I guess it all starts with my own natural hair story. My transitioning process began long before I stopped relaxing my hair. In fact it started back in 1996 when my sister met one of her best buds in college who happened to stop relaxing her hair in high school. Her hair was long, healthy and beautiful. A couple of years later in 1998 my sister decided to transition as well began bugging me about giving up the creamy crack! I was like “Huh Uh! I ain’t doin’ that!” but then somewhere along the way my mind changed. I really can’t pinpoint what changed and how it changed but it just did. I started thinking about how laborious it was to relax my hair and how expensive it was to go to the salon to have it done only to have to repeat the process of having to do it all over again 6 weeks later. I began to resent the process and decided that as long as I can pull my hair back into a ponytail and smooth the edges that I was not going to relax it. Now it is 3 years later and I still am able to smooth my edges.
I have nothing against relaxers. I just don’t like the fact that it is temporary and high maintenance is expensive. Don’t get me wrong, natural hair is VERY high maintenance and can be just as expensive if you become a product junky. But I have learned how to manage my hair without all of those high cost products that only seem to clutter up my cabinets. I am in PJ recovery LOL! But with all the frustrations and ups and downs I have experienced I still have not gone back to the creamy crack. Now I have thought about it…several times…but I am satisfied with my hair and the texture that it is.
But I do wonder when I hear about others that go back and their reasoning for why they do. Why do people do it? They begin or go through the transitioning process only to go back to relaxing their hair. I know there are some of my sisters that like being versatile with their hair. But what about the others, the ones that started the process with such determination only to return to relaxing their hair. I can’t help to think about the social stigma that is associated to natural hair and how this somehow could be connected to self esteem. Is our perception of who we are and how we look connected to how others see our hair? Is it that we don’t feel pretty with natural hair? This subject has me wanting to have an open dialog about this subject. What do you think?