Ladies and gents you read the title correctly, I've avoided relaxers also known as "creamy crack" for many years. Now I'm going to be honest, when I was younger I had issues with embracing my texture 100% I was more like 68.2% feeling it . My hair is what some would consider PUFFY. It could hold some heat for a little while but once I sweat or water gets on it. OH MAN !! It became an instant puffball for sure. I remember my 5th grade graduation my cousin Louise gave me an old school hard press and curl the night before. The next morning my mother took down my pin curls finger combed my hair and Voila !! I had a cute soft curl hairstyle and I was elated. Before I left out the door for school I can recall doing a quick twirl in front of our wall of mirrors in the living room . Pretty white dress with daisies on it, white sandals with a gold buckle and my hair had bounce and shine . It was going to be the best last day of a 5th grade. Until ................ I WENT OUTSIDE !!
It was the month of June so the sun was shining bright it wasn't a hot day but it was warm and humid. From the car to my school my bangs that once had a curl were morphing into a sponge. From the school main entrance to the gymnasium stage my soft curl was just soft because the curls were no more due to humidity and sweat. When I got up to sing my rendition of Tomorrow by Tevin Campbell and the great Quincy Jones I looked like one of the Commodores (Lionel to be exact !!!) as my hair was grew larger I was DEVASTATED ! You would think after that incident my mother would cave in and slap some relaxer on my head right ???? NO MA'AM ! My mother still refused to put any chemicals on my hair. Oh to be me in the early 90's.
Thankfully God anointed my little hands with some gifting's and that I grew up during the DaBrat, Lady of Rage and Brandi era. Those hair inspirations encouraged me to learn how to twist and braid my own hair . Learning those techniques eventually led me to add braiding hair and by Middle school I was doing my own microwave ponytails and sew-ins along with my go to twist and braid styles. I rarely wore my own hair out when I did it was for 1-2 days and I wore it in an afro-puff ponytail. After the 2 days it was back to box braids, sew-ins or microwave ponytails.
The journey continued through high school minus the microwave ponytails I got tired of smelling like fried barbie hair. I continued to wear braided styles, weaving styles and often I would combine the two. But I began to step away from the weaving and braids and wore my natural tresses in a simple slicked back ponytail with a headband (use to be subconscious about my forehead) for a week sometimes. The reactions use to be HILARIOUS when people would see my slicked off-black hair ending with a massive puffy fro behind my head. It was hard for some to believe that I wore braids and weaves all the time but for me it was understandable because I didn't understand my natural hair.
Oh but good ol' senior year, I was stumped as to how I would wear my hair for the first day of school. As I sat on my bed watching videos of Lauryn Hill and Erykah Badu I found myself focusing on their natural beauty and features and how their naturalistic style just intensified those features. Then " Round and Round " by Jonell came on and BOOM the idea hit me. " I'm wearing my hair in twist the first day of school " So I made my way to the hair store got some cherry cola rinse and clear gel. The final result were the cutest two-strand twist for the first day of school and in that moment I fell in love with my hair. From that day on I began to play with my hair texture NEVER desired to wear my natural hair straight but I would do twist, twist out, braids, braid outs, pineapple puff and sometimes my Afro. Do I love protective styles ABSOLUTELY !!!! I love my wigs (no longer do the sew-ins), crochet braids, braids & faux locs but I now appreciate my hair texture because I took the time out to learn what works for it. For those natural, transitioning, relaxed and protective style pros Love the tresses you were blessed with while you still enjoy the versatility of other hair options.