“Mummy, why is my hair like this, I don’t like it. I want it to be long like Rapunzel’s. Mine is so short and fuzzy I want it long and straight like yours Mummy!”
My little Miss Be stomps out of the room and my heart breaks a little.
This is a true story. She used those exact words and said them with so much upset and validation, it really hit me hard and I knew I had to do something about it.
I had been chemically relaxing my hair for about 20 years when my daughter made this comment. My hair has always been long and thick and as she put it, straight. As well as chemically straightening my hair I would use flat irons as well to achieve a sleek look even though I knew that both of these things were damaging my hair, I didn’t really give it a second thought and continued doing them until my daughter woke me up.
Was I really teaching her that our natural hair type was not as beautiful as Rapunzel’s? Was I really damaging her mentally by unconsciously showing her that in fact I was not happy with the texture of my own hair? Of course this was not intentional but maybe I was doing these things. While I have absolutely nothing against chemically relaxing hair, it makes it a little more ‘manageable’, gives it a straighter look and can look healthy (if done properly) so I’m not judging anyone, each to their own and all that. But the perm life is no longer for me.
The last time i chemically relaxed my hair was Dec 2017 this was for two reasons. One my hair was really damaged… I mean, ends were frayed and dry, really damaged. I had been texlaxing for a year (purposely under processing my hair but adding natural oils to the relaxer and leaving it on my hair for a very short period of time) which had left my hair dry and broken in places, but ultimately I had to stop for my daughter. So in January 2018 I chopped of most of my hair up to around my chin, leaving about half an inch of natural hair and 4/5 inches of texlaxed hair.
Fast forward to June 2018 and chop again, this time I had about an inch of natural, curly beautiful hair on my head. Like a mini lion’s mane except it didn’t move if I shook it as it was too short and too tightly curled. I’m now 8 months post the big chop and to be completely honest I’m ready to chop it all off again. I love my curls but I’ve realised that I’m at a point in my life where I don’t want to spend half a day washing and deep conditioning and then another hour detangling my hair. Then again, I do want to see what id look like with a full head of long afro hair so we will see.
I will do anything to show my Little Miss Be the way forward. It is so important for our children to see the beauty in their uniqueness whether that be long following ginger locks, pale or dark skin, or tightly curled hair.