In celebration of my One Year Natural Hair Journey, here is an Open Letter to my hair. Enjoy.
I wanted to start off by saying, I am sorry for not taking very good care of you for 18 years. That must’ve been rough, because dry hair is no joke, and breakage is a pain in the butt. I blamed you for a lot of things growing up. Meanwhile, if I just gave you some TLC it probably wouldn’t have been that bad.
I remember when I was younger and you were big and poofy. I would cringe and cry every time Mommy would wash you. Good gracious, it was like WWIII every time I saw Mommy turn the corner with that big box of combs, scrunchies, and bobbles. It was such a waste too because I would just rip it all out. More Tears.
But you were cute when you were big and poofy. I only appreciate it now because I didn’t realize what I lost until it became the only thing I wanted; my natural hair back.
I remember the first relaxer we gave you, Hair. I think it was fourth grade. Mommy said you will be easier to manage. After some flashbacks to screaming and crying and that big box of combs, scrunchies, and bobbles, I was all for it. I cried during the first relaxer treatment. Not because I was sentimental about removing all of the kinks and curls out of you, but because it hurt like heck and it felt as though my scalp lit fire. But afterwards you were all nice and silky and shiny and you can keep it straight. That was awesome. I felt like the prettiest little fourth grader ever. Everyone in class said they liked the way you looked.
Then about every two weeks we had to go back to the hair salon and get a relaxer to keep you nice and pretty.
What the heck, right?
I hated being dumped at the hair salon for hours and hours on end just to keep you all relaxed. This was supposed to make you easier to handle and instead it just became more of a hassle. So there was some resentment towards you.
This went on for years. You got shorter and thinner. Your scalp became more sensitive and got more scars.
It’s not that I thought straight hair was prettier, I just thought there was no going back after being this deep in creamy crack for all of these years.
But straight hair was prettier. Or at least long hair was. I craved long hair so bad. You refused to grow past my shoulders, and you were even all broken in the back. Friends would point your broken back out, so to cover it, I’d wear scarfs to hide that imperfection away. You brushing up on the cotton from the scarfs, only made your breakage worse though. A temporary solution I guess.
It’s not that I resent you, Hair. You’re a part of me, therefore, you are me. I just don’t feel beautiful with you. There was nothing I could do with you correctly that would make me feel like a million bucks. Cut, Trim, Grow, Weave. It all became for nothing. Relaxing you needed to end.
So that’s what we did. You and I graduated high school, went off to live alone in college, and took matters into our own hands. No more relaxing hair. We were just going to grow.
You see, with a little love and a lot of moisture, I’m starting to see great things from you. You’re growing strong. You’re also super thick. No! No! Don’t take this the wrong way! That’s a wonderful thing. Thick hair means when we get old, we’ll bald slower than everyone else and that’s what we want.
Some days stink though, I won’t lie to you. You won’t cooperate, and I thought we were a team. Bad hair days come more often then good hair days, so if I throw you in a hair tie, please don’t be upset with me, soon you’ll be ready to come out and shine.
I still struggle with beauty and finding us, as a team, pretty. Together. Curly hair works for a lot of people. So does straight hair. But neither of these seem to be working for me, and I don’t have another alternative to turn to. So we need to make this work.
Some days I love you. You make me feel pretty and different and healthy again. Hopefully some days, will become more and more days.
So Hair, in short, I am sorry for all of the harassment I have put you through over these years, but I promise to make it up to you with lots of love and coconut oil. Next year, we are going to look, and feel, even better than we do now. Curls, Kinks, and all.