Tuesday, November 11, 2014

What does your hair look like?

It is a strange question to be asked especially by your husband. It is even stranger to be a grown woman that does not know the answer. Sadly that is where I found myself about 4 years ago. My amazing husband and I had recently watched the movie 'Good Hair' and as we were trying to get pregnant at the time, my sweet husband was appalled to see what I was putting on my head. Being Puerto Rican he was completely unfamiliar with black hair care and the scene where the soda can disintegrates in the relaxer threw him(understatement) Now don't get me wrong it threw me as well, but I was deep in my addiction to the "creamy crack". The idea of wearing my hair naturally seemed crazy. I was the girl who loved all things pretty and I had been taught my whole life that my hair was anything but. My first texturizer at around 5 years old was one of the first times that message was communicated. My hair was too coarse, too thick, too unruly, too kinky, too unmanageable, too much! Year after year I absorbed these messages whether verbally directed at me or absorbed through the constant influx of that same message staring back at me in magazine ads for relaxers and television shows where the "pretty black girl" had straight long hair(weave). My hair was not pretty and so it was not worth exploring.  Nothing had shaken me from my addiction, not the chemical burns on my scalp from the hair stylist who spent a little to much time talking(screaming) at her man on the phone and not enough time focusing on the chemicals she was putting on my head. Or the hair loss that came as the result of a relaxer left in too long. Baldness and chemical burns were no match for my conviction that I needed straight hair to be pretty. It took my yet to be born daughter and the gentle encouragement of my husband to give me the courage to let it go.
On my wedding day. Relaxed out and weaved up! Looked good until the track came out on the honeymoon :)

My Family today. Naturally beautiful!

There we were in our bathroom, my husband holding the scissors as I prepared for the"big chop" when my husband asked the question "what does your real hair look like?" I opened my mouth to answer and all that came out was "I don't know, I've never seen it" Well here we are 4 years later and the answer is...it looks AWESOME! I love my hair, it is thick and curly and wild and amazing! Now don't get me wrong those first few months were difficult but through the years I have grown in confidence and gained some natural hair know how. I am so grateful for all of the women in the natural hair community that encouraged me and passed on their wisdom. In particular two amazing women Kesha Barkulis and Samantha Jones, have given me tips, product advice and the ever needed "your hair looks amazing" that  spurred me on during the very beginning when detangling almost took me out! I pray that I can do for others what so many have done for me, encourage, enlighten and inform about the beautiful hair we were born with.