Chemically relaxing my hair was clearly something I did to lessen the struggle I had to face as a kinky-haired woman.
I wanted to avoid being called names, hearing stupid remarks, and receiving weird looks that would remind me how ‘different’ or ‘abnormal’ I was.
At the end of high school, I was surrounded by friends with looser curls than mine, who would let their hair down. At that point, I started to question why I was chemically altering my natural hair, why I was refusing to let it down when all my friends would do it without any issue.
How could relaxers be useful considering that they would make my hair straight but unhealthy?
Family members played a strong role in this natural hair journey. Some of them had a positive impact while some others couldn’t understand my decision to go natural. For them, it was just a decision that would make me ugly.
We live in a society that glorifies light skin and straight hair. It makes a big difference in the way we perceive each other. Such lack of representation makes us believe that we aren’t the norm, that we aren’t beautiful.
Even when some people have the potential to represent you, they might not fully do it! Look at Beyonce, have you ever seen her with her natural kinky hair?
This kind of (mis-)representation led people to look at me and ask why my hair doesn’t look as great, as straight as hers.
What an interesting discovery they made when I replied.