During my entire childhood, I braved the relaxers because I didn't to people labeling my hair with their hurtful words. In our Dominican culture, curls and coils are often labeled as ‘bad' or ‘harsh hair’.
I remember telling my mother that I wanted to stop relaxing my hair like it was yesterday.
She was not really thrilled with this decision and asked me to reconsider my choice. During her teenage years, she started relaxing her mother, sisters and her own hair. As soon as she reached mid-thirties she decided to transition because her hair was losing density. This made it more difficult for me to understand why she did not accept my decision. The rest of my family agreed with her. In our Dominican culture, curly and coiled hair is often labeled as ‘bad' or ‘harsh hair’.
Throughout my entire childhood, I braved the white burning "creamy crack" because I didn't to people labeling my hair with their hurtful words. However, during my teenage years, I started to develop my own opinion and perspective on social matters. Not to forget, I developed values, which encouraged me to accept the naturally me. I knew that changing the perspective of my family would require much effort, but I did not expect it to be this tough and painful.
My family pushed me to return to relaxing.
During family gatherings I often heard “You probably should relax your hair, it does not look pretty!”, “you really should fix your hair!”, “your hair looks really bad” and “your hair is not healthy, it is extremely dry and the breakage is clearly visible”. At some point, my mother bought a relaxer, which I refused to apply on my hair. Each time I received the suggestion to relax my hair or the comment that my natural hair will not be pretty I felt strongly demotivated.
I decided to teach myself to process opinions of others. Thus, I stopped sticking my hair in a bun and wore my curls down, whatever the circumstances.
Consequently, I felt going through a downward spiral. I decided to teach myself to process opinions of others. This would contribute to my inner peace and self-confidence. I learned that, in order to change someone’s mind, I had to show them while standing my ground. Thus, I stopped sticking my hair in a bun and wore my curls down, whatever the circumstances. At some point I dared to say: “I do not care about your opinion, I care about my happiness”.
In 2014, my mother started purchasing curly hair care products for me!
Around summer 2015 I joked that I would apply a texturizer on my hair and she answered that she would not recommend me doing so. “Your hair is pretty,” she said. My grandparents started admiring the curls and during gatherings often share their positive thoughts about my hair. I do not hear the words ‘bad hair’ anymore.
What was your transitioning journey back to natural like?
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