I am on a journey to discover my natural hair. I have not had natural hair since high school. It was the late 1980s and big hair or a short "do" like Salt-n-Pepa were all the rage. I had a relaxer my junior year and never looked back. I was always lazy about my hair and a relaxer seemed like the ultimate easy, daily maintenance.
The other day I went to the salon for a shampoo and deep condition. As my stylist put rollers in my hair, she said: "Ronda, it's time to go back natural. Your hair is thinning since the color. You've had the relaxer too long. Start taking hair vitamins and no more relaxers." Good Lord, this woman wants me to go cold turkey off the "creamy crack!" Thank you Chris Rock for the diagnosis.
I have not seen my natural hair in years. When it was natural, my mom kept it in ponytails unless Granny gave us a press and curl for special occasions. I recall that it was curly, wavy and tangly, causing me much angst. Even before the relaxer, in high school my older sister would meet me in the girls' locker room to give me two French braids after swim class. I never maintained my own hair. I am fastidious about everything except maintaining my mane. How was I to go au naturel?!
I knew that after women had babies and as they aged their hair texture thinned. I assumed at some point I would have to go back to natural hair. I just did not think it would happen so soon. Going natural from a relaxer can be a stressful and high maintenance endeavor. None of which are ever appealing to me. I am already looking for ways to shave off my morning routine to get an extra 10 minutes. I need help. I need support. I need my mom and sister! Unfortunately, they are in Chicago, so I must rediscover my natural mane solo. As a child, I loved getting my hair done, but it was painful. My mom was not heavy handed. I was and still am tender-headed. I recall my curly wavy hair always getting tangled in the comb and brush no matter how much moisturizer my mom used. Those memories scare me as a reality I will encounter on my upcoming journey.
My stylist promised to be with me every step of the way. However, I do not think that is enough. I need a support entourage. I reached out on Facebook:
Hi, my name is Ronda. I am a recovering "creamy crack" addict.
My next touch-up was supposed to be mid-September. I expect by the time my new growth comes in that I will be in full withdrawal. I hope the hair vitamins work.