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Wow, I never thought I'd seriously be thinking about relaxing my hair. I haven't had a relaxer since 1995, maybe even before (can't exactly remember). But since finding the hair boards, I've wanted more from my hair. Also, now that I know better, I can't bring myself to rip and comb through my hair the way I used to. This means that combing my hair takes forever.
Natural hair is supposed to be versatile. That's what I tell people and that's what I believe to be the case for most people. But it simply is not the case for me. I can't seem to wear any hair style at all other than twists without my hair tangling terribly. And to be frank, even wearing twists doesn't mean I'm tangle free. It just takes my 90 - 120 minute detangling sessions down to 60 - 90 minutes. My twists look ugly to me, like snakes wiggling out of a jungle of undergrowth. And they take hours for me to do. They are too short for me to do anything with but let them hang there or maybe put most of them into a pathetic looking ponytail. I'm mad that the one hair style that keeps my detangling at a "mere" 1 to 1 1/2 hours looks ugly on me.
Every time I do my hair I have to have the scissors and I'm cutting cutting cutting out knots. I can do a major cut like I did back at the end of August and a month later my hair will be full of knots again.
I can't really cornrow or flat twist. It takes so long and is so painful. My hair is too nappy for that to be a reasonable option for me to do. I can cornrow or flat twist straight hair, but I can't do it on my type of hair.
I stopped straightening my hair because I hated going to the salon. It hurts and is expensive. It was to make my life easier. But now my life is harder. I am a slave to my hair. And also now I know that relaxed hair can be mostly maintained w/o the salon, too.
Unlike others who found things like swimming easier once they went natural, I didn't. If my hair was relaxed, getting it wet was no problem. It stayed straight. As a natural, I have to put my hair into some kind of mega protective style or it will become a tangled mess. No, natural hair does not make me enjoy walking in the rain. Getting my hair wet is more trouble as a natural than relaxed.
Before the hair boards I really didn't consider myself in some kind of War for Nappiness. And I shouldn't now. It's silly to even factor into my decision that idea that I have to prove something to anybody. Through the hair boards I came to think of my hair as pretty and I'm attached to it looks-wise. But I am sick of it in terms of maintenance. It's so frustrating, because I don't want straight hair, I don't prefer skinny hair (sorry relaxed folks), but I'm tired of spending hours on my hair. I keep thinking of JCoily from LHCF who was natural and relaxed on the day I met her for the L.A. meetup. She later said that the first time she detangled her hair in 5 minutes she felt like someone had given her a Get Out of Jail Free card. I want a Get Out of Jail Free card!
The only thing is that relaxed hair is now so foreign to me. I don't fully remember what it was like. How likely is it that my hair will look good relaxed? How likely is it that it will all break off? Will I really be able to get it to look decent faster than my natural hair (I can't imagine that wouldn't be true)?
I'm in the middle of putting my hair in twists now and feel like going to CVS for a box of ORS olive relaxer. But I won't. I'm going to wear my hair in twists for a month. They look ugly and unpresentable, so I will keep them in a ponytail or under a hat or something. Man, I hate being ashamed of the way my hair looks. Anyway, I will wear nothing but twists for one month and see if it gets any better. I tried something similar in the last quarter of last year, but did wear the twist out some times (my twist outs look good), and I didn't notice much of a difference. But if this all twists all the time thing doesn't make a noticeable difference, it may be the chemicals for me. Makes me sad, but as it is now, it's just ridiculous.