I did it. I did the thing you’re not supposed to do. The thing that natural-haired girls across the globe cringe at with shock and disgust. The thing I denounced 4 years ago while screaming at the top of my lungs about how much I loved being chemical free. You know the thing? Yeah I did it. I got a relaxer. *Cue gasps of horror.*
“What happened? What is wrong with you? Why did you do this? After all of these years, tell me you’re joking.” ….Those were only some of the comments I received after ending a 4 year natural journey and returning to the creamy crack. Some of the other ones were, “I oughta beat you!” (jokingly, of course) and, “Sellout.”
Now, in my defense, I didn’t go on a natural hair journey on purpose. It started off by the desire to have long permed hair. I was a sophomore in high school when I started stretching my relaxers. I had always stretched for about 3 months, 4 weeks later than most women I knew, so I decided to be bold. I went nearly 8 months without a relaxer. This was a terrible, terrible idea. Rewind to wash day, June 12, 2011. I stood in the shower, water cold from standing there for 2 hours, with a comb tangled between my new growth and relaxed hair. I used up almost a whole bottle of Suave conditioner for this detangling session, yet the comb was still stuck in my hair. Great. Promise that you won’t judge this next statement. After two hours in the shower with a comb stuck in my hair, I had a breakdown. I simply grabbed the scissors, cut the comb out of my hair, and then cut the rest of my relaxed hair off. I stared in the mirror with a short afro- completely the opposite of my original goal- shrugged, added a headband, and went about my day.
I decided to remain natural for the ease of it. Maintaining short natural hair was a breeze. Even the awkward mid-length hair was easy because I could do a twist out and still have a cute afro. Problems began to occur 2 years later when I entered college. By this time, my hair had grown substantially. Doing my hair became a time consuming burden. In order to keep my hair looking nice while going to school, I turned to a barrage of protective styles, including braids, twists, weave, and wigs. Those were my best friends over the past 2 years. I became a self-proclaimed weave queen. During this time, my hair was flourishing underneath the protective styles. Whenever I gave my hair a chance to breathe, it became overwhelming. My styles would not last in the humidity, doing my hair took entirely too long and didn’t work with my schedule, and I couldn’t even enjoy my length–my number one reason for going on a healthy hair journey.
Because of all of these difficulties, I pondered relaxing my hair once again for about a year. My number one reason for not relaxing my hair was that I felt like if I did, I would be a sellout. People knew me as the girl with big, natural hair. My brother and sister both admired me. My brother began to grow out his own hair and my sister big chopped. Friends always complimented me on my natural look. Even when I got weaves, I always got big, natural looking ones. Big hair became synonymous with my name. How could I leave my new image behind?
It wasn’t easy. After a year of pondering, I made the decision to relax my hair when I remembered that:
It’s just hair.
It’s MY hair, and I can do what I want.
I can go natural again. I did it once, right?
If my main reason for staying natural is that I didn’t want to be seen as a sellout, I need to reevaluate the importance I place on other’s opinions of me.
I wanted to see length! I wanted to swangggg on these chicks like…
Today is August 8th, 2014, 2 weeks post relaxer, and I am indeed swangin' on these chicks.
little things that make reading a phanfic unnecessarily uncomfortable
• when people call the eclipse shirt a “black shirt with a white circle”
• phil swearing
• phil with naturally black hair
• dan’s brother (seriously he doesn’t want us to know about him ya gotta respect that)
• dan being older than phil
• dan topping
• probably some more that i forgot