When I was four years old, Mommy relaxed my hair. Because it was “too nappy.” She couldn’t maintain my naps, so she let the chemicals do it for her. I didn’t know any better and I didnt have any say, but looking back twenty-two years later, I wish I could’ve spoken up. I’d tell her, I don’t want a “perm.” I’d tell her, that my hair wasn’t nappy, it was naturally mine!
When I was in the fifth grade, my mom took to me her friend’s salon. She cut off all my hair and applied a texturizer to it. Because my hair was damaged. Damaged from six years of relaxers. Mommy, couldn’t maintain my hair. I spent many days at my Aunt’s house getting braids. Every two weeks, faithfully. Sometimes Mommy would straighten my hair with a hot comb, in our kitchen. As I cried out from the pain, which she blamed on the heat touching the Blue Magic grease. I was sooo mad! Ten years old with a texturizer, getting teased because kids didn’t know the difference between a jerry curl. I had to spray it at night and sleep in a shower cap, so the texturizer juice wouldn’t stain my pillows. But, then I grew my hair out. I prayed for my hair to grow. I wanted long hair, like my friends. I wanted straight hair, like their hair. But, if I could’ve told my young self anything, it would’ve been to embrace those curls. Quit calling them naps. I had a chance to start over, but I let society steer me back into that chemical box.
When I turned twenty-five, I decided to go natural. Even though I got a relaxer for my twenty-fifth birthday. I just knew it was going to be my last one, but it wasn’t. I was twenty-five years and three months old when I got my last relaxer. I promised myself that I was going to “return natural,” words of my beloved hair stylist, Ashali Snead. Ashali was one of the driving forces to my decision. Her book, entitled Naturally You, also helped out a ton. (She’s currently revamping it, but I’ll keep you updated on the re-release). Another driving force was one of my childhood friends, and yes! she witnessed the texturizer, Faith Powers. She released a natural hair product line called, Renewed Queen. (http://www.renewedqueen.bigcartel.com/). With a motivational hair stylist & valuable products, I got this in the bag! I didn’t want to do the big chop because I was afraid of not having length. So I decided to transition. I wore protective styles; braids, sew-ins, wigs, anything to keep my two different textured hair covered! I knew that if I were to wear it out, in that state, I’d be sure to relax my hair. YouTube tutorials became my addiction, keeping me up way past my bedtime. As I admired the bravery of these women, I wanted to be like them. I wanted my hair like theirs, but I had to re-evaluate myself. I was looking at the hair on the other girls head, instead of looking at mine. I admired theirs manes, without giving credit to my own.
When I started transitioning, I was still not pleased with my hair. I couldn’t get those YouTube styles, that I spent all night trying to achieve, but today, Tuesday April 4, 2017, I did the BIG CHOP! The best thing for me was to cut my transitioning hair, so I can fully embrace my natural curly locs. No, it won’t be down my back, but it will be home grown. It will be healthy. It will be mine and I will wear it proudly. No more feining for that creamy crack to give me a straight hair fix. No more wishing to have hair like hers. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am an imperfect human, I know it will take time. I am willing to give that time. You may see me with weave installed, a wig and/or braids, but just know, my natural hair is being maintained!
“They say a woman who cuts her hair is about to change her life.” -CoCo Chanel