Curly Hair is Like a Box of Chocolates, You Never Know What You’re Going to Get

I was only five and had no idea of what was happening. Since my mother was completely clueless of how to do hair, she left my luscious tresses in the hands of our beautician. Little did I know… she stripped my hair of its virginity! It wasn’t until I turned 10 and my new stylist realized that my hair had been processed. We discovered that virgin stealing beautician was using some type of “perm in a jar” product to make my hair easier to press. We all agreed that braids would be the healthiest thing to revive life back into my long but unhealthy hair.

For 10 years, I lived the natural life. My hair, goals, and life were flourishing. My sophomore year of college, I got the creamy crack itch to perm my hair. After two relaxers, I instantly regretted my decision.  My hair broke off severely! I ended up cutting off all of the damaged hair and rocked my natural hair in twist. The following year I “learned” about texture softeners and “thought” it was a safer option. Man, was I wrong! I ended up cutting my hair AGAIN and decided to try sew-ins as a protective style.  I would always purchase curly hair so that my leave out required little to no heat.

In 2013 I moved to DC and discovered sew-ins with straight hair (cues Living My Best Life *in high key Oprah octave*). No more rolling, and trying to blend my 4c hair with 3a weave. I was in heaven! Not to mention my hair eventually became heat trained. In my mind, I knew “this finna be a breeze” (Hahadavis voice). Y’all, I played myself again! My sew-ins were so tight, that I would develop scabs and would even see the white follicles of my edges being pulled from my scalp. As I ignored the warning signs of thinning edges, I would lie to myself by saying things like “well they aren’t that thin” to justify my convenient “protective styles.” I later transitioned to wigs as a better alternative of “protective styles”.

I was simply tired and weary of everything! Do you know the character Sanaa Lathan plays in “Nappily Ever After”? Yeah, that was totally me! In the midst of my hair drama, life was still happening. Homesick and tired of existing on the east coast, I decided to move home. With a  little more free time on my hands, I decided to make healthy hair a priority. That’s when I realized I had developed traction alopecia from years of tight braids and had sew-ins. Once my edges received a diagnosis, a lightbulb went off, grow locs! I call them locs because they aren’t dreadful ☺.

My main concern was that I didn’t want to look crazy or “un-kept” in between re-twist. My close family and friends re-assured me of my decision. On August 7, 2018, I JUMPED. For the first time in a long time, I finally felt free. No more spending hours getting ready, no more buying expensive hair products, and most importantly, no more hair to hide behind. The braids, wigs, and weaves were cool (you might catch me in a wig one day) but the real Candace was hiding underneath it all.

I’ve invested thousands of dollars in trying to be this perfect beautiful woman externally when true beauty comes from within. I’ve come to realize that I have a pretty awesome smile, beautiful eyes, and a dope vibe to match.  My outlook on life has completely changed. This new-found freedom gave me my money, life, and time back to be active in my community. Loc’ing my hair was one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.

Peace and blessings!

Comment Below: What are you willing to give up in order to live your best life?