My hair story…well it’s an interesting story to say the least. My story began when I was around thirteen years old, that’s when I first received a perm. My mother wouldn’t allow me to get a perm until then because she said I was too young! I finally begged and begged and was able to get one. I loved my perm! I couldn’t believe that my hair actually stayed straight! No more straightening comb, burned neck and ears…life was great!
The earliest memories of hair I have are surrounded with a lot of grief and effort. No one in my (mom’s) side of the family had hair like mine and although I was never made fun of ….
Like many other black women, relaxing my hair was entering a rite of passage into womanhood. In the fourth grade, I stopped pressing/hot combing my hair after my hairdresser asked me if I wanted a perm to avoid my hair reverting to frizz.
“Eventually I knew precisely what hair wanted: it wanted to grow, to be itself, to attract lint, if that was its destiny, but to be left alone by anyone, including me, who did not love it as it was.” – Alice Walker
Ever walked through a local department store and saw those pretty little black girls on a box of perm and was in awe. Neither a stubborn strand nor a split end ever popped off the heads of those pretty smiling faces.
Growing up I was always a bit of an oddball. What some folks might call eccentric. But I suppose this came from me looking at the people around me and realizing that none of them were anything like me.
The roughest natural moments happened during middle school when the majority of the girls had straightened hair. One day, I was in the lady’s room, and two older girls walked in. The girls chatted amongst themselves until they noticed me, one of the girls asked me ..