A few weeks ago actually, was the first time I got my BIG CHOP as I've learned it's called in natural hair communities :D I finally said, "Fuck it I'm going to college and I'm not going to be able to afford this perm shit much longer."
In truth I'd had my last perm earlier in the year. I'd been fed up with perms for quite some time for several reasons, some of which being: they never had the desired effect...ever. EVER. My hair is far too thick & apparently too kinky for even the Super Strength No Lye Organic Olive Oil and Mayonnaise Kiddie Perm regular shit so that, at best, a salon perm--$60 and 12 hours later--would last me...a week.
In addition to this, I could never get a perm without BURNING. THE. FUCK. OUT. MY. SCALP. I would have hair sores FOREVER after one perm, all the flaking, lacerated skin and blood just clumping out in the tub. My hair was so dry and damaged, and I never did anything like weaves or wigs to cover it up so everyone could SEE how awful it looked. Obviously this was because I wasn't getting regular perms, not...the perms fucking my hair up.
This was unhealthy, I knew. No one ever FORCED me to get a perm but I felt subtly pressured into it. My hair would get itchy and thick and a nice relaxer would be the only thing to fix it despite the pain I went through to make it stop for, about a week or so. My hair was too thick to manage so I needed to tame it down. I'm sure using cheap ass dye to make it look ~interesting~ wasn't helping.
Finally though, after doing some research for a while, after my birthday I just decided I would give this up. In the end it turned out to be a really good choice! We went down to Supercuts and I came out with a TWA :D
Since then I've learned a lot about myself and my hair. I've learned how to take care of it, learned what to do and not to do, learned that it actually grows pretty quickly and, obviously really...thickly. When I picked my hair out the first time and it sucked the air out the room we were all like "Whoa" Keanu Reeves style.
I've come to love and appreciate my natural hair and it's helped in the process of Not Hating Myself anymore. Recently I've gotten back into dying it, going so far as to bleach it now because frankly--I no longer have chemicals in my hair, so damnit I can. Surprisingly my hair doesn't come out in clumps and the dye doesn't dry it out all to hell, then again I use pretty strong semi-permanent dye with few harmful chemicals.
I remember after I got my hair cut off I suddenly had a lot of rage. I HATED perms & relaxers dude. HATE. I raged (not out loud, but in a way) at black women who still got perms--why are you so ashamed of your natural hair, yourself? because I was so pissed at what I had to go through and what it had done to me, and in the end you realize, "WHO the fuck am I doing this for, it sure as hell isn't myself."
Since then I've calmed down a great deal, I still hate the idea behind the perm but I realize I can't hate the people that still choose to get them because that's counterproductive and otherwise not helping.
So to celebrate this year, here are pics of me once again! This first pic is what my hair looked like around this time a couple of years ago--cropped for painting in the background because you don't need to see my skillz. And yes, my hair was permed in this photo...and still looking mad fucked yo.
Never mind the camera quality in these pics btw. That sweater is...really huge on me, not that I was incredibly skinny then but wow that is not flattering. I actually wonder where that sweater is and if it'll fit the same because I really liked it.
Uh...anyway, here's a recent one I took a few minutes ago in my dinky little bathroom.
It's fading and my roots are coming back...what a weird combination. It's also a little longer & curlier than it looks, I've not done anything with it yet so we're not looking too fresh. See here: