The Struggle to Transition

TheRealHerTheRealHer Registered Users Posts: 5
Hey everyone, I'm new here but have been contemplating on making an account for months seeing as I am on this site almost every day. I'm 16 years old and wanted to share my story with anyone who cares to read.

I have MBL relaxed hair but last year I decided to go natural (as you can see, I had to go back to relaxing. Not my choice). When I went natural, I found that I had thick, course, 4a coils. I loved them so much and would find myself in the mirror always examining my new growth. My friend was also going natural at the time and recently BC'd and her hair is gorgeous. When we were transitioning, our new growth looked almost exactly the same and we couldn't wait to BC at the same time and be fully natural together.

My parents, however, were not on board with my decision. They seem to pride themselves on my long, relaxed hair. They would tell me how nappy it was and how I needed a perm and how I look better with a relaxer and all sorts of self-esteem lowering stuff like that. However, I kept going with the transition. My guess as to why they were so against it is because when they were younger, natural hair was a sign of low class and wasnt the norm back then. Anyways, when I was about 3 months into my transition, I got my hair flat ironed by my other friend's mom and she raved about my new growth and told me how beautiful and thick it was. I felt good. But in my 5th month of transitioning, I got it pressed again but this time at a salon, the one I'd been going to for years. They hadn't seen me since my last perm 5 months ago. When I walked in, I was immediately judged even by the lady who specialized in natural hair.

The lady I went to for relaxers said, "Why do you wanna go natural? Your hair is too thick for all that." And I told her its better for my hair, I'm tired of chemicals, I love the texture, and if I was born with it, why can't I wear it? She sent me over to the lady who dealt with natural hair and as soon as I sat in her chair, I knew she was doing something wrong. She yanked through my new growth (and I had A LOT) with a fine toothed comb. After she got tired of that, she too then asked me "Why do you wanna go natural?" I told her the same things and she didnt respond. When she couldn't comb through DRY hair with a FINE toothed comb (obviously) she took me to the wash bowl to make it easier. As she continued to yank through my hair with a brush, she then said "Your hair wasnt meant to be natural. Stick to perms." Now, that makes no sense. God wouldn't have given me my hair if it was meant not to be the way it is. Feeling embarrassed and humiliated (also because the salon ladies were talking about me in front of my face), I almost started to cry. I then told her out of sheer embarrassment, "Then just cut it off! Or just give me a relaxer!" After she finished my hair, she pointed out the breakage she had caused and told me to stay with relaxers. A week after that, my mom made me get a perm.

Now every time I go back for a dreaded relaxer, they always ask me "See? Aren't you glad you have a perm?" And when I shake my head no, they just roll their eyes. As I said I'm at MBL but I HATE relaxers and love feeling my new growth as it comes in. I hate having to straighten my natural curls and coils. I plan to cut my relaxed hair short after I graduate and transition from then and rock a TWA til it grows out. I feel as though I will have some self-esteem issues though seeing as though my parents hate it and my sister is the only one who supports me in my quest for natural hair. I just wanted to know what all of you thought about my story and how I can not feel self-conscious around my parents when I cut my hair off.

Thanks for listening.

Comments

  • RioBirdRioBird Registered Users Posts: 2
    Hey just wanted to give you a quick message to say if you want to go natural do it! Your taste is different than your parents. This is something you will have to accept but do not let it bother you. They base their taste on what was desirable/ acceptable when they were in their formative years.
    Many people want us to do this or that with their hair but its OUR HAIR! As long as it is well taken care of , neat and clean then YOU have to decide what you want.
    Lots of people want me to keep my highlights but I love my medium brown hair and I am letting it grow out. Its shiny, beautiful and perfect for my skin tone. The way I look at it is - if I don't like my "natural" I can always go back. So could you. You can always relax again after you grow out your natural if you decided you don't like it. Well take care and I hope it gets better for you :)
  • naturallianaturallia Registered Users Posts: 3
    Your story really touches my heart. I was 17 when I decided to go against my family's wishes (not regarding my hair, but another issue). And now 4 years later, I'm so glad I did. At the end of the day, you are the one that has to live with your decisions so you are the only person you need to satisfy. I'm definitely not encouraging you to disobey your parents. But on the scale of life, hair is such a small issue. Deciding what to do with the hair on YOUR head should be a decision you make on your own at age 16, especially since going natural is completely beneficial to your hair health. Your parents will one day learn to deal. Your self-esteem grows when you learn to be proud of the choices you make. Remember: you made the decision to go natural to please yourself. So why should it matter what anyone else thinks or says? Wear your transitioning hair (or natural afro) with attitude and confidence! Stay far far away from the relaxers and the flat irons. Direct heat puts a huge strain on our hair. i'm learning that the hard way *sigh*
    I wish you the best of luck!
  • TheRealHerTheRealHer Registered Users Posts: 5
    Thank you for the encouraging words. They mean a lot and I realize how right you are. It's just hard for me to hear the teasing from my parents about my hair.
  • naturallianaturallia Registered Users Posts: 3
    I still get teased on the regular by my closest friends and mom about everything! it never ends. people will always have something to say. you just learn to ignore it after awhile.
  • jellyyjellyy Registered Users Posts: 11
    Hey, really sorry to hear that your family aren't very supportive of your curly hair! I definitely think you should do what makes you happy, besides we're here to support you anyways :) baby steps!
  • OnestepatatimeOnestepatatime Registered Users Posts: 2
    I have such a similar story as yours. Last year I tried to transition and I got the same feedback you got. My parents pretty much disowned me and said I can not be in the house with my hair looking "nappy." I had to get a perm and I was not happy about it. I am now 17 and I am transitioning again. I will be graduating high school and going to college so I told my parents get use to it because when I go away I am cutting it all off. This time around they understood, mostly because they didn't have a choice. They agreed but I have to wear protective styles to make it easier for them. I am now rocking some Senegalese twist and am happy with my new growths coming in. Trust me it gets easier.

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