I received my first relaxer when I was 13 years old. I have always had thick and kinky hair, so if you came near me with a brush or comb I’d lose it. When I was 12, I was in middle school, 6th grade, I watched all of my friend with their long relaxed hair and wondered why my tresses wouldn’t stay straight and “beautiful” like theirs. We all know that when you have naturally 4b/4c hair that as soon as a drop of water or humidity touches your crown it puffs up faster than biscuits in the oven.
It took me a whole year of crying and begging to let my mom finally give my aunt the “okay” to get a relaxer. I WAS ESTATIC. I constantly flipped my hair around showing every the true length of my now chemically straightened hair. I began to think I was hot stuff and even better than the other girls in my class with their “nappy” hair. I remained with my hair permed and processed for 6 looong years until I turned 19. By that time my hair was so damaged and frail from me getting a perm every 2-3 months. I hated how brittle and lifeless my hair had become. My boyfriend suggested I go natural… “ME? NATURAL??! Boy stop, I don’t have ‘the curl’ for that” (The curl meaning not frizzy). So I went for months trying to get weave and braids and whatever else I could to keep my “creamy crack” and I together. Despite knowing and seeing the damage it was doing to my crown.
BOOM. It hit me. I had just taken out my poetics (braids) and I just said you know what I’m going natural. Let me see how it goes and if I don’t like it I’ll perm it again! [I’ll never get a perm again btw]. I started my transition phase, I saw it on Youtube and thought I’d give it a try. I HATED IT. My roots were so curly and thick and my ends, don’t even get me started, were so straight and lifeless. It was horrid. No amount of ECO Styler, Cantu or water could save me. I snatched some scissors out of my BF’s room one day and chopped it. Anything that wouldn’t curl HAD. TO. GO.
I could finally see the beauty in my natural pattern, I loved it. I felt so free. Every bias I had about natural hair went out the door. I loved seeing myself natural, I loved seeing others natural. Not only did I make a natural hair transition but I made a mental transition as well. My hair is so curly and thick, it made me embrace my natural beauty.
After almost 3 years I can still say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Sometimes it can become too much, but I remind myself this is the healthiest and strongest my hair has ever been. Yes, I break combs. No, my hair isn’t straight. Yes, it’s tedious and goes in a puff often. But hey my arms are toned from detangling! But seriously, I can say I’m truly in love with my journey and watch my hair defy gravity every single day. My hair is my best friend. She is me. “Francine the Fro” will be here for infinity.
I encourage everyone to return to their curly state.
Good luck on your own natural hair journey <3 #NaturalistasUnite
|Guest Author: Shaunise Allmond