We all fall prey to the act of comparing our hair to other naturals at one point or another. You’ve seen the meme: Eddie Murphy scowls at a woman who, after only six months, has the nerve to be at bra strap length, probably, while he’s over there with a two-year-old TWA. I used to wonder what magical combination of product and technique, or lack thereof, yielded such results.
I soon realized not everyone is using the same math.
To go natural, some people cut off all their hair in the Big Chop, usually leaving only an inch or so behind, if that. Others transition, trimming their relaxed ends a little at a time. The general idea would be to grow an inch of natural hair and trim an inch of relaxed hair. There’s in-betweeners who transition for a couple months, not trimming at all but blending the two textures through styling, and then they do a big chop, leaving maybe five inches or more.
All three may say they “went natural” when they cut the last of their relaxed hair on, let’s say, New Year’s Day, but come July, the Big Chopper will be way behind the In-Betweener, who may be lagging behind the Full-Transitioner. Not everyone includes the months or even year of transitioning in their natural journey. I could ask how long a natural has been natural, but unless I know what they consider to be the start of their journey, I’d need to follow up with, “But how much hair did you have left, tho?”
So, I just do the math. If she says she went natural six months ago but she got armpit length hair, I’m assuming transition time until photographic evidence of a TWA from six months ago surfaces.
Whichever way a natural chooses to count the days of their journey, it really shouldn’t matter more than your own. But if you are going to compare, make sure you’re working with all the facts. Don’t be a bitter Eddie Murphy. There’s nothing magical about long, healthy natural hair. It just takes time and a lot of care.