At the age of 2 my mother gave me a relaxer. I did not have hair up until she game me the relaxer, I have no idea how it worked, but it did. Then growing up, in a predominantly, culture of power communicty I wore braids. My mother and I would drive one Saturday to the one black hair shop to have a woman braid my hair- a long, tedious, and semi-painful process. I wore braid for a majority part of my life. Taking hours to put in and take down. Then there was a period when I was too young to take care of my braids and my mother became severely ill. My braids then began to lock.
It wasn’t until middle school- and moving to a primarily Black neighborhood- that I started to have my hair pressed. Playing sports avidly, you can imagine the toll this would take. Every Sunday it was pressing comb time only to have my hair start to curl by Tuesday due to the heat of the South and my playing sports daily. Then an aunt attempted to hot comb my hair and ended up burning my back after dropping the hot comb. I then tried to do it, again due to my mother’s illness and inability to hold a comb, and burned a piece of my hair off.
Enter- Relaxers. It was not until high school that I was introduced to the wonderful world of weaves. I have all sorts of different weaves, short ones, curly ones, long ones, ones with color. I often chose a thick long half wig, wear my relaxed hair would only be out in the front. With this hair I noticed the attention. With longer hair I found men often found me attractive and wondered about my ethnicity. I would often saw I’m Black and this or that.
It wasn’t until after college that I became natural. I stopped relaxers and started to appreciate the texture of my natural hair. I noticed the texture the first time my hair was wet after the 6 month due date of not getting my relaxer. The wavy texture that was soft and gorgeous was well worth the weaning off of the “creamy crack”. And believe me it was weaning. I had headaches and holding out I was able to transition to having a head full of natural hair.
Now I enjoy the versatility of my natural hair. Even more so I feel that I have come to accept my beauty in all of its naturalness. I am a Black woman, with curly hair. I am versatile and beautiful and do not feel the need to change my beauty with made up ethnicity or faux pieces of silky straight hair.
I enjoy having hair that I can put my hands in, that smells like coconut, strawberries, mango,mint or whatever else I choose. I enjoy having GOOD HAIR. Because good hair is hair in healthy condition, it has nothing to do with the texture. And the best thing yet, is my journey is not over, maybe next. . . . locs. . . we’ll see, that’s the beauty of my natural hair- it’s always fashionable, creative, versatile, and beautiful.