I say “return” because my hair was natural at one point. Everyone’s hair was or still is….
My mother relaxed my hair for the first time when I was 12. I remember my parents arguing about the issue. My father was against relaxers, but my mother just wanted our hair to be more manageable. I didn’t complain. I hated getting my hair done for hours. I hated the feeling of combs breaking against my scalp because the teeth were caught on a knot. I also longed to shake my hair “like the white girls”. I didn’t know much about my hair texture when I was a child…..
I was excited to get that relaxer. I could show off the true length of my hair, and tuck it behind my ears without resistance.
My first relaxed hairstyle was a roller set. I was pissed off. I wanted straight, flowing, hair. I was pissed off at my mom. I combed my curls out and my hair was frizzy. Now it was my mom’s turn to be pissed.
I started putting in my own relaxers when I turned 18. I put one in every couple of months. I was able to straighten my hair the way I wanted to. That way left me with creases in my hair….
By the time I was 21, I started experimenting with shorter haircuts. I knew that my hair would grow back. I eventually cut back relaxers to once a year. I really missed the volume in my hair. I naturally have thick hair, but with the relaxer, my hair is much thinner and very fragile.
In 2018, I did it. I did the big chop. I had 12 inches of my hair cut off. I was inspired to make this decision after consulting a friend and watch several YouTube videos. I had also just done a chop on Ariana’s hair because she wanted her natural curls back. I didn’t want her to feel alone. I washed my hair and put my husband up to the task of cutting it.
My first impression of my new style was regret. What was I going to do with it? My hair was coiled in the back, but loose and wavy in the front. I figured that Donnie had left some relaxed hair in the front of my head, so I cut another inch. Nope, my natural hair in the front was just loose and wavy.
The positive thing about my natural hair was that I was able to twist my hair in some cute styles. The negative thing was that I shed a lot of hair. I was shedding more hair than I was when I had a relaxer.
I was doing weekly washes and twists. I never put heat in my hair, except when I deep conditioned. It was the same cycle: wash, deep condition, regular condition, detangle, trim, oil, leave-in conditioner, custard, twist. Pairing the products perfectly was rough.
I was burned out after awhile. I had four heads of hair to do in total. Two of those four heads has 4c type hair. I’m not good with doing 4c hair. Having multiple children means that you have to study multiple hair types. This was not for me. I needed to get all of this hair done quickly. With so many kids, I didn’t have the time or patience for my hair.
After a year and a half of completely natural hair, I slapped a relaxer in my hair. There was something about blow drying my hair and then being able to just slap it in a bun. The only thing that I regret is that my hair doesn’t hold moisture as easily as it did when it was natural.
It’s been a year since my relaxer. I think I might hold out a little longer.
I’m not opposed to my natural hair state. I wouldn’t mind trying it again. I just don’t have a lot of time to devote to my hair like I use to. One day I might go back. For now, the once a year relaxer works for me. I get just enough of the benefit of manageability.
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