Today, I had my first mental hair breakdown since childhood..
I am sure that I am not the only one who did this as I child. I cried, sometimes threw a fit, when I didn’t get the hairstyle I hoped for. At the age of twelve, I became overly sensitive about my hair and its styles. My hair had just grown back after mysteriously falling out about a year prior. I had a huge Afro, had just moved to a new, small town in Mississippi, and my mom did not want any harsh chemicals in my hair. After telling my mom about being bullied at my new school because of my Afro, my mom decided to allow a local beautician to press my hair.
I felt so pretty with my hair being straightened out! But of course humidity, being the hater that it is, stole my joy. So I put my fingers in my head, I tried to fix it and make it silky straight again. I put random products in my hair and it quickly reverted to its Afro form. I cried. I cried for the remainder of the evening into the night.
I hated my hair and my hair texture (I am a 4A/4B). My curls were so tight that they were the definition of nappy. Oh, and being a middle schooler in a new town did not help. I was teased to no end about my fro. That experience scarred me for the remainder of my teenage years.
At twelve years old, I begged my mom for a relaxer and she finally gave in. I proudly wore my chemically relaxed hair. Throughout the remainder of my teenage years I switched my hairstyles from super short pixie cuts to Mohawks. I became null to the idea of cutting my hair and changing my hairstyles. Because of my experience, hair was just that to me. Nothing more nothing less. In 2015, I decided to forego relaxers as I attempted to grow my hair long and healthy. I honestly don’t think I was ready for what was to come.
A year ago this month I took the big step. I did the big chop! I felt so liberated! But, I quickly developed that love/hate relationship with my hair texture, again. I panicked and dyed my hair a dirty blonde hoping I would fall in love with my TWA. I tried many curl defining products, I’ve had many failed twist outs, and nothing has truly pleased me. Although I could not style my hair, I was impressed with my hair growth! After a year of growth I thought, about a week ago, maybe I should straighten my hair and get rid of those colored ends. Those colored ends were damaged and they were not helping my hair in any way. I hoped that getting those damaged ends off would help my hair curl and style better.
I ended up cutting 2-3 inches of my damaged hair. I went from shoulder length hair to the nape of my neck. No, my curl pattern did not change, but it did make my hair softer and a little more manageable. I wasn’t too affected by this trim until today!
I struggled for two hours to get my hair into a style that I remotely liked. I ended up having a complete meltdown. I reverted to that twelve year old staring at herself in the mirror, crying. My hair is in, what I call, the stupid stage of growth. It’s not very long yet it’s not that short either. As you could imagine, I hate wearing Afros but any other hair style I pursued today made me look like a child.
I sat there frustrated for almost two hours fidgeting with my hair while tears simultaneously streamed down my face. Today, was a terrible hair day for me. My hair, its texture, its length, it broke me today. Although I felt as if my world was ending (yes I’m drama), my boyfriend attempted to help me style my hair by picking my tight curls. He also rubbed my shoulders and repeatedly told me me how beautiful I am.
I finally slapped some twists in the front of my hair and allowed the remainder of my hair to be fro’d out. I don’t know if my boyfriend was being nice or what but he said that he loved my hair in this particular style.
After my hair meltdown, and after eating, I realized that I could not allow that to happen to myself again. I am stronger than that! My hair is the exact texture it should be. It will grow! It is beautiful throughout every stage! It may not be what I’m comfortable with, but it’s my hair! I have no choice but to own it and continue learning techniques to manage it.
I know I am not the only one struggling to love my tight curls. And that is my reason for sharing my day. If you’re having a bad hair day, take a breath and remember that you are beautiful! That hair doesn’t make you, you make the hair. No matter what stage of growth your hair is in own it, girl!
Although, it sure does help when your hair is being compliant..