Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Curlitude: Where it all began

My first big chop wasn't that eventful. In 2008, after taking a brief intermission from a movie I was watching with my now husband, I went to my dorm room, washed my hair, grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped off almost all of my hair. Some how, maybe it was intuition, he knew it was going to happen, and wasn't surprised to see my hair six inches shorter when I came back. I rid myself of all my dry, heat damaged, brittle hair, and a weight was lifted.  I was in a new relationship, gaining a better understanding of self, greater relationship with God, and it was time to shed the last few layers that were holding me back.

Unlike many women in the African American community, creamy crack didn't run in my veins.  I faithfully rocked a press n' curl in the winter time and two strands in the summer.  My first experience with chemically straightening hair occurred my senior year of high school. I didn't want to be at the shop every week and I had a long list of events prom, candlelight, ring ceremony, graduation, and the list goes on.  Everybody else had one, so I figured it was time for me to conform. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. 

People say that chemically relaxing your hair "makes yo' hair grow." I don't know by what miracle these 'people' are growing hair, but when arrived back in the D, from my first semester at Lane College my hair was 5 inches shorter and brittle. To those ignorant inexperienced pushers of the creamy crack,  take your chemicals and kick rocks.  Yes you will see more length as your natural hair is "relaxed," however you may loose far more hair due to over-processing, lack of moisture, and improper hair care. Yes all these things can occur with natural hair, but as many in the natural community say, " My hair ain't stressed out."

I felt like I was walking The Green Mile, a life sentence of dead ends, I was saved by a last minute phone call to the executioner, all hope was not lost, there was still life in my hair it just had to be revived.  My addiction was short lived, lasted two years and I've only relapsed once.  I guess I had to go through the bad times with my hair, to appreciate the good ones.  I am now about 10 months post my most recent big chop and I wouldn't change it for the world.  I'm still a little lazy when it comes to my hair, and occasionally go days without my regimen, but I will never go back to the crack.  In the words of the late Whitney Houston, "Crack is whack!" I've changed a lot since I first Big Chop, but I continue to learn who I am daily.

Peace and Love,

Najeema Iman, I AM Curly Locks

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