War and Peace: My Hair Story
Hi, my name is Phoenyx and I’m so excited to be guest blogger on Natural Hair Rules!! It’s such a joy to see so many beautiful, natural-haired women on this site! I definitely look forward to sharing future posts with all of you. And since this is my first post, I thought it would be best to get better acquainted by sharing my hair story. So here it goes…
I got my first relaxer in kindergarten. And if I had to describe the experience, I would say it was a full on indoctrination. I didn’t know why it was being done- but I was told that the process was making my hair “more manageable.” Every 6-8 weeks of new growth was instantly met with relaxer. That was the protocol. And that’s the way things continued until I later became fully conscious of the constant conundrum of wanting to look good (as most budding young women do), but being in a constant state of hair vigilance. Sweat, water, wind (actually all the elements) were my biggest hair adversaries, and I did everything possible to avoid them- even to the detriment of my own enjoyment.
I didn’t realize it then, but I had become a prisoner to my hair. On occasion, I would wonder what it would be like to be free of the relaxer ritual. But that wasn’t enough to ignore the social and psychological stigma of natural hair. I was very fearful. And though my chemically-processed hair was literally driving me up a wall, I still felt safer with a perm. I’m sure many of you ladies can relate.
That’s the way things continued until one hot, humid and hell-ish hair day in the summer of 2005. I was in front of the bathroom mirror desperately trying to once again make something of my chemically-damaged mess. That’s when I finally stopped cursing my hair and instead forced myself to answer a really hard question: ‘Why am I doing this to myself?’ It was a profound moment for me and after I honestly answered the question, I made the decision to go natural right then and there.
It’s so wild to now look in the mirror, style my hair, smile, and see a totally different person than who existed almost 6 years ago. Since going natural, even a ‘bad hair day” is a “fab hair day.” I love my hair- kinks, curls, coils and all. And I love the feeling of freedom and inner peace that comes from finally embracing the hair that I was born to rock.