During my childhood, I remember what many of us call "the hot comb". I sat in a chair next to the stove, and my mom would turn the burner to "high", place the comb on top, and let it sit until it was smoking. What commenced shortly thereafter was a number of burns in various locations (ear, forehead, nape, etc.) and greasy, thin, straight hair. Afterwards, she would do a braid-style and let me wear that for awhile...and then the process repeated itself.
There was no talk of wrapping, protective-styling, healthy hair-care. Nothing. Soonafter (I guess I was around 6 or 7), I received my first relaxer. (No pics for this either, sorry! Let's fast forward to high school! (YAY! Pics)
Senior in High School Spring 2005
My hair....grew. It was probably around shoulder-length. But I did nothing...and I do mean...NOTHING to it. Either down or pull it up into a ponytail. Oh, and btw, I flat-ironed it every. single. day. Hey, nothing wrong with that! Right? WRONG.
In the beginning, I began to notice that my hair wasn't growing past this certain length. It wasn't just not growing, it was shedding horribly in the back and I saw huge amounts of breakage. Never once did I attribute it to the relaxers. Everyone got them, why was this happening to me? I figured it was just something I was doing wrong. Combing too much? Wearing turtlenecks? Playing in it? Climate? On and on. Eventually, I got fed up and decided to chop it off.
So I cut about 2-4 inches off until it resulted in this:
This is my lil man, Xavier. He was 6 months old here. May 2007 - Greasy!
After this cut, my.hair.would.not.grow.at.all. Everytime I would comb it, I was shed like crazy. Please remember that in all of this, I was still flat-ironing everyday. Manipulating everyday. Getting relaxers ever 4 weeks. Shall I go on?
So, of course, I chopped it again. I knew this time would be gold. Right? Here are the results:
October 2008 - Once cut, I went back to the same bad habits - not realizing that they were doing the damage! SMH!
March 2009 - Same Routine - Not really caring for my hair. No shape, no body, no thickness...UGH!
October 2009 - I'M FED UP (Even though I don't look like it...lol)
Want to know the rest of my story? Well, stay tuned for Part II!!!!