July 27, 2010

HAIRstory #1


I say BOTH bc the FLORIDA temp encouraged me to get a perm! In 2004 I was elected as Sophomore Attendant for FAMU. If we rewind a bit, I got my hair cut Thankgiving 2003, hair colored Xmas 2003 and then I was rocking a short bob. I decided to get a perm in April 2004 because of the humid temperature in Florida. After 7 years of having natural hair, I had to change my hair care regimen. Don't get me wrong, my hair was heat damaged for sure, but I was able to do more with my hair than wear it straight.

With permed hair, it was a weekly wash, blow dry and straighten. Then I would have limp made bouncy hair that blew in the wind. Each night I would wrap my hair, on occasion pin curl the front to create more bounce, but more than likely wake up the next morning and curl the crown for the effect. The texture of my permed hair is very similar to type 2, including the silky sheen. With that in mind, any sebum (natural scalp oil) on my hair - I was done and I would have to wash my hair all over again and blow dry and flat iron and curl...tedious. I thought that by perming my hair I would eradicate this process of doing my hair as often! Wrong, I was doing my hair more with a perm than without.

So, I kept the short cut, even kept the perm. In some ways it was easier than my natural hair. It was faster, the process of straightening my hair. It was straight as soon as I washed it! Give me 20 minutes and I was ready! I'm not sure what shampoo I was using or what conditioner, I defintely wasn't using any oils because that weighed my hair down and I'd have to start all over-AGAIN!

But I do know that my hair was missing something. Look into my eyes in the picture. It's almost as if I am asking you, "What do you need me to do?" I'm on a bus in this picture...very true..everything else was in control of my life at this point. Being on the Royal Court is such a demanding job. You don't get the opportunity to enjoy your college experience. It's fun, don't get me wrong, but my sophomore year, shruggin, all I remember is an orange suit, an orange dress, a khaki suit, a crown, a sash, a pair of ugly brown shoes, sitting up straight, waving to the crowd, long bus rides, seclusion, not being able to get my own food, not eating in public, the slurs, the snickers, LET ME STOP LISTING!

Getting a perm was easy! A 20 minute process that left me without a clue of what to do! So I came up with this idea: I'll wash my hair once a week on Sunday and this way I'll have fresh hair for the week. Remember no oils! Just wash, blow dry, flat iron. Slowly but surely I was draining my hair of it's life, my environment was doing the same to me. I wouldn't find the answer to how to take care of my hair and how to take care of me for another 2 1/2 years. 30 months is a long time to travel without a road map. A month of Sundays with no sunshine, just clouds.

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