’t growing. When I started, my temples were damaged and bare in patches. I worried they would never fill in, but looking over just three weeks of photos proved me wrong. Same with thinking I was stuck at my year two length in year three–or even falling behind! Nope. Quite the opposite. The images don’t lie.
When you need reassurance that you’re doing all right by your fro, just go back and look at where you started, how far you’ve come.
Happy new years, y’all!