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.