I got my first relaxer (chemical straightening process, for those who aren’t familiar) in my kitchen when I was seven years old. Yesterday I finally watched Chris Rock’s movie “Good Hair”, and nearly cried when they showed 3 and 4 year old kids getting perms because they “needed to”! ARGH!!! They are babies!!! Overall the movie was a very interesting one… funny, yes. But it really talked about so many aspects of a Black woman’s crown and glory… and a source of so much pain, both internally and physically, that many people can never truly understand.
In undergrad I changed my regular 8 week relaxer schedule to 12 weeks, then 16 weeks, then 6 months and eventually I was getting them once a year… which was when I realized I really didn’t NEED them at all. So I stopped wasting my money on relaxers (but still fed my addition for hair coloring!). I grew my relaxed hair out, chopping it as I went to get rid of the old processed hair. I started trying new products and styling tools for straightening and began to embrace my naturally curly hair. I was initially terrified to wear it curly to work and I used to straighten my hair before job interviews or big events. I created a “hair diary” a while back… I’m still adding old and new pics to it, but this shows fav pics of a lot of the different hair phases I’ve been through.
Now, I do whatever is convenient, because I love my hair curly AND straight and in the end, what is most important to me is having HEALTHY hair! I love to see my girlfriends, many of whom are “natural” and happy, and all the creative styles they come up with. I have lawyers and doctors and engineers and teachers in my circle who embrace their natural textures and rock em like they belong on a concert stage somewhere. Check some of us out… (No creamy crack allowed… LOL)
NOW…. years later… I can actually say I LOVE MY HAIR!! I can’t imagine ever putting those chemicals in my hair or on my scalp again.
If you’re considering the transition (cause it isn’t easy for everyone!) check out some of the sites below for suggestions, inspiration and pics of other women who made the transition and are loving their hair!
Be sure to go out and get the movie “Good Hair”!