My last relaxer was in April of 2012 for Easter. I went with my grandmother to the hair salon so that we could spend some time together and get “pretty” for church on Sunday. I had already been thinking about going natural, but I wasn’t convinced that my natural texture would be something I could live with, so against my better judgment, I got a relaxer.
In hindsight, I should have known it was a bad idea. There’s a reason why my relaxed hair could never grow past my chin, and in addition to extreme breakage, my scalp never responded well to relaxers. Every single time I went for a touch up, my scalp would literally burn. It didn’t matter how long the relaxer sat on my hair, or what techniques were use, I always had sores on my scalp by the time I left the salon, and this particular time was no different… well, except for the fact that the stylist disappeared for an entire hour right after lathering my scalp with active relaxer!
Okay, maybe not a full hour, but I am convinced that she forgot about me. It felt like she had been gone forever. I kept looking around to see if I could spot her, but she was nowhere to be found. My entire head was on fire and there was nothing that I could do. No one was there to help me. My grandmother had already moved on to begin her roller-set process, so I sat in the chair in a quiet panic. I should have gotten up. I should have gotten someone’s attention. But after so many years of being the “tender-headed crybaby” I was afraid to make a scene in fear I’d may be overreacting.
When she finally returned (what seemed like years later), not only was my scalp on fire, but it was completely sore to touch. The simple stream of water rinsing through my hair was incredibly painful. Don’t even get me started on the shampooing.
As I sat under water in sheer in agony, I couldn’t help but reflect on how I’d gotten myself into the situation to begin with. “Why did I put myself through this torture on such a regular basis?” I asked myself. “Why even go through this process at all?”
It was definitely an epiphany moment. It was as if the light bulb went off in my head, heavens opened up and angels began to sing. This couldn’t be the life God intended for me. I decided in that moment that this time would be the last time I ever got a relaxer…
Fast-forward a few months to December 2012. It had been eight months since my last relaxer. My new growth was thick and noticeable and my relaxed ends were at war with my natural texture. Detangling took hours and was extremely difficult. As much as I feared having short natural hair, I couldn’t manage the two textures any longer, so one of them had to go!
I big chopped on December 21, 2012. I was on Christmas vacation from work and figured cutting my hair while I had a few days to mess with it and get used to it would be best. I didn’t feel like going to a salon was necessary just to clip off relaxed ends, so I decided I would do it on my own. I asked my mom for assistance, but she refused in fear I’d hate her if I hated the hair when we were done. Luckily my God-sister was there to help and the two of us removed all of my relaxed ends in a matter of minutes.
How’s you’re natural hair journey going? Or not going for that matter. What’s your natural hair story? Leave me a comment.
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