As recently as two years ago, I was addicted to the creamy crack. Like, I had been addicted since five years old, and I was more than a few decades from my first perm. I figured out how to cope while traveling overseas with a perm — I got a dual voltage flat iron. It’s one of the greatest things I’ve found.
I never thought I would be perm-less. I even wrote a blog post about it and how I would NEVA EVA EVA leave the land of the chemically straightened. However, a year and a half ago my old school beautician pointed out that my hair was thinning, and that my edges were not full and luxurious like Shirleen’s. My beautician suggested that I go longer between perms. Nothing like the thought of permanently losing your hair to motivate you to let those chemicals go!
Long story short, I let the perm go kicking and screaming. Before I knew it, I was celebrating a year without a relaxer. I hardly had a celebrated “hair journey”. It was more like tripping up the path to get my hair to a healthy state.
Anywho, last year I had a trip to Greece planned. There would be a few opportunities to go swimming, and I thought I had better have a plan in case my hair got wet because honestly, I had been “dry swimming” for years. You know, immerse yourself up to your neck but don’t let even a drop hit your hair. I experimented with twists about two months before my trip. I am so glad I did because what went down in Athens just wasn’t fair.
The day I flew out and headed to Greece, my hair was silky straight. My beautician had outdone herself, slinging that hot comb like it was a paint brush. She got my hair ALL THE WAY TOGETHER. However, my silky smoothness lasted not even twelve hours after landing in Greece because I chose to take a walking tour of Athens the day I landed. It rained the entire way through the three hour tour. The. Entire. Time.
Of course I had my umbrella. I’m a Black woman. But my umbrella was no match for the Athenian rain, or Greek humidity. When I got back to the hotel, my hair looked like this.
No, I hadn’t just been released from the hospital for the criminally insane. But yes, I thought I would have to be committed since my panic level skyrocketed from zero to ten instantly.
Luckily for me, before I had left home I put back that extra pair of sandals and instead packed my mousse, rollers, and hair lotion. A sista went to work with her tools and the hotel’s hair dryer. I pranced out of my room forty-five minutes later with a lovely twist out. When I went down to dinner, I felt less Mr. Glass and more myself.
In retrospect, I’m glad I embraced my hair in all of its crunchy, frizzy glory. It’s like I embraced my true self; my natural self. My earlier experiments gave me the opportunity to love the natural state of my hair, and not despair if it was something other than straight. We sistas are dynamic and versatile. Once we embrace our hair in all of its natural glory, we become even more of a force to be reckoned with.
So for those sistas on the fence about what is beautiful when it comes to our hair, what is acceptable at work and in society, and who will only consider straight styles; let this trial lawyer encourage you to embrace your native hair. The twist out just may be your best friend when the creamy crack isn’t enough.