Hair was never really a problem for me while I was growing up until I was about 12 years old.
I had the biggest afro that my gran took care off. When I reached the age 12, thats when I started high school, starting seeing boys and getting excited about things I shouldnt have been. Unfortunately this affected the way I saw my hair. Natural hair was not attractive back then, it was all about straight hair. I got teased a lot by my peers about my hair and thats when I went home and begged my mom to relax it. With no hesitation, she did just that.
The first relaxer I ever used was Revlon, my mother swore by it. I didnt have bad experiences with relaxers like most people, I dont remember ever having my scalp burnt by the chemicals. I loved my hair straight, it meant I could do any hairstyle that I wanted, braids and weaves with a parting. It was an exciting time for me until I fell pregnant in 2008.
Falling pregnant gave me a whole different perspective on hair. I had two doctors during my pregnancy and both of them advised me against relaxing my hair while carrying a child, so for nine months, I didnt relax and I hated how I looked.
September 2008 I had my child and the following year my childs grandparents came to my family and told me about a Muslim tradition they had that when a Muslim child turns 1, they have to cut their hair and so does the parents. Since we cant argue with tradition, I did the big chop with the hopes of relaxing my hair again. Two months down the line, a little afro grew and for the first time in my 19 years of existence, my father told me I was beautiful. I have never went back since.
In 2013 I was bored with my afro and chopped it again, December 2014, I got bored again and decided to lock it. Ive had dreadlocks for almost a year and I dont see myself ever doing something else.
I have a very good relationship with my mane, I hardly let anyone else touch it. I do my own hair, from locking the dreads, treating them to protecting them with braids and wigs. My mane and I have come a long way and its only the beginning.