If you would’ve asked me a few years ago if I’d ever consider going natural, my answer would’ve been a resounding NO. Why? I probably would’ve rattled off a few of the following:
“I’m not about to be looking like no slave!”
(YES y’all, I was THAT ignorant. Forgive me, for I have since learned the error of my ways.)
“I’m not hopping on the bandwagon. In a few years when this fad is over and everybody’s getting relaxers again, I won’t have to worry because I’ll be ahead of the game.”
“Going natural looks good on SOME people, but it’s NOT for everybody.”
“My hair’s too thin. I’ll look like a cotton ball.”
As you can see, I wasn’t convinced. At that point, nothing could’ve pulled me away from my silky-straight relaxed hair. However, as time went by, I began realizing that the “natural movement” was not “just a fad.” Yeah, some people went back to relaxers and many never left #teamrelaxed, but, after a few years, I realized that natural hair was definitely not going anywhere. Still, I wasn’t convinced that it was for ME.
A lot of my resistance was rooted in fear. Most of my life I’ve dealt with a lack of confidence and self-esteem. Honestly, what woman hasn’t at some point in life? I’ve struggled with my weight since childhood, and I’ve never felt exceptionally pretty. However, regardless of how I may have felt about myself or my appearance, I always took confidence in my hair. Well, after I began getting relaxers, that is. Before that, I was just the fat girl with the “nappy” hair who only rocked braids or a frizzy puffball ponytail on a daily basis. But after my first experience with the “creamy crack,” my life changed. By the time I actually learned how to wield a flat iron, child, you couldn’t tell me nothing. My hair began to give me a sense confidence I didn’t have before. However, this confidence was unstable. On days when my hair was “laid,” I felt great! But on days when I got caught in the rain, or slept without a scarf, or it was time to get a touch-up (and the list goes on), my hair would be shot…and along with it, my confidence. I balked at the thought of not being able to grab onto my security blanket when needed, even if it was covered in chemicals caustic enough to melt a can of Coke. I wouldn’t be cute anymore. Instead of just being fleeting, my confidence would be completely gone. I just couldn’t go natural. Or so I thought.
I always took confidence in my hair…however, this confidence was unstable.
I got my last relaxer around March of 2014. At the time, my hair was beautiful, and after a fresh trim, it began to grow quickly. And you know that that means…so did my confidence. It didn’t help that I was also beginning to lose weight at the time, which gave me an extra ego boost. I relished in compliments from friends and coworkers about how great I looked. I was snuggling that security blanket tight y’all. But, like a bad plot twist, these moments were short-lived. After a few months and attempts to stretch my relaxer as long as possible, all that growth was gone. My hair was extremely damaged and broken. It was so uneven that it looked like I had finally given in and let my 5-year-old cousin play hairstylist with hair. Honestly I’m still not completely sure what happened, but I knew I couldn’t keep, in the words of dear old Mr. Brown, “looking like I was looking.” With my security blanket hanging on by a thread, for the first time, I seriously began to consider going natural.
It didn’t take long to make up my mind, but now that I had made a decision, I had yet another one to make. Do I transition or do the chop? For those who don’t know what I’m referring to, this article basically explains it. I am quite impatient, so I wanted to cut off all my ends at that moment, but I was afraid to make a rash decision and ultimately regret it. So I talked to my friends, read blogs, watched YouTube videos, and everything in between. I tried some of the transitioning styles (like twist outs, flat twists, etc.), but it seemed like all my attempts were in vain. I ultimately ended up having to resort to my go-to hairstyle that got me through when I was relaxed: twisting my hair up like Celie from The Color Purple. After weeks of this, I was not feeling it anymore, AT ALL. I finally gave in. I figured if I was gonna look/feel crazy anyway, I might as well do it with one texture of hair. Whether I cut my relaxed ends now or later, either way I’m going to have to part with it, I told myself. So why not now? And so I did. On September 12, 2014, I decided to do the Big Chop.
Doing the BC has been one of the most liberating experiences for me.
Though I thought I would live to regret it, doing the BC has been one of the most liberating experiences for me. Yes, it’s only been about 9 days lol, and my hair is currently covered up with a crochet style, but I can’t wait to see how my hair will grow…and how I will grow. I’m looking forward to this journey.
Maybe I’ll finally retire that security blanket too. 🙂