Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Past Life of a Relaxed Chick...

I got my first relaxer at the age of 15 years old. My mother would not allow us to get a relaxer prior to then but, we regularly got a press n'curl. When I first received my relaxer I remember feeling relieved. I felt relieved because all the girls at school would finally stop interrogating me about my lack of a relaxer.

My first relaxed style was simply a ponytail with gelled down edges. I felt so good that I could finally lay my edges down to my scalp. I also loved that I could get my hair wet and not have to worry about my hair poofing up on me. See, I was in the marching band in high school and whenever my hair sweated it would poof out. This would cause me to be the butt of many jokes..."What is going on with your hair?". I would continue to receive perms throughout high school. My main style was my hair wrapped. I remember packing on the grease and then flat ironing my hair to achieve this style. My hair would be so greasy and stiff...to where I would have to walk around with a stiff neck. I did this so my hair would not stick straight out if I moved my neck. Sad...I know.

During my college years, I started rocking the hook-on fake ponytail or the hook-on fake bun. I would gel my edges and then hook-on that ponytail and tighten it with the attached drawstring. I wore my hook-on ponytails faithfully! Then, my mother was combing my hair and noticed that the middle of my head was bald. This was a result of the comb from the fake ponytail digging into my scalp. Because of this I started to wear micro braids to get that section of my hair to grow back. But while that section of hair was growing back the front of my hair was trying to leave. The Africans from the shop would braid my edges so tight to where they would develop little white bulbs from the hair coming out of the scalp. Around 2004, while I still had the braids in my hair I decided that I wanted to go natural and start wearing locs. I didn't get a perm for a minute and kept my hair in braids. But, I was crossing into my sorority and I wanted to have my hair done for the probate. So, I permed it. I stopped wearing the braids and went back to a simple ponytail.

Then, I started dating this guy who wanted me to where my hair out more. WARNING: DO NOT CHANGE YOUR STYLE SIMPLY FOR A GUY. WEAR WHAT YOU LIKE, ACCEPT YOURSELF, AND DO NOT GIVE IN TO OTHERS OPINION OF YOU. I LEARNED THIS THE HARD WAY. Ok, back to the subject. This guy wanted me to show my real hair without the ponytail, fake buns, etc. So, I knew that my hair was not even so, I went to the salon and got it cut into a cute bob. I will admit that I liked this style. I maintained it and only put heat on my hair once a week. But for some reason, the middle part in the back started to break off. My hairstylist said it was simply a "weak spot". What??? I mentioned to this guy that I wanted to get locs one day like my sister and he said "That's fine. But, you will be getting a new boyfriend." Me and the guy eventually went our seperate ways. I started rocking the roller sets. The roller set was a great style option for low manipulation and it looked cute.

Then, about a year later, I really started to evaluate my life. Why was I living my life trying to please others and live up to their standards??? I decided at that moment--while sitting at my current job--that I would begin by wearing my hair the way GOD created it. It was the best decision of my life. I changed the way I lived my life. I let go of the parties, the alcohol. I even let meat out of my life and became a vegetarian. Being completely natural has been one of the best decisions of my life!

Accepting ourselves can only begin with us. Our Lord, Jesus Christ blessed each of us with a uniqueness that we should accept. By putting a relaxer in my head I was essentially saying "I would rather please people than You, Lord."

Sad...I know.

**Disclaimer: I speak from my personal experience only and do not feel everyone has these problems that I had with being relaxed.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this post. You wrote it on my birthday too.
    I am glad you became natural for you and that you grew tired of living according to other standards.
    To think I was the only people pleaser in the world, once in my life, I am comforted by the fact that other women have shared my experience!