18 was the age I began admiring the girls with the big curly hair. I thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen in my life. However, my hair was bone straight and I just didn’t possess those type of genes so I just admired them and moved on. I had to work with what I had. Back in Jr. High I stayed with the local trends in hair. My mom allowed me to be a little freer in that area the older i became,which was far from where I had come. My hair regimen as a child was wash, condition, sit under a dryer until dry, hot comb with grease, and various pony tails. My grandmother was a hair stylist who prided herself on being able to grow and maintain hair. She was right to do so because she had my hair down the middle of my back. No matter how much i begged her to relax my hair, she refused.
After my mom and dad split we moved to a different state away from my grandmother. My mom continued the hair regimen faithfully (plus a few burned ears). Fast forward to Jr. high as we returned from summer break, things had changed. There were no more ponytails and barrettes. They were replaced with wrap styles, asymmetrical cuts, and relaxers. Here I am thinking I’m cute with my one big pony tail to the side and a big bow. Geesh, how come I didn’t get the memo? I couldn’t wait until I got home so I could reason with my mom on the necessity of getting a relaxer. After all, I was older now and needed a more mature look. Before the words perm could come out of my lips, no was declared to my dismay. I had to regroup, there had to be a way to appeal to my mom. After about a day or so of plotting on the phone with my friends, we came up with the ultimate pro-relaxer argument. Mom, if you put a relaxer in my hair, it will cut our hair routine time tremendously. (Not bad for a bunch of 7th graders huh?) Any who, she thought it over and decided to apply a Juust for meee (singing the commercial)! SN: Just for me was just a horrible, horrible relaxer. I mean really. Basically, I was on the creamy crack from that point on until I turned 24/25. Until then I cut my hair short, grew it back out, wore it in hard gel styles, braids, color, highlights and whatever else the trend was at that time. Not to mention relaxing my own hair in between salon visits myself because I could get it straighter. (Yeah right LOL , I tickle myself sometimes).
After years of hair abuse, my hair decided she couldn’t take it anymore. I was in my phase of wanting long hair and growing it back. However, I noticed that my hair in the back of my head at the top-middle section was extremely short while the rest of my hair was just past shoulder length. I decided to go to the salon and see what was going on. She told me it was a stress spot and it had damage. We came up with a treatment plan and decided to try it out for about 3 months and see if that helps. She explained that if it didn’t get better that she would have to cut my hair short and I’d have to start fresh. I DID NOT WANT THAT. So I followed the plan faithfully but to no avail. Alas, we would have to cut my hair. Needless to say I cried like a baby. I rocked the short hair for about a year and then decided it was time to grow my hair back. When I informed my stylist of this she said okay. Then she dropped a bomb on me. I’m not going to relax your hair anymore since you are growing it out and you can’t have any color either. My mouth dropped. She explained that she felt that to keep my hair at its healthiest it is best to eliminate all chemicals whatsoever and do thermal heating instead ( just a fancy way of saying flat ironing). After the complete shock and ranting about how nappy my hair would be, I finally relented and began my long hair journey. My hair growth was very successful. It grew back very thick and long. I’m talking past BSL long ( that includes every bra I owned).
So, it’s 2011 and my hair is long, healthy, and full. I don’t have a complaint in the world except, I’m bored. My hair is boring and blah and I’m tired of wearing the same styles over and over. So I call up my stylist and ask for color. Something to liven up my hair. I get a warm rich brown with golden brown highlights. I absolutely loved it. While at the salon I tell my stylist I am bored with my hair and wanted to perhaps get a sew in of big curly hair. She informs me that my hair is too long and thick for a sew in style. So I say what about braids? She replies, your hair is too long for braids. Ugh! Well cutting my hair is NOT an option since I worked hard to grow it. She replies, Girl i don’t blame you. Hell I took the journey with you. I then asked, why can’t I wear my hair curly, I mean when my hair gets wet it curls up. She says, you just don’t have that textured type of hair (don’t give me the side eye; when we know better, we do better). Ugh. I really like that hair I say. Frustrated and bored, I returned home. That night I went home and turned the TV to HGTV.
A new show was coming on and its host was Tanika Ray. She had the most beautiful big curly hair and she looked like me. I thought to myself, umm, is she mixed because she doesn’t look mixed but she has big curly hair!!! I immediately picked up my laptop and typed “Tanika Ray Hair. The first link I saw was Tanika Ray’s Hair Journey on curlynikki.com.” I was opened to a whole new world!!! I had no idea that this world existed!! I saw so many different women who looked like me rocking the big curly hair. I was so freaking stoked!! I read for hours and hours until my eyes were burning, only to wake up and start it all over again the next night. Oh, and when I discovered the natural hair community on youtube…that. was. all. she. wrote. I immediately announced to everyone, I’m going natural. Thus my natural hair journey began. Hmph, it turns out I could have been big haired and curly after all .
Well, those are my thoughts of the day. What cha’ll doing? 😉
Hugs and Kisses!