Last week, I shared with you all the history and hair story of my sister Keagan, an 11 year old with special needs and natural hair. As I mentioned in the closing portions of the piece, Keagan’s twists-turned-locs were in need of revival and a new direction.
After much deliberation, my mom decided that it would be best for Keagan to have a big chop and start anew! Like many of us who consider a big chop, there was a lot of discussion and worry about what Keagan would look like afterward. One of her conditions is called microcephaly, which means that her head is smaller than average. The thickness of her locs added to her overall head circumference and gave her the appearance of having a larger head. To cut them off would be a large adjustment and when you’re dealing with a pre-teen, there’s no way you can ignore the potential ramifications to be had in the classroom. As we have all experienced, kids have a way of teasing and making fun of things that are different, of things they don’t understand…in Keagan’s case it would be her smaller than average head. In the end, the quest for healthy, manageable hair won out and my mom set out to chop her locs. Like many of us, Keagan’s big chop was just a way of rocking what she was born with!
After all the locs were chopped and done, Keagan peered into the mirror and said perhaps one of the best ways to describe a TWA I’ve ever heard: “I’ve got small hair.” And ever since, Keagan has proudly exclaimed that SHE! HAS! SMALL! HAIR!!! At school, when the other kids were still getting used to her new look, she bounced happily over to them to show her excitement about her new small hair. I think we can all take a page from the book of Keagan on this one: change is change, so you might as well embrace it; your excitement about it will be contagious!
So while her small hair was exciting and cute in the short term, for the long term it was unsustainable for Keagan. There was no way she would sit for long enough periods of time to have her hair detangled, combed, and styled. Of all possible styles, twists and locs had already proved themselves to be a great, low style option for maintaining her hair. The final result is now a set of two-strand twists. I think they look great and I can’t wait to watch this next chapter of her natural hair life unfold!