Why natural hair? A simple physical change but a powerful statement: Black is beautiful
This is something that goes on our hair, scalp and skin! This thing is so potent it can dissolve a metal can, now imagine black women going through that process every six weeks over and over for a lifetime!
This scene freaked me out! From then on I had been obsessed with removing my relaxer. I don’t know if it’s anxiety or a touch of hypochondriac, I swear I was getting more and more headaches. I knew I needed to stop this awful practice of chemically straightening my hair because this practice is both physically and psychologically damaging.
When you get into the reason why us black women relaxed to begin with… *Woosah*!
While getting a perm is a little black girl right of passage, I was never afforded that right of passage and I’m grateful. My dad was vehemently opposed to doing anything to our hair, that includes relaxing, hot combing, and sometimes even braids. There was a neighbor who used to braid hair, one summer she braided me and my sister’s hair into mini micro braids, they took forever and were super cute. I was flipping my hair back and forth all over the place. The minute my dad saw the style he demanded we took them down.
That experience haunts me to this day, I still don’t know why? Maybe he thought they were extensions… that was another thing he was opposed to. My dad has been gone for almost twenty years. I never got to ask him why?
I made it through my whole teenage life without a perm, after a while I gave up wanting one and went full Afro-centric, by then I wanted locks, of course my dad didn’t want that either.
So by the time I moved away for college, and was out of the house the first thing I did was buy two boxes of olive oil relaxer and had my friend slap that thing on, and murdered my curls.
I was high on straight hair for about a week before I regretted my decision, and started missing my texture but it was too late! Once you get on the “creamy crack you can’t go back”
I try to take it off but this process of moving away from relaxers is not for the faint of heart, and besides back then I didn’t even know how? I have heard all kinds of old wives tales about how to remove relaxers. From washing your hair with beer to salt water to get the hair to revert, but it doesn’t work that way. I would stretch my relaxer for three to six months to see if it would go away but once the awkward new growth stage hits, I can’t take it anymore… back to the creamy crack I go.
That was why Chris Rock referred to relaxer as the creamy crack on the movie good hair, because just like crack, you just couldn’t get away from that stuff.
This went on for about seven years, until I became a mom of girls and I knew I had to get serious about finding a solution for my hair.
My little girl was just three year old and she had already started to question the straight hair, curly hair issue. She could tell her hair didn’t look and feel like mine. It broke my heart when she said she wanted hair like mommy, not my natural curly hair… She had never seen my hair. She wanted my creamy crack relaxer hair.
One day she saw another little girl with long straight flowing hair,
she said: "mommy she has beautiful hair like you!"
me: "yeah she does. so do you"
3yo: "no" with sad little face
Representation matters, but it starts in the home, not the magazines, not TV. My little girls needed to see my Afro hair in all its glory, they needed to see my hair kinky, curly, knotty just like hers, and it is BEAUTIFUL!
After seven years of wearing my relaxed hair, I had tried all the old wives tales, all the internet tips and tricks, until i finally found someone tell me that relaxed hair can be reverted it has to get cut off and regrown.
WElp! That’s what I did. I cut off all my hair and started spotted a tiny weeny Afro. It was liberating to finally wear my hair not as my dad wanted me to, not as society wanted me to but as I wanted to.
I’m glad I did it while my girls are young so they won’t even remember me with straight hair.
Their beautiful curls will always be the norm.