The natural hair movement has left its mark on the black community. I mean sure, people were wearing TWAs and bantu knots before 2017, but these past few years have really changed the idea of acceptable hair on women of color. I know that in the beginning of the change,the idea did not appeal to me at all. I would think to myself, “Natural, more like nappy.”
But as time went on I started reading all these articles about how healthy your hair would be and how empowered you would feel as a WOC. So I did it – the big chop. I rocked my twa for quite some time and then got bored, so I shaved my sides. As the sides started to grow back. I started to think about putting a relaxer on it. After lots of thought, I went to Sally’s after work, and then went home and relaxed my natural hair. Why you ask? What could possibly drive me into jerking my hair from its natural state? Lets dive in and talk about the top 5 reasons I put a relaxer on my head.
For some reason, I had this false notion in my head that being natural would be super cheap. All I need is some water, conditioner, and coconut oil right? WRONG! I was sold on every product I came across. I quickly fell into the scheme of curl custards, leave in conditioners, co washes, and everything else with the words, “For Natural Hair,” on the bottle. I went from spending $1 on a spray bottle for water to $45 every time I ventured into Sally’s or Walmart. Should I blame the marketing campaigns or my impulsive spending problem? Obviously they both are to blame but my bank account has no time (or money) to suffer.
I need sleep. When I tell you guys that I am in bed by 8:30 and sleep by 9, I mean it. My friends often make fun of me for how early I go to bed. “When I was natural, I would find myself starting my two strands twists or bantu knots at 8 and not getting into bed until 11 pm. It took forever to prepare my hair for the next day. And sometimes, it didn’t even look good the next day. Maybe I shouldn’t have procrastinated, or maybe I was just slow. Whatever the case was, it never felt like it was worth it.
As you learned in the previous point, I had every product under the sun and still, they never worked. I would find a product that would help with shrinkage only to find my elongated twists hard and dry. Then I’d find a product or technique that seemed to keep my hair moisturized only to shrink into my head like a twa.
It Never Lasted
Back to the instance of me spending 2-3 hours on my hair and then it only lasting until right before lunch. It felt like such a waste of time and effort if by lunchtime my stretched out curls had shrunk or my voluminous and soft hair became dry or hardened. And let’s not forget the times when you spend all morning trying to get it right and it just does not work. I was always devastated and would end up wearing a scarf.
Because I Wanted To
The most important part of doing and beauty related thing is to remember who you’re doing it for. YOURSELF! DUH! I did this for myself.
I like the way my hair looks relaxed.
I like the way my hair feels relaxed.
I like the way my hair curls relaxed.
I like my hair relaxed.
If I changed myself every time someone made a suggestion to me about what they “liked better” on me, I would not have time for anything else. It’s not about anyone but you. I loved being natural, I really learned to accept my hair for what it was and love every part of myself along the way. That time in my life brought so much growth to my hair, I thought I would never get a relaxer again. My hair was thicker than it had ever been. But as the nights tolled on and the prices hiked higher, I knew I was slowly pushing myself over into the realm of relaxers again. I do not regret the natural hair experience one bit, but I never want to do something that I don’t enjoy. It was truly a limiting factor in my life.
I am so glad my hair is bone straight and super easy to do. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Is your hair relaxed or natural? Comment below your biggest beauty transformation!