I went over to my parents house recently, with my blown-out hair. My mother, God bless her, felt that she would remind me that when I was 12, I begged and pleaded with her to relax my hair. Now, I’m sure it’s because the person washing and combing my hair on the weekends was pulling my brain cells out through my pores, but I won’t mention any names mom ;-).
But she is right. I did beg. I wanted straight hair that I could comb through.
Here’s me before my great fall:
This last picture became a sort of signature style that I came to love in the way that I love having my foot stepped on by a 500 pound hippo.
Anyway, I got my relaxer and I couldn’t have been happier! As I got older though, it seemed like my physical tolerance for chemical relaxers gradually declined more and more over time…whenever I got my hair done, it always burned. I don’t remember how old I was the last time I escaped an appointment unscathed. In addition to the burns, the process triggered migraines, which I’m prone to. The trouble is, I really accepted that this was just the price we pay for beauty and good hair. So when my fashion forward super chic older sister went natural, I thought she had lost her mind, and I said “good for you sis, but never me” and I continued to burn the living daylights out of my scalp every 6 weeks. Here’s the evidence:
When I got pregnant with Keeks in 2010, I decided that I just didn’t want the pain of the burn/migraine, in addition to everything else that my body was going through. I don’t even think I committed 100% to going natural, but I decided that I wasn’t going to relax my hair again until I safely delivered my baby. It was through that 9 month passage of time, and the discovery that I would be having a girl, that I really came to a firm decision to transition. After all, I don’t want to pull her brain cells out till she begs for a relaxer right?
I transitioned with kinky twists and corn-rowed styles:
My hair was still in twists when I had my daughter in March, and two months later, a full year since my last relaxer, I took the twists out, and big chopped. I’m not even really sure that I can call it a big chop. Maybe a medium chop? The fact is I cut off all the relaxed ends of my hair. I did it myself, with a little help from hubby (see bath towel chic afro pic below):
If you had told me that I would have gone natural two years ago, I would have laughed you from here to the hairdresser’s. I used all of the same excuses that I hear now from other women. “It takes too much time and maintenance”, “My hair is hard”, “I don’t have good hair”, “I can’t cornrow”…you name it, I said it. Suffice it to say, my sister, who now sports locs would have thought I would have been the last person on the planet to go natural and frankly, I would have thought the same. So the moral of my hair story really is never say never…although…. I’ll never wear locs.
Relax…I’m just kidding!