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Off-Camera: Hair

Off-Camera is an online journal series to get me back into the art of writing. As a photographer, sometimes I don't write nearly as much as I'd like to, and this blog series is designed to help me with that. Please bear with me as my writing is a practice in progress. Some subjects will link back to my work as a business owner or photographer, and some will not. All constructive feedback is greatly appreciated, and I'd love to hear what you want to read in the future!

Au naturale, shot by Amanda Archibald

Au naturale, shot by Amanda Archibald

HELLO UNIVERSE, even if said universe is just two people! I thank anyone reading this for taking time out of their day to indulge in my thoughts. I don't want to bore you for long, so we'll keep this first entry short and sweet, and we'll dive right in.

If you've known me for at least six months, then you know my hair takes on radical change. One day you'll see me pull out my pick and fluff my afro curls, and a week later you could see me with bone straight blonde hair that's too long to comprehend. This is because my hair is a pure experiment for me.

The summer of the grey ombre box braids, Summer '16

The summer of the grey ombre box braids, Summer '16

Photo by Hannah Yoest

Photo by Hannah Yoest

I'm completely fine with owning up to the fact that sometimes the hair on my head isn't all grown by me. In fact, sometimes the reactions can be amusing. Clip-ins, weaves, braids, twists, and curls are all a part of me, and I've been the owner of every hairstyle I've taken on. They let me try something new when I usually strive to live a life of consistency. I've always been quite the creature of habit. I have my coffee order, my redundant travel destinations, my trusted editing tools in Lightroom, my go-to homemade meal. 

Newly installed sew-in, flat ironed

Newly installed sew-in, flat ironed

Embracing the notion that my hair can change with just one appointment or YouTube tutorial fascinates me, and I like to take full advantage.

Like most parts of my life, I haven't always lived this way. In high school, I fried my hair with weekly blowouts because I truly did think it would help me "fit in." Granted, my school had little to no diversity, with less than 50 people of color in my graduating class of about 470. Straight hair was inevitably a norm. Torturing my hair with heat never got me more social status, better grades, or better friends. It was all in my head, and when I decided to return to the curls, it was too late.  

Wearing some of my favorite Kurly Klips extensions my sophomore year of college

Wearing some of my favorite Kurly Klips extensions my sophomore year of college

I've since then spent my days nursing my hair back to life, but having complete fun with it along the way, refusing to feel sorry for the healthy hair choices I've made. I've purchased curly extensions to match my newly chopped hair, installed sew-in weaves to protect my curls in the winter, and still treated myself to a heat protected blowout for a big event. 

I'd be lying if I said I still wasn't influenced by the trends I spot. But this time, it's for the better health of my hair, since that is the trend. The natural hair movement arrived just in time for me to motivate myself to care less about what others thought and start worrying about my own health. When I think of taking care of my body, I think of what's inside and outside, so my hair goes into the complete health of myself. 

Sometimes, the lighter tone of my skin leaves some people questioning why I revert to extensions and weaves. Categorically, my hair falls under the tight S-curl family, just shy of being coarser and kinkier. My family tree comes mainly from Europe and the Caribbean. But I find it absolutely amazing that my parents blessed me with the hair that I have. They also blessed me with and understanding of confidence and ownership of your decisions, which is why I've been able to thoroughly enjoy every healthy hair decision I've made, as well as own the unhealthy decisions I've made and use them for benefit and learning as my life moves forward.  

Baby Sloane

Baby Sloane

My parents, both with different heads of curls

My parents, both with different heads of curls

I'm going to stop here, because I feel like I've spoken as much truth as I can on what can seem to be such a small subject. But I do enjoy analyzing daily parts of life and considering how they play into a bigger picture. Something as simple as a head of hair can be something so often taken for granted, and I've enjoyed writing all of this down to prevent that from happening.

Thank you so much for reading! I'm so excited to start this project, and hope my series will be released on a fairly regular basis. Stay tuned for the next journal entry about my path to my new health and lifestyle initiatives. 

Sloane Tucker1 Comment