My Hair Story...

Nywele said: I’d love to hear more about your hair:)

Here’s my story…

Growing up straight hair wasn’t a big deal. Little girls were supposed to look and act like little girls so either your hair was in pony tails with the matching ribbons or braided with beads on the ends. Straight pressed hair was only for special occasions and relaxers were for grown women or big girls. The only time I had my hair pressed as a kid was for First Communion and one picture day.

I got my first relaxer when I was 12 as a gift. My mom did my hair from that day until I left home for undergrad. I never had issues. I always had a full head of head, I never had scabs and I always had my edges. It wasn’t until I left home that my problems started.

Boston was the start of my problems. Growing up my mom always told me be very selective of whom you let in your hair and that everyone’s hand won’t agree with your hair and Lord was she right. My hair always looked nice but if you looked closer you would see it was all a front. The relaxer I grew up on they didn’t use. For the first time I was experiencing burns and scabs. It was disgusting. I lost length. My hair refused to go past my shoulders. The breakage I experienced wasn’t even funny. At least once a year I had severe breakage on some part of my head. Going to the salon was embarrassing, and tiring. Stylists always claimed that the one before them was incompetent and that they had the magic cure all, which of course they didn’t. My hair always recovered when I went home then I would go back to school and start the cycle again.

After graduation I moved back home and my hair thrived. It grew a little past my shoulders but not by much but there was no breakage. When I moved to DC the cycle started again.

When I got to DC I went to a salon by Howard’s campus and found a stylist that I was in love with. He did a great job and my hair was healthy with him. Then one day he’s gone and them trifling folks at the salon won’t give his forwarding info. It was downhill from there. I went through 5 stylists in 1 year and it was Boston all over again. The last one was horrible. She was late to appointments, and her skills were hit or miss. She couldn’t put in a simple pony tail. I mean how hard is it to do a ponytail. Put real hair in ponytail and wrap track around. Not brain surgery. This lady glued the track in to the middle of my head then did some MacGyver stuff with the rest of it. The 2 last straws were 1. a patch in the middle of my head was literally the length of my pinky. I was like this heffa burned my hair. She was like no girl that’s your stress spot. I was like stress spot my ass how about you don’t know what you’re doing. 2. I didn’t leave the salon until 10:30 pm, got home at 11 pm and I had been there since 4:30. I was fed up with my hair; I was tired of half ass service and having my time and most importantly my money wasted. So I decided to wear braids until I figured out what to do.

I had heard about going natural but it wasn’t something I was really interested in mainly because my hair had been relaxed for the majority of my life and it was all I knew. The only issues I had with natural hair were the care of it and what to do with it. I wasn’t worried about what anyone would think my main concern was the health of my hair. I research everything so I did the same for natural hair and found Nappturality. I think I lived there for months just reading and absorbing info. I began posting and it was great. After a while I was like this won’t be so bad and anything had to be better than what I was dealing with and decided to transition and stop relaxing. In the meantime I went to hair gatherings and kept reading and posting. I don’t now how long I thought I was going to transition for but by the 5th month I guess my hair got tired of the 2 textures and the relaxed ends started to breaking off. By the 6th month I was itching to see what my natural texture was like. I decided cut some of the front to see what the texture was like. Not the middle or the back but the front. My logic was- I’ll just slick it back. So I snipped a bit, snipped some more and next thing you know I had this bizarre mini fro mullet/relaxed ends thing going on. That’s when I realized that I wouldn’t be able to slick this down. So on December 23, 2001 I cut off all my relaxed ends had me a little fro and never looked back. As the years went on and I got more comfortable with my hair I spent less and less time on Nappturality and stopped posting and visiting. I recently went back but I just lurk.

My journey has been great. I’ve read some horror stories of some folk’s experiences and I can honestly say that mine has always been positive. I’ve never had anyone say anything slick to me, never had problems at work or finding jobs, and men love it. I do wonder if I had found that super stylist if I would have gone natural and I don’t know. What I do know is that I’ll never relax again. It wasn’t healthy for my hair and I’m much happier now. I don’t judge people for the hair choices they make because frankly I don’t care especially since I’m not the one caring for it. If I get the urge for a straight look I’ll pay a visit to the Dominicans or break out my flat iron.

