September will mark my one year nappiversary. No relaxers, no touch-ups, nothing. I cannot tell you how much money I’ve saved in regards to skipping out on the relaxers. Wait, yes I can. Let’s see–my stylist in the city where I reside would charge $65 for “long hair” and I would tip her $5. Overall, I would pay $70 for a relaxer and $45 for a wash and flat iron. I’d get relaxers about every 6 months with washes about every three weeks in between. I don’t feel like adding, dividing, multiplying, or subtracting so I’ll leave that to you math geniuses. The thought of so much math involved is enough proof that I spend a lot of money in regards to my hair, right? I know it’s extremely ridiculous but when you don’t know how or want to deal with all of the hair on your own head, you have to pay the price to have care administered correctly.

I don’t plan on doing the “Big Chop” to remove my relaxed ends because my ends are pretty much even and when it’s straightened, it looks great. My stylist in my hometown only charges $30 for a wash and flat iron and she does an amazing job. In fact, she actually persuaded me to put a halt to the perms. I think she didn’t feel like doing one that day. I thank her for her lethargy.

Sometimes I can do without the waves and just want straight hair; then, there are times where I adore them. I especially love the fact that I could walk in the rain without worrying about my hair curling and waving up whenever it rains or whenever there’s humidity. I also love the fact that I finally get to see my true texture. My mom still resents the fact that she relaxed my hair so early, even though after the relaxer, my hair was a few inches shy of my waistline when I was a kid. She loves my hair and reminds me everyday to refrain from relaxing it again.

For the most part, this natural hair journey has been an incredible experience; however, there have been moments that weren’t so satisfactory. Besides the time spent detangling and managing to pull all my hair back into a bun, I think the thing I hate most about this journey is the fact that I am constantly asked what I’m mixed with. I’m not sure if they think I’m part kangaroo and donkey or if I’m a cross between a jaguar and a ferrett. The last time I checked, I’m mixed with 23 chromosomes from my father and 23 from my mother. So with that being said, isn’t EVERYONE mixed?

We all consist of different races and ethnicities. While features of those races and ethnicities may be a bit more dominant with some individuals, it runs deep through us all. I have a great-great grandmother who was white, caucasian, European or whatever you’d prefer to call it, and I have a great-grandfather who was a full-blooded Irish Indian. But, do you really think I’m going to explain all of that to someone who’s going to ask what I’m mixed with? Is it really necessary to get as technical as to providing the percentages of the type of blood that flows through my veins? The last time I checked, and I could be wrong, but when we bleed, our blood is the same color. Both of my parents are black, therefore I am an African American. When I fill out a form or complete a survey, I’m not checking Other or Indian/Native AmericanAfrican American/Black will suffice.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m not slandering anyone who’d rather go into detail about their bloodlines. I have no problem listening or involving myself in a conversation where information has been volunteered or such is the topic; however, I refuse to answer a question asked by a complete stranger. I think it is VERY rude and condescending. I am a beautiful woman, a beautiful black woman. And believe it or not, there are a lot of other black people with my skin tone with naturally goldish-brown hair. And my hair color–that’s another post for another day because apparently everyone thinks I’m a swimmer to have hair this color. You should see their faces when I tell them I’d sink to the bottom if anyone were to throw me in water.

Black women, Asian women, Caucasian women, Indian women, etc. — embrace your natural beauty. Embrace it. Live it. Love it!

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  1. Shannon

    June 28, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    To be honest, I thought you were really mixed or Hispanic! My mother was 100% Jamaican and my father is 100% Italian. I choose to identify with what I have grown up with – Jamaicans. Black is beautiful!

    I don’t really understand why people do the big chop really. Maybe I’m just unlearned on the whole going natural thing.

    Your hair is beautiful!
    .-= Shannon – Final Decision =-.

    1. Carla

      June 28, 2010 at 8:45 pm

      I get that often and to be honest, I really don’t mind explaining. If I were to meet a person and we’re having a conversation and they want to know, I’ll explain it to them. But the thought of a STRANGER just asking me that out of the blue really offends me. I probably wouldn’t have taken much offensive if me and this stranger were in an intimate setting but she asked me in front of people I work with, people who don’t even know me. I’m still taken by her amount of audacity. She made it seem like I couldn’t be black and look the way I look.

      I mean, I can explain my bloodline but as to explainhow I look the way I look, only God can answer that. Forward all inquiries above.

  2. Laura

    June 28, 2010 at 9:23 pm

    I use to feel the need to make sure everyone knew i was mixed; and what i was mixed with. i found it insulting because everyone always saw my mom and just assumed because i looked more like her, that my dad had to be the same as she was. Now that im grown, i ignore it, as long as i embrace the both sides of me; its no one else’s business.

    your hair looks really pretty wavy. and the not having to stress over the rain is a plus. I normally just leave my hair wavy; but every now and then the puerto rican in me has a need to tame the wild beast i call hair. lol.

  3. Carla

    June 28, 2010 at 11:18 pm

    LMAO @ “beasty” hair. I know EXACTLY what you mean. There is nothing that I can do with my hair unless it’s wet and unless I use a lot of conditioner. I tried to flat iron my hair and I got tired I stopped after about 1hr and 30 mins and I hadn’t even made it to the middle of my hair. Nevertheless, I love my hair.

