Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why I Decided to Go Natural pt 1

"Another work-day in the salon" I sat fuming. Hostage. But with my head soaking wet and looking busted- I knew I wasn't going anywhere. At least not for another six hours! Was that the start of my natural journey? Not quite, but it was the beginning of the end.

Fast forward to Halloween 2009. I got relaxed without much incident, except that one week later I found out I was pregnant. I told my stylist that I wouldn't be coming in for perms until after the baby. "Oh, it's perfectly fine to keep relaxing," she assured me. But I decided against it for the health of the baby.

Meanwhile my husband enjoyed the new growth coming in. "Why do you bother to relax it in the first place? You'd look good natural." I told him in no uncertain terms that my hair was "nappy". I'd get the relaxer in the hospital if they'd let me, I jokingly thought. Then I saw the movie "Good Hair".

A devisive film- Hair dressers (most I knew) hated it without even watching it because Chris Rock "put our business out in the street!" I couldn't even find a showing of it in my town- I had to drive an hour to watch the documentary in a neighboring city. My mom and I were the only blacks in the theatre. I wondered why. And then I watched it.

The movie (funny- netflix it if you haven't seen it) talked about the dangers of sodium hydroxide, the main ingredient in relaxers. A chemist actually melted a coke can in it. And Chris, that bad boy, even went after our weaves! He showed how the best hair "Indian Hair" actually comes from impoverished women in India who cut off their hair in sacirfice to one of their gods. They do it for free, then the hair is collected and sold for a mint over here in the States.

I thought about my hair dresser assuring me relaxers were safe for my unborn. I thought of sitting on the front pew praising God with hair on my head that had been sacrificed to a god I don't believe in. I thought about all those day long sessions in the beauty salon. And I got mad. I decided at that point to take the advice of my husband and at least see what my natural hair looked like. And I didn't turn back to the "creamy crack".