<Hair before 8th Grade straightening began
My life changed when I was 13. My (mixed) cousin moved to Butte, Montana and decided it was time for me to have my hair straightened for the first time. Now, there had been many situations before this where my mother and I attempted to straighten my hair with a curling iron and no product. After these torture sessions, when neither my mother or I could lift our arms, my hair was indeed straight, but I could not walk through a doorway without it brushing the sides. A straight, frizzy mess that stuck out from my head in all directions was not the end goal anyone wanted. So of course, when my cousin told me she could “straighten my hair” this nightmare was what I imagined.
However, her method was different! Her method included two big jars of grease, and when I say grease, I mean GREASE. One type was waxy and white and smelled like coconut, and the other was goopy and black… and didn’t smell good. Three hours later… my hair was smooth and straight. Greasy as hell… but smooth and straight. Everyone complimented me on it at school the next day… until they touched it and asked, “WHAT is this stuff in it?!”…
I have come to the conclusion that my mom loves me. Like REALLY loves me. She spent many years and hundreds of dollars in Montana trying to figure out what in the world to do with the hair I was blessed with. My mom had given me all of my haircuts for the earlier days of my life. I (praise the Lord) never looked bad… well not too bad, there were some bad decisions there. Mom, why did I have bangs? Yeah good question…
When I was six my mom decided it would be nice if I could have my hair cut by a “professional” hair dresser in Butte. Her usual woman was all booked, so she scheduled me with a salon she heard good things about.
Now, Montanans pretty much have one type of hair… straight. It was really cute when they would complain about “How ANNOYING” it was to have to wake up and blow dry their hair every morning to get it perfectly straight. Yeah, that must suck, 10 whole minutes of your life. So we went to the salon, and I was VERY VERY excited. All the other girls that got their hair done at salons had really pretty hair, so I assumed it would be the same for me. False.
We walked into the salon, the hairdresser took one look at me and said, “You know you’re brushing your own hair, right?” Now, at this point in life, I understood how terrible it was to brush my hair. I understood because I insisted on brushing it myself… because if my mom did it, I would scream, probably cry, and get hit with the hairbrush at least ten times for not sitting still. If you have ANY naps on that head of yours, you have probably been hit by your momma with a hairbrush. However, we were paying this woman to cut and style my hair… I’m sure the last customer did not come into a warm and welcoming, “You know you’re brushing your own hair, right?”
Needless to say, my mother did not like that answer. I can’t recall at this time exactly what she said, but we exited the salon shortly after entering. And my mom continued to give me bangs. In case you never noticed, curly hair like this, and bangs… don’t mix.
I guess it’s back to gettin’ beat with the brush #Mixedgirlproblems
I spent most of my life believing that it was only white women who would mess up my hair, and for the most part, this fact is true. From the time I hit middle school (unless it was an emergency) only my mother, mixed cousin, and black hairdressers have messed with these locks. Before then, I had many unsuccessful attempts at either straightening, relaxing, or even styling my hair. One of the worst times was when my loving Auntie (a beautiful black woman) decided it was time for me to have my first perm.
Now, for those of you who think that perm means add curl, in the black hair world, it means chemical straightener.
**I’m going to reccommend to ALL women with curly haired babies, do NOT put relaxers into your child’s hair. The women I know now that have the best hair never used chemicals. For more convincing, watch Chris Rock’s Documentary Good Hair and check out what perms do to raw chicken. Yummy…
Our first focus for Mixed Girl Problems will be HAIR.
Every mixed girl knows why hair is such a dilemma.
So if you have ever had a disastrous hair experience because no one knew how to tame those beautiful curls, turn down the lights, get cozy, and prepare to be understood.
We feel you, girl.