Happy 10 Year Anniversary!

The traditional gifts to celebrate a 10-year anniversary are aluminum or tin. And for some reason, the modern gift is still tin. Tin doesn’t seem to be a worthy metal to celebrate a decade, but maybe I’ll get myself a new reusable aluminum water container – a can of wine sounds better.

I should clarify that I am not celebrating a 10-year wedding anniversary. I did recently get engaged so see me in 10-11 years for that.  I’m celebrating 10 years of being clean of the creamy crack.  That’s right, ten years ago was the last time I had the pleasure of picking scabs out of my matted hair.

My decision to stop relaxing my hair wasn’t deep or profound.  I guess it was more about time and money.  I was an undergrad student in Atlanta and the stylist had the same process with both natural and relaxed clients- wash, condition, blow dry and straighten.  I figured I could save a step, save some money and have the same fab result.  So, I asked to go natural, and she basically said “No.”

Ummmm, I’m sorry what?

I was disappointed and confused. But, I figured ‘she’s the professional,’ so I kept schmearing  on the crack.

Then one day I just got tired of it and figured, ‘I’ll go at it alone.’  So I had my one last appointment and that was that.  The following eight months were… uh… interesting.  For some reason I thought my Gold’n Hot would produce sufficient heat to make my new growth silky smooth.  I spent a number of those months with my hair snatched back in a ponytail.

Finally, I couldn’t take it anymore.  I made an appointment with my old stylist explaining that I was growing out my relaxer. I went for an appointment and we agreed to cut off the relaxed hair at the next appointment.   Yes, finally! I was so jazzed!  I was so ready… so much so that I showed up to my appointment early.  Not early like an hour early but a week early.  She squeezed me in and the result was an adorable cut.  In traditional terms, I cut off my relaxer but in modern terms it was my big chop (BC).

I didn’t have the curls or ringlets I imagined.  In fact as my hair grew, I discovered 2 distinct different patterns.  I will say that for almost 8 1/2 years after that, 95% of the time I wore my hair straight.  It looked nice but wasn’t growing like I thought it should and was damaged even though I was going to a professional.  Last year, while back in Atlanta at the Sweet Auburn Festival with my mom and a girlfriend, I stumbled upon a Miss Jessie booth. I talked to one of the promoters, who was giving out samples, about wanting to wear my hair natural but not knowing what to do.  She recommended calling a salon and asking for a finger style.

Of course that’s not what I did.  Instead, I became a YouTube and Google junkie.  I spent hours looking at styling videos, product review videos, and reading blogs.  I looked up ingredients –ones to avoid, ones I should use.  Then I had my “ah-ha moment”- “I have curly hair.”  Actually, I have coily hair but nonetheless,  it’s more than black or African-American or textured hair.  It was then I realized there is a care that needs to be taken when combing, styling, and maintaining moisture. A care that’s needed because of the structure of my strands and not because of my skin color (Did mention that the woman at the festival promoting Miss Jessie’s, was Caucasian?)

Seventeen months later, I continue to experiment with styling and products.  I am still trying to perfect a routine with products that really work for me.  But I am pleased that my hair is fuller, shinier and longer.   My hair is a work in progress but so am I.

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  1. happy hair anniversary!!

  2. Thanks ma’am :)

  3. Happy anniversary!! I’m going natural(again) but this time I intend to straighten less. Excited for the hair and life journey!