Me and My Hair

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a commission.

Me for homecoming court. Growing up, I don’t think I’ve ever had a problem with my self image. I was unnaturally thin, had perfect teeth, and the benefit of a mother who believed in dermatological care at the first sign of puberty. I even won several pageants (not the kind where you have to sell tickets to win but real beauty pageants). My college roommate and one of our friends would eagerly tell you  stories of me giving soliloquies about how hard it is being so beautiful. Come to think of it, I was embarrassingly self centered and completely stuck on my looks. Although I would hate for anyone else to describe the young me this way, looking back I was kind of shallow.

Thank God for maturity.Me in Red JWU

As self-confident as I was, I bought into the media’s idea of beauty. Being an African-American woman, I embraced my nappy hair and yearned to wear it as such but was afraid to let my hair down because it would be an afro. Cringe. And, being light-skinned it just didn’t make much sense to walk around nappy-headed.

So, I kept my hair permed, weaved, and wigged. I did just about anything to hide the b’s in my kitchen—for my non African descendant readers b’s or bb’s are the tight curls that plague the back of a black girls neck. Not having a good grade of hair and the kind of hair that grows rather quickly made it quite difficult to keep my coifs straightened. I gotMe with Kay Bane tired of it.

Late 1998, one of my best friends went to Jamaica and came back without a relaxer and most of her hair. While there she had some spiritual transition and did the big chop—she was done with the creamy crack. While some of our friends thought she had gone crazy (she is a Tyra Banks pre-weight gain type) I secretly envied her courage to be exactly who God created. A beautiful, fair complexioned black girl with a curly mane.

blog picStill, I permed, weaved, and wigged my locks.

Getting married made the idea of transitioning to the natural me even more difficult. What man wants to wake up every day to an afro? Such a masculine look I thought. Then, I gained weight which meant I would have to find a way to keep my permed hair from sweating out while I exercised daily. I tried braids but then one braider braided my edges so tight that I lost them when I took the braids out.

I went back to my permed, weaved, and wigged look.

IMG000012Finally, I decided that I was good enough just as I was created—light skinned and nappy headed. Fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalms 139:14). So, I made the transition doing my own big chop in February 2011 after abandoning relaxers the previous year.

Now, close to three years in I absolutely have no regrets about the change. Getting rid of the relaxer has been freeing in so many ways. Beyond knowing that I’m pretty (yes, I look good) for the first time in my life I feel sexy and feminine living under the hair that grows from my scalp.

Me in my Car

Have you abandoned relaxers? How’d it make you feel?

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the item; I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally or believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Makasha Dorsey is an award-winning author, motivational speaker and public relations professional. Her personal essay Diary of an Aspie Mom is included in The Motherhood Diaries (Strebor Books/Simon & Schuster). She blogs about being a writer, mother, wife, woman and Christian over at a wife in progress and has written for Absolute Write, The Midwest Book Review, Snaps1000Words, The Daily Times Leader, and ModVive Magazine. You can purchase a copy of her book First Family Secrets on Amazon.com.

6 comments on “Me and My Hair”

  1. Sakenia Pough Reply
    Thank you for being you. You are beautiful. I will visit your blog alot more.
  2. Lillie Swafford Reply
    Great blog!! I abandoned the perm 2 years ago but I occasionally wear weave because for me being natural is so much work!! You look beautiful and I enjoyed your blog!!
    • Makasha Dorsey Reply
      Lillie, It is a common misconception that natural hair is easy. I spend more time with my natural hair than I ever did with my relaxed hair. Maintenance products are expensive as well. When I'm not wearing a protective style, I average close to $80 a month on hair care products. I challenged myself not to wear weave from July to December 31. January 1st I will have on somebody's hair. :)
  3. Shonell Bacon Reply
    Anything that's good costs. LOL To be healthy, "better foods" cost more than what we typically eat. Same with hair. Products are more expensive. And you're right, it's so not easy . . . though I guess that depends what EXACTLY you are doing with your hair. I'm been without the creamy crack for 6, 7 years and have not once wanted to go back to it.
    • Makasha Dorsey Reply
      Exactly Shon. I don't mind the cost because it is good for me to be natural. Your curls are fierce!

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