Meet the Author

My love affair—with hair that is—began around the age of four or five. It may have begun before, but this is the earliest that I can remember. I remember sitting in a chair by the stove, waiting for my aunt to “press” my hair. Like many black girls whose mane was thick and “kinky”, I was told this would straighten and possibly even thin my hair out. It was reinforced that the dreadful experience—a crook in the neck, hot head to the head, and even burnt ears—was well worth the attention I’d receive from my longer, straighter flowing hair. Well, needless to say, this lasted for a couple of years and then a new innovation came along—the relaxer. Boy was my mom relieved—no more pressing. But this innovation, the relaxer, which was designed to straighten hair for at least 4 to 6 weeks, was damaging particularly because of the lye.

So eventually after trying 8-10 different types of relaxers, a burnt hairline, and almost 14 years later, my hair refused to cooperate by straightening. So, I decided to go “natural” and I’ve never regretted it. After feeling years of inadequacy and never quite measuring up, I’ve finally accepted my hair in its natural state.

While people have different reasons for going natural—religious, cultural, trendy, etc.—my reason was simple. I wanted to start being me and loving everything about me.

In closing, just because I sport a natural crop and admire and respect anyone who does, I do not condemn those with “relaxed” hair. I feel to each his own. But, I do say, just because my hair is not as long and bone straight as others, doesn’t mean I or my hair is any less beautiful.

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