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    Authentically Ashley

    More Than Just A Natural Hair Journey

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    In honor of my three year big chop anniversary, I have decided to add a new topic to my content- my natural hair! One of the best decisions I have ever made was cutting off all of my hair three years ago. Doing a big chop was more than just the beginning of a new hair journey. It symbolized me coming to terms with personal changes I was going through during a very transitional period in my life. I had recently had my first ever mental breakdown and and told my family about the dark place I had been in for so long. Months later, I was introduced to a more peaceful and optimistic me that I had never met. For the first time ever, I did not care about what anyone said or thought about me. The fear and anxiety that consumed me for so long finally freed me and it was one hell of a liberating feeling. I came to terms with knowing myself and loving myself unconditionally, flaws and all. I did not know what I would look like with short hair, how to style it or take care of it, or if my hair would ever grow back as long as it was when it was relaxed. What I did know was that I was trusting the journey and accepting all of the detours and dead ends that came along with it. A year ago, I gave myself a hair cut when attempting to trim my own ends. My hair so short that I struggled to style it the way I normally did. Frustrated and emotional, all I could think about was how big of a setback it was. In the midst of my disappointment and regret, I gained a new perspective. It was more than a hair cut. I was so focused on length retention and stretching my hair that it was extremely dry from me blow drying it every week. Instead of focusing on length, I aimed for health and learning to really take care of my hair. Like any other journey, hair journeys can have us so focused on the end goal that we forget to appreciate the process it took to get there. Perseverance and resilience are key to overcoming road blocks. Looking back at how far we (my hair and I) have come is what keeps me going and looking forward to the future.

    XOXO,

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