I had my first relaxer when I was 13 years old. My mom was tired of fighting with my hair every morning and I was tired of being tender-headed. Not to mention, getting a relaxer was considered a right of passage. After getting one I thought my hair was more manageable and I got loads of compliments so I was in heaven. It wasn’t until college that I started noticing other Black women with beautiful natural hair that I started wondering what mine would look like if I had never gotten a relaxer. But when I mentioned my curiosity to friends they looked at me like I was crazy to want to go natural. They said my hair was too thick to manage and it would break off in the transition. I also had a hairdresser tell me that Black women pay a lot of money to have long thick hair so why would I want to ruin mine? So I punked out.
It wasn’t until after I graduated that I decided to finally go for it. I was ready for a change and had no more excuses left. My transition was surprisingly easy – no breakage! I decided to keep trimming and pressing it until it was 100% grown out and it took about 2 years. It’s been over 4 years since my last relaxer and I am gradually trying to stop pressing it too often and wear more natural styles. I’m experimenting with different products and searching for styles that suit me. My hair surprises me everyday with what it will and won’t do but the journey of getting to know my hair is worth it.