    I didn’t even know you were Puerto Rican! But that’s probably because when I look at a picture or meet somebody, I don’t immediately think “Hmm, I wonder what she’s mixed with..must be a lil spanish or indian in her blood..” I’m too busy wondering about someone’s personality. But maybe I’m the weird one..
    .-= Carla – Naturally Beautiful =-.

  4. Nellie

    June 30, 2010 at 9:32 pm

    Great post and Congratulations on the one year “Nappiversary” that is a big accomplishment going natural for a year. My one year is coming up July 2010 and I am not really happy for my one year. Mines has been an up hill battle but something I should have expected.

    Beautiful pictures and I cannot wait to see your progress next year this time. Take care!
    .-= Nellie – Random- Swagger Wagon =-.

  5. Shelly

    July 1, 2010 at 12:17 pm

    I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVED this post! My favorite line? The line about everyone being mixed. Why? Because I’m a science nerd and you’ve mentioned chromosomes in a non-boring manner. =P I definitely agree with you on just accepting who you naturally are without getting too nitty gritty and caught up in all the details. I’ve been marking that I’m 100% Chinese my whole life without a doubt. It’s pretty impossible to tract whether I’m Chinese or part other Asian (or even a Chinese minority group) because my grandparents refuse to tell us about their history…then again, I guess growing up during the communist revolution causes you to hide a lot. =/ I just know my grandfather was an orphan/slave so that already ends my family tree pretty early because there just isn’t any way to know. XD

    I know what you mean about people who get caught up in it though. I know people who will constantly state that they are 1/8th or 1/16th Portuguese. I mean…more power to you, but it gets annoying. Fast. =/

  6. Trina

    July 3, 2010 at 1:10 am

    Hey girl, it’s been a while! Congrats on going natural girl! My last relaxer was in December 2007. I’ve damaged my natural hair due to color and am growing it out again. I never did the big chop. I would never be able to. When I was growing out my relaxer I cut the relaxed ends every few months till it was all gone, now I’m doing the same thing with the color damaged ends. I’ve been wearing braids mostly though now since it’s summer. I really liked this post. I think every woman should embrace their true beauty and appreciate it also.

  7. lindsie

    July 3, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Hey chic. Since you brought up the hair topic I actually got almost all of mine cut off lol I got that bob cut look or whatever they call it. I needed a change and I feel a good hair cut can be a start .. makes you feel refreshed, or atleast to me it does. Alot has been going on with me and my life so sorry im not able to comment as much as I used to. This is only for a short period of time until I get a few things situated. — You are beautiful! I hate when people ask stupid questions like that. We are all equally the same, all human beings. But for some reason people are still worried about the appearance of one another and believe because of the type of skin on another may have that we are different. Why does it matter if one may be white, italian, black, mexican .. does that play in effect of how we should be treated? As much as I don’t agree with that I hate to say alot of the time it does and I think its just pointless .. that may be off subject of what you were blogging about but I had to get it out! Lol people just bug me. We should all be proud of what/who we are. Hope kids are having a blast chic — take care talk to you soon.

  8. Gabby.

    July 7, 2010 at 8:14 pm

    I wish I could do that! My hair was so thick when I was little and now it’s so thin, I’m practically balding. I’ve been resorting to weaves and braids recently because my hair is so thin and short when relaxed – short because I have to keep chopping off inches of split ends. But my natural hair isn’t anything to be in love with. I’m considering giving relaxing a rest just for the summer and sticking with weaves, but I hear the cornrows are just as bad for the hair.

    1. Raely B.

      July 8, 2010 at 1:53 pm

      I used to say the same thing, “My hair is nothing to be in love with.” That was until I met the right hair stylist whose interest was to help me embrace my naturally beautiful hair. You have to find out what works for you the healthy way of course. I have heard that scalp braids can cause breakage but if they aren’t drawn as tight, you should be okay. I typically don’t get scalp braids and if I do, they are loosely done so the tension won’t cause breakage around my crown. Like I said, you have to find out what works for you. In my opinion, you can continue to work weaves, etc. if its done correctly. I have my days where my hair is just not agreeing with what I’d want it to do, but for the most part, I’m able to manage until I lay this burden on my hair stylist. lol

  9. Alexa

    July 8, 2010 at 2:03 pm

    After my senior year in high school, I started taking interest in my hair and styles that were easy to do, since I’d be in college and away from home. My cousin who is a hairstylist put a texturize in it for me and it does what I want it to. But those are those days when it rains or it’s way too humid outside, and my hair goes to fluff. :(

    I do love my hair though, even when I wish that it were longer, I have to say that I don’t know what I would do if something were to happen to it, lol. And you are right all girls should embrace their natural beauty and I am just starting to do so now, hee he!

    1. Raely B.

      July 8, 2010 at 6:21 pm

      Ok, I won’t lie — I had to google what a texturizer was because I never heard of it. lol. With all that I have going on, I really don’t have time to tend to it like I’d want to. I don’t have time to go to the salon like I’d prefer and I don’t always have the extra money to have my hair cared for professionally. Now, I just wash and go.

  10. Julie

    July 10, 2010 at 1:53 pm

    Very inspiring blog post. Congrats on your commitment to your mission. I’m glad to see other young women embracing their natural beauty.

  11. Krysten

    July 11, 2010 at 10:26 am

    I applaud you for going natural without buzzing your entire head. I’m someone who has done just about everything with and to my hair. I’ve tried to go completely natural , only to get it texturized ( just so it could be easier to manage.) It sounds like you’re taking good care of you hair & it looks nice :yes: .

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