I've been attempting to transition into another style for about 2 years. I've succeeded for the most part. The journey I've gone through with my style says as much about my growth as a person as any other facet of my life. Mind you, I'm no "Devil Wears Prada" drone. Vogue is not my bible. But, fashion, like any other "art" form, makes a statement.
Fresh from summer camp, I had gotten used to rocking headbands and ponytails. I remember reading my first blog on the "Natural Hair" movement and I was appalled at the rituals of African American hair care. So, I began to transition. I consciously decided to go natural in August 2008. Granted, I was afraid to chop it all off. So, I embraced the ponytail for as long as I could. With the pony, came the tomboyish look that I embraced in my young teens. Bermuda shorts and Converses in tow, I settled into the lowest level of maintenance that I could. Plus, as a first year RA, and a senior in college, there wasn't much time for long bouts in front of the mirror.
Winter 2008/Spring 2009
A close friend of mine introduced me to the Flat Iron; which I embraced whole-heartedly. I stopped being afraid to let my hair down. However, I noticed that my hair was completely broken off in many places due to all of the ponytail action. My hair was extremely short in the middle of my head, embarrassingly enough. But, my friend took caution with my hair, and I decided to make my style more comfortable than low-maintenance. I started wearing corduroy vests and sweaters, and began experimenting with colors. I resurrected the "fake spectacles" to add a hint of "serious student" to my style.
Fall 2009/Winter 2009
I'd completely settled into my "chic bohemian" style at this point. I was struggling with my hair, because I'd been natural for over a year, and its thickness made it hard to manage. I came really close a number of times to putting a relaxer in it...but I never caved. I continued to flat iron it as much as possible, and work with the products that I still had. Basically, I was at a stand still with my hair care, and was searching for something drastically different. I began wearing small bits of make-up more often; settling into my womanhood around my 24th birthday.
I remember there was a huge snowstorm at my college, and my roommate and I decided to have a photo shoot once it stopped snowing. So, a few of us trekked out into the snow and had a day that I won't soon forget. I remember coming in my room from the shower and taking the towel off of my freshly washed hair. I teased it with my comb, jokingly at first, and looked up into the mirror. Making a few adjustments and parting it in the front, I remember being astonished at how pleased I was with my hair. I smiled at the few ringlets of curls on my ends. I looked down at the blow dryer in my hand, and after a moment, I put it back on my bed. Afraid to death, I went outside and did our photo shoot. For the first time, I was truly natural. I had to go back to my natural state before I could progress any further in developing my style.
Present (Summer 2010)/Future
I threw away over $150 worth of hair care products. I haven't blow-dryed/flat ironed my hair in over 5 months. Out of the 6 products I regularly use, the first (greatest) of them is water. I plan on continuing many of the trends that I love, but my style is currently under transition again.
And here's a sneak preview: eShakti