Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Natural Hair Journey

(picture taken June of 2010)

Today, we are trying to make #naturalhair a trending topic on Twitter, so I decided to contribute to the cause by talking about how I got to this point.

Ever since I was a teenager, I've always loved to do my hair, but I didn't always like the end results. Just like most other black women, I was taught that the straighter you can get your hair, the better whether with chemicals or heat.

As a kid, my hair was very long and thick so even though my mom tried to stick to hot combing it, sometimes she did have to put a relaxer in it, if only for five minutes. The older I got, I started doing my own hair and of course I stuck to relaxing because the few times I tried to press my hair, I burned a big section. It was hard to slick my hair down just right so no one would notice my charred tresses. Not really liking the chemical burns I got either, I usually went as long as six months between relaxing treatments. Most of the time, I kept my hair in a bun at the back of my head or at the top. I decorated the bun with scrunchies to match my clothes so it wouldn't look so plain. I even put a hint of color in my hair but that style didn't look all that great to me but I didn't know what else to do with it. My parents didn't have the money to send me to the beauty shop so I had to make do. I did have a few friends who were in hair school that I let experiment on my hair but for the most part I did it myself. But I hated my hair. I wanted to wear it straight and curled on the ends but my hair took a lot of beating trying to accomplish the styles that I wanted.

In my early twenties, I discovered weave. I loved changing my styles from curly and black to straight and honey blond. With weave, I didn't have to be bothered with my hair, well for the most part. I did end up pulling a lot of it out with the bonding glue, so many times I just got my hair braided with extensions.

Since the beginning of my thirties, I've been experiementing with wigs--not lacefronts, I hate those. I even learned how to make my own, since a lot of the wigs I find are too small for my big ole head. One day I could be a brunette and the next day I could be a red head and it was cool. But eventually the wigs started rubbing away the hair on my already thin hairline, so I had to come up with something else. I didn't want to be bald by the time I got fifty, if I could help it.

November of 2009, I decided that I would let the relaxer grow out of my hair. I still wore the wigs sometimes but usually I rocked micro-braids or Senegalese twists. In May of 2010, while on a week's leave from my job, I made the big chop. I didn't like the different strings of black, brown and gray but loved the texture of my hair. So I put some honey blond dye in it and got ready for work the next day. I didn't know what kind of response I would get from my co-workers, but was very happy when people came up to me and said, "I'm so glad you found a style that works for you." And guess what? So am I.


Softwarellc said...

Great article thanks for sharing..


Susie McCray said...

Softwarellc, thanks for stopping by. I'm glad you enjoyed my story.