I have been natural for almost seven years now.. AGAIN. I was raised without a relaxer and getting my hair pressed in high school. I was a cheerleader and my hair would always sweat out and would never move the way my counterparts hair moved in the wind, because it was full of pressing grease. After begging and begging and more begging, my grandmother agreed to let me get a relaxer .
My hair was never the same.
It wasn’t growing the way it was prior to the relaxer, but oh it sure was moving in the wind and it was moving right on out of my scalp when combed. I regretted getting a relaxer, but I COULD NOT let my granny know at the time that she was correct. I was in the “good hair” crowd, because my hair was not curling up anymore when I got rained on during games.. It was still straight…stringy, but straight. I started experimenting with hair color and my hair was still falling right on out; but being the low self-esteem young teen I was, I ignored it and kept saying well it will grow back.
When I went to college, I cut all my hair off to the 2004 “Fantasia” cut, because it was falling out anyway. I loved that style but grew it out…and got tired of getting my scalp severely burned every time I had to get a “touch up”. Before you ask, “well were you doing it right?” I was going to the hair salon and I talked to my aunt, who had been natural for as long as I could remember, and asked her what to do. She suggested that I get braids and let my hair grow out. The next day I went to my hair stylist and simply said, cut it off.
When I first went natural in January of 2006, I cut all my hair off and had a fade. I liked my small fro, my unruly tightly coiled hair, I really did! Until…
I let others’ comments get to me. Comments like:
“Ugh, why did you cut allllll of your hair off?”
“Wellllll, you were way prettier with straight hair.”
“You should put another relaxer in your hair so it can be longer.”
“Well, why is your hair so nappy?”
“You ain’t gonna never get nobody with that head full of nappy hair!”
“Just look at this girl, hey you nappy child.”
So I got really self- conscious and started to let it mess with my thoughts about myself. I started thinking, well they are correct. I was prettier with straight hair. Feeling defeated and ugly…on my birthday October 2006, I got a relaxer.
The newness of the relaxer lasted all of 24 hours before I started regretting getting another relaxer and letting others comments decide for me how I felt about myself and my hair. I wrote a pact to myself at that time that, never again would I let the insecurities and comments of someone else define who I am and what I do to myself. I also did not get another relaxer and grew my hair out this time, which is called transitioning. I was patient with my two different textures of hair for about seven months, during which my hair grew tremendously. But I wanted all of the straight pieces gone, so I did the ‘big chop”. Ever since that mishap with my self-esteem, I have not been worried nor cared what others think about me.
I work in a more conservative environment and for the first three months I was self- conscious of wearing my hair out. I work predominantly with men, who are my clients, and I did/do not like the stares that they give me. However, I can only be me, so slowly but surely I started wearing my hair out all the way. While the women I work with (co-workers) love it, my clients HATE it. BINGO. If I would have known that wearing my hair out would make the stares and attention go away, I would have started off with my hair out.
I do not let anyone tell me how I should look or what I should do to my hair. That’s no one’s decision and if my self-esteem was still low, I would always think twice about what I do.
Up 4 Discussion…
1) How is your self-esteem?
2) Are you letting others, who are not comfortable with themselves, dictate how you feel about yourself? If so, why?
If so, STOP… STOP NOW.