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 American — African 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!