It has taken me 32 years to finally begin to understand my hair. I have tried doing everything to my hair- perms, hot combs, jheri curls, weaves, braids, flat iron.. none of which did my hair any good because it broke off before it could even get to shoulder length.
Now I did not decide to go natural by accident. I noticed my hairline receding, and not because of genetics rather because of manhandling it. I did not know what to do, then I started doing research. I read everything from books to blogs and even watching videos on YouTube to learn more about my hair type and how to care for it. I had no idea there was so much knowledge out there on how to care for our natural hair.
When I was growing up in the 90s, there wasn’t enough resources for us on how to care for our hair, it was more of trial and error and for those who wanted the easy way out, we permed and texturized our hair to make it more “manageable”. The media told us that straight hair was good and kinky hair was bad.
As soon I was old enough to handle the “burn” my mother sent me to the salon to get my first perm. It was almost a rite of passage, perming one’s hair meant she had officially become a woman or something like that. I was excited about getting my first perm because it meant no more headaches when combing my hair and my hair would look neat and tidy.
Unbeknownst to me, began my hair woes. I did not realize that I had just given my hair the death sentence, and when my hair got weak and started to break, I blamed my tardiness; not retouching my hair “on time” which when I did ironically killed my hair even further. It was a vicious cycle.
I wish I knew then what I know now, but it’s never too late, there is yet hope for my hair, I am now officially a natural girl. I recently cut off all my processed hair and I am about to embark on a hair journey that I look forward to, no chemical relaxers or heat will be applied to my hair.Wish me luck!