Y’all I have rocked every hairstyle in the book. Well, not every single one but you catch my drift. I’ve had big fluffy fros and locs that draped past my butt. I’ve worn it straight and chopped it all off into a little teeny weeny baby fro. Box braids, Marley Twists, and Crochets Braids? Girl yep, I’ve done it all!
But for the past four years, the hairstyle that has stood the test of time has been my Wash and Go Fro. I’ve been rocking my naturally curly hair for a while now and loved every single minute of it, until a few months ago. One day I just woke up and I was OVER my hair!
I was so sick of co-washing my hair every other day in the shower in order to activate my curls. The tried and true products that worked wonders for my hair suddenly stopped working. My hair started breaking off, my fro was lopsided, it just became tew much!
One day I was on Pinterest (who am I kidding I’m on Pinterest every day 😂 ) trying to drum up some inspiration for my next ‘do. I stumbled across this picture of my latest hair crush @xoxojenise and her short bob. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her picture, so I pinned it. And the rest is history.
I started a secret board that I called “My Style Switch Up” and pinned all kinds of pixie cuts, bobs, and curly cuts. Thank God for secret boards! I didn’t want anyone to find out that I was thinking of chopping my hair off. Not only was I going to get my Edward Scissor Hands on, I was also going to color it! 🙊The last time I colored my hair I was 18 years old. I know right?! I was going for a totally different look. They say a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life. And they ain’t neva lied! I just turned 33 yesterday and I am ready to usher in all of the newness that God + this new year in my life has to offer!
After I got my inspiration on, the next part was to find a stylist that could cut and color my natural hair. I was not trying to get a perm. No way Jose. 🙅🏽I wanted someone who knew how to straighten my natural hair and not compromise my curl pattern by adding too much heat or a perm.
That’s when my friend Kay recommended that I go to her childhood best friend Ray. (I know right, don’t you love a pair of besties who have similar names? Lol!) I’ve known Ray for years but totally forgot that she’s a beast when it comes to a mean cut and color. She’s currently slaying hair at Angie’s Salon here in Chicago. I hit her up and asked her if she could slay a sistas head. I sent her a couple of pictures of the cut and color. Let me quit lying it was more like a thousand pictures. Lol! I asked her if it could be done and she said: “sure no problem!”.
Now I haven’t been to the salon in ages! Seriously the last time my butt hit a salon chair I was 17 years old! I had no clue how to book an appointment, what straightening technique I wanted to use, or what type of color. Listen when I tell you Ray made the entire process seamless– I mean it! I booked an appointment on her Style Seat which I love because her entire calendar was on the site and I could make an appointment that worked best with my schedule.
My appointment was this past Saturday, and I was a nervous wreck. I had so many emotions going through my head; “Am I sure I want to do this?” “What if it isn’t cute on me?”. I was starting to freak out and it took everything in me not to grab my coat and run back to my car. Ray must’ve felt that my anxiety was on fleek because she made sure that I was ok and went out of her way to make me feel right at home.
Before she got started we looked at the pictures of the cut I wanted again to make sure we were on the same page. She put the cape on me + just like that my fro was on the ground lol!
She did a rough cut of my dry hair before she colored it. She explained that it didn’t make sense to dye hair that she was gonna get cut anyway. Made total sense to me. After that, she put some chunky highlights into my hair using the accent foil technique. Once that was ready she washed my hair–OMG! Having someone else wash your hair is a slice of heaven! She then placed me under the steamer for about a half hour to add some moisture back into my hair. Next, she blew my hair dry and then did a silk press. When it came to the cut Ray made sure that it was versatile! She cut it so that I could wear the bang on the right or left side. So it was like 2 hairstyles for the price of one!
Now I had heard of a silk press but I had absolutely no clue what the heck it was. But long story short, it’s when a stylist uses a ceramic flat iron at just the right temperature to straighten the hair. I was so impressed. Back in the day, my stylist used a pressing comb ANNNDDD a flat iron to straighten my hair. Hella heat, right? Not this time around. My hair was bone straight with just a ceramic flat iron. Pretty cool huh?! People are shocked when they see my hair and I tell them it’s all mine. I’ve been asked if it was a sew-in or a wig and I’m like; “naw it’s all me and my stylist is BOMB!”
I can’t lie I am absolutely in love with my new cut + color! I was a little nervous because my hair had been so fro-a-licious for so long. Even though my hair is still natural I was worried that perhaps I was betraying the natural hair movement by straightening it. What’s sad is that Black women feel the pressure to have to choose. I had to let that pressure go and do what was best for me. My hair is still natural and I am still in love with my hair in its natural state. But I also like this sleek look and I had to give myself permission to be ok with that.
So here’s to new beginnings and doing whatever the hell you want to do. Because in the end what matters most is whether or not you’re happy with the woman you see staring back at you in the mirror. And it’s just hair– it’ll always grow back! 😏
Want to book Ray for your next #StyleSwitchUp? Book an appointment on her Style Seat. She slays hair Tuesday- Saturday at Angie’s Hair Salon [1922 E 71st St Chicago, IL 60649]. Want to see more of her work? Keep up with her on Instagram (@raystylesmarie) + Facebook (Ray Marie) and tell her Jess sent ya!
What’s your Style Switch Up for this fall? Let me know in the comment section!
This post was written by me– Jessica Lauren, the blogger behind #NRJ. I live in Chicago and I am super passionate about encouraging women to become Dreamers + Doers. Have any questions, want to say hi or interested in brand sponsorship? Shoot me an email over at Hello@NoRealJewelry.Com
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