I have to say thanks for your story. I know what it is to have a hate relationship with your hair.

I got a relaxer at an early age. I have weird hair, fine strands, medium-thick density, very kinky (4b...z-shaped hair strands and 4c...teeny tiny o shaped coils). My mom became frustrated with the cottony texture of my hair and that it would tangle as soon as it was combed (my sister, although she had the same curl pattern, had hair easier to comb. Maybe it was other properties of the hair; she has medium and coarse strands for example), so when I was five or six, she relaxed it. Unfortunately, my hair did not take well to relaxers. My hair was kinky so that leaving in the chemical for only a short period would not straighten, but the strands were fine so the relaxer caused a lot of my hair to fall out. I grew up ashamed of paper thin, stringy, not-quite-straight hair that never grew past the nape of my neck.

I wore braid extensions a lot to cover up the damage. But I was tender headed and hated getting my hair done. When I was fifteen, I noticed that my mom's hair was growing nicely due to her Wave Nouveau (sort of a modern day Jheri curl), so I asked for one. I had it for maybe three years. My hair grew at first, but at the end of my senior year my mother went against the stylist's instructions and flat ironed/blow dried my hair. Within.the next two weeks my hair started falling out. I had to get a haircut.

About a year later, I got my last relaxer when a friend offered to do it for me. By then most of my hair was natural. My friend was so appalled by my natural hair that she left it in for longer than the longest time listed on the instructions! Of course what little hair I had fell out!

I decided to go natural and started transitioning out of the relaxer. At first, I was zealous about the natural hair for the sake of being natural. But my perspective has changed over the past three years. I went natural because it was more "pure" and because the style options seemed cool to me, but I remain natural because I know my hair and scalp like it. My hair is back to its thick, gravity-defying self and I actually like it that way. It retains length well (though I recently cut it and would like to go shorter). It's just easier for me.

Sent from my ADR6400L using CurlTalk App
last relaxer 08/08/09
all natural since 7/30/10

Shrinkage happens.