Monday, August 3, 2009

My Reflection

Monday, August 3, 2009

Today’s date is not that important. But today is. I’m just walking down memory lane as I look back to this time last year when I was beyond frustrated with my hair. I’ll go into a few more details on why I chose this journey. To begin, the area of the state that I was in required an hour drive to find anyone that was able to relax my hair. That wasn’t really an issue since I have a car. But, my problem wasn’t once but twice when I made that drive to only be disappointed. The first time I had an early morning appointment that the stylist was not only late for, but she wasn’t even finished with my hair and it was going on 4 in the afternoon! So I ended up leaving with my hair undone and she didn’t get paid either. The second time (sigh) this happened consecutively, I made an appointment and she didn’t even have the product to provide a relaxer service. So......

At this point I looked in the mirror. Hurt by the fact that I can no longer get my hair relaxed without making that long journey home (3 hours)  I began to just wait it out. After all, I’m not incompetent when it comes to styling. So for the next 3 months, I just braided the sides of my hair, wore buns, blow dried my out straight, flat ironed, curled, and anything in between.

I remembered one morning during this time period that I looked in the mirror and began to cry. The reason? The reflection that I saw wasn’t of me. I bombarded myself with questions of why was I going through this frustration with my hair? What do I REALLY look like? This was the part that hurt the most. I had NO clue what my natural hair texture looked or felt like since we haven’t met since my childhood. Mentally I made a decision then and there that I was not going to continue to get my hair straightened because I was ASHAMED. To not know what I really look like? LaToya are you serious? Yes, part of me was missing. I never shared my experience or thoughts with anyone during that time because it is a VERY personal experience. I’m sharing now because it is what I was going through at that particular time. 

Then I decided to do some research. YouTube, fotki, any and everywhere I could find pictures, listen to someone else’s experience, information on hair products, and the list continues.  I frequent Atlanta and was able to go to Urbanbella in Buckhead. The ladies there were very friendly and helpful with helping me select products for my hair. I purchased a few items, but I was AMAZED at the beauty in each crown of these beautiful ladies!! Wow, is this what I have to look forward to? I certainly hope so!

November was the last month of my frustration. I say this because as you should be already aware is that natural & relaxed hair do NOT get along at all. So, I was experiencing a lot of breakage. It also didn’t help that I was using a lot of heat to try to keep it straightened. So on November 21, 2008, I quietly snuck into the chair of an barber and asked him to cut all of my hair. No tears, no sadness, nothing.

I looked in the mirror afterwards and stared. No, my cut is fine. I’m fine. I’m looking at myself because I cannot believe that this is ME. I don’t have much hair but I love the little bit of hair that I do have. I had So many thoughts going through my mind that I cannot even explain.

I get back home, lay down to relax, and think. No more worries about my hair. I purchased headbands. For what? No clue because I didn’t have enough hair to push back. But  I’m at ease because I shampoo my hair almost everyday. No worries about how to style it. Air dry. What blow dryer? Nope. Simple. Showers are a lot more fun! Rain showers too!

Too bad you all couldn’t see the looks on my all of my co-workers face! I wish I had a camera to capture that moment because when I went it to work the entire place FROZE literally because everyone was so shocked, all over my haircut. 

 I’m saying all of this because August 10, 2008 was my last relaxer. So it’s almost a year. Just thought I’d take a walk down memory lane. 

Now when I look in the mirror, the reflection I see, I smile, because I know it’s of ME!!!!!