I have had many hairstyles over these past months- I’ve tourtured my hair with at least 5 different changes this year! I look at it as artistic expression.
But there is one constant in my “hair life” which is that I’m consciously “growing my hair out” meaning that my hair was relaxed (black girl perm) and I want my hair texture to just be all natural. To outsiders it’s just a matter of letting my hair grow. But to those who know, who really know the difference between relaxed and natural “black” hair know that it is not always that simple. The natural hair is coarse and thick. The relaxed hair has been damaged and is thinner. This causes the hair to break when it’s growing out and makes it difficult and sometimes damn near impossible to acquire any length. It’s like you grow your hair out only for it to remain the same length for months , maybe even years. It’s frustrating. It’s the reason it has taken me so long to get to this point. Because every time I venture to be all natural I get fed up with the upkeep and just decide to get a perm and say “F it.”
Also, that difficult in-between time is part of the reason why I chose crazy hair styles like a long blonde weave. It’s fun, something different, and my natural, delicate hair is braided and chillin’ – not being harrassed by my brush and the elements daily. Then, I can go even crazier and dry my blonde weave whatever color I want since I’m not damaging my own hair.
My hair wasn’t always such a struggle. Well at least not in this sense. When I was little my hair was a huge afro of amazingness. But as time went on and it got harder to manage, I went the way of many young black girls- having a perm put into my hair (via my elders, obviously I wasn’t a 7 year old hairdresser.) This to me was everything- finally I could comb my hair fresh out the shower like the white girl in the shampoo commercials. Finally I could do my own pony tails and make up hair styles. And do NOT get me started on the curling iron. I was obsessed with that thing. But what I didn’t know was the damage being done to my hair. So, for years and years I kept my perm. In highscool I even got my mom to let me get blonde highlights. I reveled in my wavy hair when I let it air dry. My doobies were always on point (doobie wraps, thanks Dominicans!)
I tried a few times over the past 5 years to grow my hair out, eventually getting hair cuts and always I went back to perms. Well this is me saying I will not go back! I love being able to switch it up and have long hair one week and go back to my hair the next, so don’t expect me to stop with the weaves. They are fun and as long as they are done right they protect my hair from me messing with it and, very importantly here in Miami, from the sun. Most people forget that part. Also the girl who does my hair, Cookie gets me. Ladies- always feel comfortable with your hairdresser!
Anyways, I’ve gone through a bunch of hair styles but for now my hair is short, curly (at times) and oh, I dyed it gray. Finally! I’ve been obsessing over gray hair for years. Now, I’ll just stick to eating healthy, treating my hair like a princess and stay away from the relaxers. Anyone wondering about natural hair product know this- 100% pure Coconut oil is the best. It’s light, super cheap and a miracle worker.
One brand I have loved for years is Carol’s Daughter. My mom who has wild, long, healthy natural hair introduced me to the line of all natural, sweet smelling products and since then it grew into a huge company with Solange Knowles as it’s spokes woman. They have created a whole line of products specifically for women who are, like me, transitioning to all natural hair. There is even a blog/forum called Transitioning Movement that I check frequently. Do check it out- there are tips, product info and real life people like me, just letting it all out!
Here are a few of my past hair decisions. Actually looking back at them all side by side makes me see what looks best. I suggest everyone try it!
I’m happy I chose to go natural (again) and will try and stick with it this time! My mom and two sister’s long natural hair is my inspiration. Wish me luck !
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