I was born in the late 70s, prime time for natural hair. I wore it that way until the age of 10 when I got the infamous Jerri Curl. My hair wouldn't grow (it actually did grow but I had major shrinkage) so I was ready for a change. My hair grew a lot with 'the curl' but I was tired of the curly look. I went from Jerri Curl to a relaxer and all my hair fell out! I had to start all over, but stuck with the perm. In a short amount of time I had nice, long, healthy relaxed hair. It was just so fine and not as full as I wanted.
I ‘transitioned' a few times, the first being when I was a senior in HS. I didn't really know what I was doing....just didn't want to perm my hair anymore. I went 10 months with no chemicals. I relaxed my hair for my Senior pictures and it was so long and healthy! That's when I realized that I didn't want to perm my hair as often as my stylist demanded. I started stretching my relaxers to every 4 months (with an edge touch up in between).
Fast forward to 2009. I cut my hair in a short bob....determined to really go natural this time. I figured cutting my hair would lessen the blow. I cut off about an inch of relaxed ends every few months until there were just a few hanging on a hinge. Everybody thought I was crazy. After all, my hair was one of the things I was known for. That's precisely why I did it! I wanted to be known for my heart, personality, and smile...NOT my hair. So my last relaxer was September 2009, and I big chopped on April 30th, 2010. I got mixed reviews and had mixed emotions at first but have no regrets. I love the fact that I have the big hair I always wanted without having to cut layers into it. It’s a constant learning process but it’s great. I love experimenting with styles and products. I love doing my own hair and using natural products.
I remember my Mom told me I looked ugly when I BC’ed. I went home and cried, but was determined to stick to my decision. I had bad hair days and horrible hair days. But my hair has been healthy so it grew pretty quickly. Now I have more style options. Now everybody loves my hair. I have inspired many people in my family to go natural including my Mom! I was fortunate enough to have support at work. A co-worker who is natural has 'talked me off the ledge' a few times. I also had the privilege of giving that support to others. It’s all about support, let's motivate each other!