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!!