In the Beginning…
Ever since I can remember I had always thought of my hair has “nappy” and difficult to manage. I never sought to see its natural beauty. When I was four and five years old I would have to sit through two hour ordeals in which my mom tried to fix my hair into something presentable. All I can remember is hearing the “snap, crackle, and pop” of my hair and seeing the teeth of comb to break off in my hair. Needless to say sister girl had some thick resilient hair that did not want to be put into any hairdo.
So At the age of six I asked—no I begged my mom for a relaxer. I was tired of crying because of being tender-headed and the struggle we would undergo every week to do my hair. So I ended up with relaxed hair. I was so excited when my hair was first permed, it was long, so flowy and at least to my shoulders.
I remember being so happy because finally, my hair was managible, long and my mom and my hair no longer had to fight each week…
However, this is were the story goes down hill…
During the summer months, after school let out I decided to go swimming, I was pleased at how my hair finally looked like the ladies on the shampoo commercials. It was long; it trailed behind me in the water, as compared to when my hair was natural and it just appeared to sit on top of my head all curly and wet, the complete opposite of what the hair commercials on T.V. were showing me.
Of course, now that it was permed, when I showered it finally looked like how it was “supposed to look” when wet. I thought my natural hair looked unnatural. (Of course now, I don’t think that. When wet now, to me the water looks like diamonds sparkling in my hair! How awesome and beautiful afro textured hair can be in all states!)
However at the ages of 4,5 and 6 I just thought my hair looked unnatural. At this time my mother had perm in her hair, her black friends had chemicals as well and the others had hair like on the shampoo commercials. So, that summer I went swimming and hair was finally doing what I thought my hair should do, which was, be straight, long and beautiful.
My mom and I were really good at taking care of my hair, we knew to wash it out after being in chlorine or else it would fall out. However, one day after being at the pool all day long, we came home late. We both were dog tired and we knew it would take at least another two hours or so before we could go to sleep. So we went to sleep and made promises to wash it out in the morning. Hey, others did all the time right? It would be fine, right?
Well it was the next day we washed my hair and all seemed well, at first. Over the course of the next three days my hair completely broke off. What was once shoulder length hair became ear length hair in some parts of my head. It was horrible. Six years length of hair completely broke off in tatters. Now, as the school year started, my mom tried desperately to put them into little barrettes as hairs that could not fit in it stuck out at the sides awkwardly.
My beautiful shampoo commercial worthy hair had broken off and what I had left was a fried, broken sad shadow what it once was a few days before.
Over the course of the next ten years my hair would continue to grow what seemed to be very, very, very slowly. Around the age of fourteen I finally discovered the art of crochet braids. They where fabulous and I could finally have the long, flowing swinging hair that I wanted and ignore what had become of the permed sad mess growing from my scalp…
Since I was six till the time I was 21 in college I have had relaxed hair (it’s anything, but relaxing to take care of it!), like most I resented the constant battle of loving my hair relaxed and about 4 weeks in hating it because my “Kitchen” was making itself known. My very unnaturally straight hair, although, it blew and bobbed in the wind, always lost the battle when my new growth started to come in.
The Horror story ends, and the loveliness begins!
At my college at the time a lot of African-American ladies were transitioning their hair from relaxed and returning to the natural. I began to really want to explore what my hair was like naturally— the way God intended. However, knowing myself, I was entirely too impatient to transition like all the rest so I happily went to my stylist, waited about two months after “needing a relaxer” and told her to cut it all down to the new growth and I’ve loved it since!
From October of 2010 till October of 2012 I continually kept my hair close cut and shaved close to my head, however In 10/12 I decided to finally start growing my hair out with goal to reach down to the base of my back. I know that goal may seem quite large to some, and the truth is…it is :), but I would like to discover my the beauty of my hair at all its lengths…so here my journey begins!
As of this post 4/21 I have about 5 months of growth I will make sure to post current pictures!
Fresh cut hair 09/2012
Here is a current picture of my hair as of 4/24/2012 below