Every girl, who has decided to go natural contemplated it probably numerous times, before she actually put down the relaxer, blow dryer, flat iron, and the curling wand. Just like all the girls before me, I went through the same debates in my head before I actually decided enough is enough.
My moment of clarity actually occurred over a series of events during my senior year in high school. The first nudge, a group of us were taking a picture and then my mind pondered. If you turned us all around, you could not tell us apart. All African American girls with chemically straighten hair, white T-shirts, skinny jeans, with the latest Jordan’s on our feet (Yes, that does show how old I am by the fashion trend just described). In that moment, I did not want to just fit in the crowd. Needless to say for the majority of the year, I continued to not only chemically straighten my hair but also highlight it with bleach.
The next nudge the universe gave me was after I flat ironed my hair. I touched my scalp and felt a bristle effect. At the time I thought that is weird, but proceeded to wrap my hair for the night and continued about my life. Now looking back I think, “Silly girl, that bristle effect was your hair broken off at the scalp!”
Then the final nudge came, I went to my hair dresser asking for a roller set of tight curls because I wanted a different look for prom. So there I sat for hours in the salon for her to put all these tiny rollers in my hair to create perfect spiral curls. On top of that I was charged extra because I had “ a lot of hair.” I was on a Marshall’s cashier’s salary; “extra” was not in my budget. When I got home, I randomly saw a picture of myself when I was younger. Care free and guess what, I had curls!!!! That is when I wanted to slap myself. I just spent literally a whole day paying someone to spiral curl my hair when it already naturally curled by itself. I decided then to stop chemically straightening my hair, and also stop bleaching it.
When I told my friends I was not going to relax my hair anymore, they looked at me as if I had gone mad. Unless a girl was getting braids or a weave, relaxing your hair was a way of life. Black girls did not travel on any other unmarked territory. I had no guidance on how to start my journey, what products to use, or how to regain my natural texture.. I just knew chemically straightening my hair it was not going to be a part of my life anymore.
So whether you are deciding to return to your natural roots, struggling with transitioning, or been a natural hair girl for years. I say cheers to you and remember to love your texture. It is unique to you and you have to remember it is a process!