December 17, 2012 – my three year anniversary for going back to my natural curl pattern. It came and I was not excited. From the summer, I wanted something new. I wanted something fresh. Anything would do – I was just tired of the same old twist out. I was thinking shaving of parts of my hair, dying it purple, dreads or even….relaxing it. I know, I was going back to where I came from.
Relaxing my hair came to mind over the years. All the time questions would swirl through my mind. Like the fly that refused to buzz off, thoughts about relaxing my hair would come.
Would I treat my hair better? Would I know how to look after it after being natural for so long? What would it actually be life to have straight hair after being natural for so long? It would be so easy if you had relaxed your hair. Maybe you should do it just to see….
These were the thoughts that went through my mind. After all, when I decided to go natural, I did not do it because it was a trend. No, I went natural right before people starting doing big chops all over youtube. At that time, there were only 3 people I knew on Youtube and BGLH was had moved to a new site from their blogspot. So when I went natural, I did it for me.
“I didn’t transition because my hair was breaking. I didn’t transition because my hair was falling out. I transitioned because I saw ’me’ in my hair.” A quote from my blog post on why I decided to go natural.
The past Christmas, I spent the holidays with my aunt who is a hair dresser. Well, my turn to sit in her chair was coming up and I needed to decide what I was going to do with my hair. My hair had grown to about APL and was pretty big (as an afro should be ). And I will be honest with – it was laziness that caused me not to be bothered with my hair. I loved washing my hair I just couldn’t be bothered with styling and detangling it afterwards. What I started doing was brushing my hair up into a bun. I don’t like to use gel so I smoothed it down and I did not use the scarf method to smooth my hair either. It was presentable but not the trademark slick back that so many black women like. For that reason, people I knew did not agree with it. Someone I knew was willing to pay for her hairdresser to do my hair when I visited her. She called the salon right in front of me and told me that a young woman my age should not be looking like this!
I took everyone’s comment with a pinch of salt. I knew my hair was in an awkward length and that was annoying to me so I just wanted to leave my hair alone until it grew out of that phase. No one else seemed to understand. I love my natural hair…. so what made me relax it?
Well, I can’t really say. I’m not sure if it is because I gave into the temptation that was brought to me by the thoughts that came to my mind or I was persuaded by my family. I’m not sure. One thing was for sure I felt like I did it because I thought I could not have a certain hairstyle to work in cosmetics, which is my trade. And that is exactly what was wrong – I thought. Imagine how I felt with my common sleek ponytail compared to the butt-length dreadlocks of a sales associates at a Lancome counter. Yea….
And it was when I looked into the mirror I was hit with the truth. I did not recognise myself. I did not feel like me. I did not like it all. I have never regretted anything done to my hair, except that fateful afternoon. I couldn’t even look at myself in the mirror straight. The shiny strands just radiated comrpromise, shame and dishonour. On the other hand, everyone loved it. I kept getting compliments on how amazing/grown up/mature/etc I looked. And yet behind my smiles, I was missing my curls. In my eyes, I looked like an elder of a church – the length of my hair had a bob-esque feel to it so I felt like I look like an older woman. In fact, I looked more Plain Jane with relaxed hair than I did with the puffy bun I used to wore. I think this is because so many people in my generation are going natural. Even big, curly weaves/wigs are being worn. Straight with the ends curled under are for people 30+ in a 9-5 and I am the complete opposite of that!
This scenario has helped me to see somethings though:
- The previous generation really need to get with it. I went for an interview Reckitt Benckiser when my twists were so short they could barely hang down. Not only that, I got the job and while I was the company I wore my hair in puffs, twist-outs, etc. My natural hair was not what hindered me from getting a placement with Reckitt Benckiser and therefore will not prevent me finding work in the future.
- I am not less attractive because I have natural hair. In some people’s mind, having relaxed hair means you are ready for marriage.
- Afro hair is beautiful! I miss my different curl patterns. Everything on my head is just the same. I actually hate being able to comb my hair from the root and not encountering any problems!
- I want to be me. Anyone can easily fall into the trap of trying to fight the standards of the time we are in by showing you can have natural hair and start a business, marry someone, etc. But I don’t want to fall into that trap. I want to be me. And like I said before, my curls are ME!
So as you may guess, I’m planning my transition. The good thing is, this time around I will be older and wiser and will know how to love my hair. And I can do my transition differently. First time around, I transitioned for some months. This time around, I’m going to do the big chop. Oh yea!
Let’s go! 8)
Date of relaxer: December 28, 2012
Length of Transition: 1-6 months
Goal Length: waist length
Big chop date: TBC