I made a little montage of my hair through the years. Years are missing and I have no clue what that’s about. I used to have a hair album but I let the account expire. I couldn’t find the cd with the original pictures on it so I apologize that some of the pics are blurry. I don’t have any straight hair pics of myself. But if you know what a wrap/doobie/straw/flex set looks like then you know what my hair looked like. And yes I’m in the bathroom taking pics. I have no idea why the bathroom is my studio of choice…lol… Enjoy!!


Amina said...

Thank you, thank you thank you!!
It was great reading your story!
You're such an inspiration :)

How often do you trim your hair?
When I big chopped, I started being pro natural then very quickly i stopped..people are free to adapt the hairstyle that works best for them!!

July 6, 2008 at 12:00 AM
yummy411 said...

great, fab post. your hair is amazing!

living in dc def has its perks! more people are accepting of natural hair,etc.

i love the bathroom too.. lights, mirrors.. better for pics LOL

...ahhh amy winehouse....

July 6, 2008 at 1:54 PM
Anonymous said...

This was great!
I just decided that I wanted to go natural in May, and every time I make this decision I always end up quitting. But seeing how beautiful your hair is makes me excited to stick to it this time!

July 6, 2008 at 4:30 PM
Anonymous said...

Wow, I see now that going Natural definitely has its perks! Your hair looks so healthy...I still can't believe how long your hair was when you did the blowout! It was so gorge!!

July 6, 2008 at 6:45 PM
Kieya said...

Awesome story. My mother always warned me too. Its funny, she said the exact same thing "no everyone's hand is gonna agree with your hair"
I've had some "this heffa burned my hair off" moments as well when I was younger & made the mistake of straying. Thanks for sharing!

July 7, 2008 at 7:34 PM
SuzieC said...

@ amina - you're so very welcome! I trim at least once a year maybe twice a year. If I manage to trim 3 times it's a I think I was a super pro-nap for a week. Then I adopted the do you mantra!

@ yummy - Thanks! Yep that is one of the great things about living in the capital everywhere you turn is a natural head!

So very true about the's the perfect in house studio!

Don't you just love Ms.

@ sutekiworld - Thanks! Good luck with you journey! It can be a little fustrating but it's worth it. Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions not that I'm an expert or anything but I'll share what I know.

@ anjela - Thanks! Yep being natural does have a lot of benefits for me - mainly not having to pack an overnight bag and a snack just to get my hair

@ keiya - Thanks! I'm very serious about what my mom says now which is why I've only been to a salon once in 6 years. Which sucks because I really want to get my hair done but I'm

July 7, 2008 at 9:33 PM

Amina said...

lol at the overnight bag and a the puertorrican shop where i used to get my hair done, they sell meat patties (empanadas) delicious..great way to make extra money too..because by the time you have 5 of them, a soda, pay for the relaxer+ tip, it is almost a $100

July 8, 2008 at 3:37 AM
B said...

Beautiful story and photos! You and your hair are just gorgeous!

July 8, 2008 at 8:46 AM
SuzieC said...

amina they know what's up! Sell refreshments have someone come in to sell some movies/bags or whatever and they won't notice they've been in the salon for hours! Girl it's a ploy to make sure folks don't

Thanks B!

July 8, 2008 at 7:25 PM

Valerie said...

Inspirational, beautiful and I loved the song! I'm in transition and debating over "the chop." I have about 6 inches of new and 6" relaxed. Thanks for sharing.

July 16, 2008 at 12:15 PM
SuzieC said...

Thanks Valerie!!

July 17, 2008 at 10:23 AM

Anonymous said...

your hair is gorgeous and lush. Loved the slide show and thoroughly enjoyed reading your journey.

And I'm with you, I can count on one finger how many times someone said something rude to me about my hair. It's never ever been a detriment in my life in any way.

July 17, 2008 at 12:48 PM
SuzieC said...

Thanks for the compliments juvenescent! It's good to know I'm not the only one with a positive journey.

July 17, 2008 at 6:24 PM

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