I have never straightened my hair. It’s not that I didn’t want to, but I had a HUGE obstacle in my way. That huge obstacle was my mother. Every Sunday my mother and I would sit down in front the television and she would cane row my hair for school that week. Sometimes the style would last for the entire week, other times by Wednesday the hair pulling torture would continue. Matter of fact, coming to think of it, my mother would comb my hair every week until I was about 18 years old.
I went to a “prestigious” high school. Most of the darker girls except for a few had their hair relaxed. I would often ask my mother.
“Mummy, why can’t I relax my hair?”
“Well daughter, your hair is so lovely and untouched and delicate, it’s best to leave it alone”
“But mummy, my head hard, it not soft like yours!”
For years the questions and the answers remained the same, however, for Form 5 graduation things changed, and boy oh boy wasn’t I excited. I said to my mother, that everyone saw me with natural hair throughout high school. I would like to straighten my hair, just for grad, just to look different. The answer my mother gave me was shocking.
“Daughter, how about you get your hair pressed for grad. If you like it, after grad we can straighten it.”
I was excited, I was happy. Mom and I went to the hairdresser on grad day to start the process. I was nervous. I didn’t know that pressing involved both the flat iron AND the flat comb. It was weird. The heat from the comb and the flat iron seemed to burn my scalp a bit, the smell of burning hair was a bit weird to me, but beauty is pain right? By the time the hairdresser was done and I looked in the mirror, I couldn’t believe my eyes. For the first time my hair was cascading down my back! Then the hairdresser took out the scissors and said “Hmm, you have split ends.” By the time she was done, I had shoulder length hair- but it was still LONG! I could have a ponytail!
My hairdresser did this complicated up-do with lots of pins and I was shuttled off to grad. People were surprised, I was happy and I had a blast. Came home that night and I went to sleep in my grad clothes, but the hairpins were only sticking me so I woke up. I went to take them out and not only did hairpins come out, but chunks of my hair did. I cried hysterically! My mother rushed in the room, looks at the hair and says, but how did this happen? Maybe if you wash your hair, the pressing would come out.
So we thought, but that wasn’t so. We tried to wash the kinky back into my hair, however my roots were kinky, the strands of hair were wavy and the ends were DEAD STRAIGHT! We chopped off the straight ends, went back to another hairdresser who recommended that I use Motions CPR- Critical Protection and Repair. For 2 years I was on Motions. My hair was never the same since that pressing incident. I started to braid my hair in afro kinky braids because I couldn’t deal with the combing. In 2008, I decided to take the big step and lock my hair. It’s been 3 years now. I have no complaints.
I love my natural hair. I love my locks. There are moments where I think I should get a wig and change up my look, however I haven’t reached that stage of hair adventures yet.
My next post i’ll give you some tips on natural hair care.