My hair is naturally unruly, kinky and semi fine. It breaks easily of it is not handled properly and worn in protective styles. People either praised my hair or criticized it. In elementary school, the principal's secretary (Actually, my godmother's secretary, she was the principal at the time.) actually commented to my mother, "Isn't it too bad that her hair isn't more like her daddy's but like yours instead?" Now, if that's not ugly, I don't know what is. Why anyone would say anything like that to another human being is beyond me. Well, moving on from that, as a kid, I always wore my hair in thick plats in pictures and wearing one ponytail was such a big deal. If I complained I got two extra braids, screamed and hollered? I got eight big braids and looked like a gangly brown spider. Some girls in school had mothers that relaxed their hair or used a hot comb to get it straight. And they got to wear their hair down. I never did! My mom only did it on picture day if she felt like it and it still wouldn’t look like the other girls. So I had a complex about my hair for years. Kids would tease me and say, “You’re mixed, you are supposed to have good hair, but you don’t!” My mom would always say,”That’s because they all have perms! Don’t listen to them! “But as a kid, when it’s coming from girls and boys, it scars you! Having a huge flat Japanese head didn’t help either. (Smile)
I always envied my friends with straight hair because they always wore their hair down and it flowed. Also, they got more attention from the fellas. People bullied me about my hair and other women always suggested I relaxed it because it was so wild. Back in the 80’s and part of the 90’s, the hair products were not the same and you either blow dried it, used a curling iron, hot rollers or a hot comb to smooth the curls. I had moments where I was okay with my hair, but most of the time I was dissatisfied.
I have been natural most of my life, but occasionally would use a mild straightener to relax my curls after the age of 25. I stayed away from the harsh perms and anything with lye. I did it for the first time in 2003, then again in 2005 and again in 2008. But the mistake I made was relaxing it again after 3 months in 2008 because my curls immediately came back. So, October of 2008 was the last time I relaxed my hair. I thought I was playing it safe doing using the same hair straighteners that the white and Latin girls used. I used the same straightener I normally used, but this time it was different. My hair started breaking off slowly, but surely. I never had any serious breakage before, but this was my punishment for getting a perm. I vowed that I would never do this again. Much of this was due to dying my hair as well, most of 2008 I had magenta streaks and it was fierce! I loved my purple hair and I would love to dye it again soon, but I need to wait till it’s completely healthy again.
Furthermore, I, being a dumbass and not liking my hair used a flat iron religiously. My hair was at my tailbone and yes, it looked nice for awhile. I spent part of 2009 and 2010 using the flat iron when I got frustrated with my in-between hair. Hair was still breaking, not retaining too much length. Oh well! Then I made a resolution in 2011 to shelve the flat iron that gets up to 485 degrees and not use it. I haven’t used it since and don’t plan on it. I have gotten used to my natural hair and have grown to like it. Again, I hated my hair for years because people teased me for having too much of it. Morons I dated thought I looked better with straight hair and other women complimented my hair on a regular basis for the first time in my life. I wanted straight hair and like most black girls, used too much heat to get my hair straight.
But now, I think I am over it! I was born with big bushy curls and can use product to smooth them out and I am gonna rock my afro like tresses. Going natural has freed me from the bondage I was in for years with my hair. I am not focused on my hair and it doesn’t take me forever to do my hair everyday! Not only am I saving money, I am saving time and energy. Don’t get me wrong, some days are better than others. For instance and many sistas can attest to this, our hair looks its best when it’s dirty! HAHA! It’s true, but I have gotten in the habit of keeping it clean and wearing protective styles more often than I wear it down. I’m grown, so I am not embarrassed to wear my hair in plats or pig tails. In addition, I don’t freak out if my man touches my hair or if it starts raining.
I should take pictures just to refer back on to see how much my hair has grown, but a lot of ladies are spreading the love and sharing their journey on You Tube and blogs etc. Thus, I really don’t feel the need to. I have always had longish hair, so it’s not about length for me, but rather health and love. I am also sort of embarrassed to take hair pics and post them even though the growth has been tremendous. I am just happy I am getting my hair back and vow to never complain about it again! It’s all about self-love and self-acceptance.