I figured that I can’t really give you any recommendations for hairstyles or hair care tips if I don’t first tell you about my hair journey so far. From birth my hair has always been very thick with a coarse texture. Reminiscing I remember DAX oil being applied to my scalp regularly, sleeping on whatever plaits and bubbles my mom or sister put in and tied down with a scarf, and the hate I had towards the blow dryer on wash day (mean side eye). During my elementary years my older sister had the responsibility of doing my hair for school so a bun was typically it!
After plaits, DAX oil, clips, beads, cornrows, and braids had taken their toll on my families hands and patience I was able to get a perm. Just For Me was the most popular perm during that time for young girls and I sang that commercial jingle like I wrote it when I was done being tortured from the burning sensation perms caused on my scalp. You couldn’t tell me anything when I saw my hair sway back and forth with ease. Even the comb agreed this perm business wasn’t too bad either!
I wore a perm with my “top of my back” hair length from the age of eight. Hairstyles varied then on from flat twists, crimps, ponytails, spiral curls, and doobies. All of this action eventually led to breakage so much so that I cut my hair into a bob my sophomore year of high school. This hair cut led to an obsession with short hair and my philosophy that hair always grows back. I wasn’t allowed to cut my hair any shorter until I was eighteen since it symbolized that I was “grown”.
When I say I got scissor happy I mean all the way! My hair went through all short hairstyles possible. I started with a bob that led to an asymmetrical bob or the “T-Boz”, a bowl cut like Rihanna on some magazine cover, finger waves, a mohawk, even cuts on the side of my head. Whenever I got bored I added in a shade of brown or got a weave.
During my five-year short hair phase I decided to do some modeling for hair. It shocked me how easily I was placed into the jobs because I never thought of myself as a “model”. I started working only for my stylist who I knew was a professional and wouldn’t damage my hair regardless of the length.
After a few magazines I was getting calls to work in New York where I really got used to the “special treatment”, and let my hair be done by over six different stylists. Biggest mistake of my life! After a hair show in 2010 I went to my regular stylist to get my hair done for a wedding I had to attend. While her assistant was washing my hair she suddenly stopped, got my stylists attention, and showed her how much of my hair was falling out into her hands. I had to tell them that the stylist from a show I did permed and colored my hair at the same time. My stylist concluded that the procedure could be done, despite popular belief, but the technique and volume was done incorrectly. In order to even all my hair out had to cut it all off. If I wasn’t already used to having short hair I would have left the salon that day crying, but I loved it!
I had no intention on wearing my hair natural even with the craze that had started and friends starting to transition. The only thing I knew was I was tired of constantly having to perm my hair and hated how bad it looked after I worked out. I ran into a friend from highschool who was a barber and viola I had a caesar like one of the guys. Till this day I miss my hair at this length because of how easy it was to manage and care for. I know one day I’ll return to it but for now I’m enjoying this hair ride.
January – March 2011 Au Natural Caesar
Winter/ Spring 2011
My journey so far has taught me one thing: patience. My hair didn’t get damaged and grow through perms over night so I can’t expect for my natural hair to do so. I do not compare my hair to any of my friends or models used for the products advertised for natural hair. My thick, coarse, kinky, curly, wavy in some parts, 4b/ 4c hair grows at a healthy rate through deep conditioners, hot oil treatments, trims, proper maintenance, and protective styles.
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