I am your stereotypical mid-twenties black woman! Basically, I’m trying to figure out what I want out of life, love – and most importantly, my HAIR. Who knew it would be so hard to find a style, length and color to commit to? I guess I have commitment issues.
To know me is to know my hair story. I was naturalista in the early phases; you know, getting my hair straightened in front of the stove only on Easter and School Picture day. Many a time, I took my pictures with a few burns on my ears. At the age of seven, my “best friend” got a relaxer and I wanted one too. All was fine and dandy for a year, until my mom was comfortable enough to drop me off to get the infamous chemical straightener. Without her supervision, the hairstylist left the relaxer on too long. I ended up edgeless.
Most of my 5th and 6th grade career was spent trying to revamp my hair. I did box braids, micro braids, cornrows and many other styles (all while still receiving relaxers). Eventually my hair grew back to a length that I could accept. I never stopped getting relaxers: I went to college with a relaxer, got relaxers throughout my pregnancy and until my daughter was 5 years old I continued to get relaxers.
The downside was that I was not convinced I needed a hair stylist. After all, it was a hair stylist that aided in the demise of my gorgeous locks. Home relaxers were my best friends, until one day in 2011 when I went to get a trim and the stylist cut all my hair off. I was devastated. I had an event coming up the next week, so I resorted to a sew in (my very first one of course). After I removed that, I remained relaxer free and continued cutting until the relaxer was gone. However, I still straighten my hair bi-weekly. I workout and have to straighten or be forced to wear the dreaded ponytail.
Now, even after all the hard work of transitioning, I want my chemicals BACK. How is that for lack of commitment? A year in and I am ready to feel the slight tingle that you receive when the relaxer has worked. My thoughts are if you are natural, own it; if you are relaxed, own it. Taking care of your hair doesn’t mean you are relaxed or natural. How I wear my hair doesn’t define me, although it does have the ability to alter my mood. What is more exciting than my story, is going on this journey with you all. Hopefully you can help me decide where this love affair will end.