When I made the decision to get blonde bundles in February, I decided to talk to my family about it first. Just as I expected, my mom, dad and my brother didn’t approve.
Mom: “I mean… maybe if it’s short it won’t look that bad.”
Dad: “You know I prefer natural.”
My brother: “I don’t get why black women are always trying to get colored hair. You know a different kind of guys are going to start approaching you if you get that.”
I told my family I was giving them a heads up, but I was going to do what I wanted regardless of their opinion. They begin to express that they didn’t understand why I felt the “need” to get blonde extensions. I simply responded by saying that it wasn’t a “need” it was a “want”. Yes, there is nothing wrong with my natural hair, but I LOVE the fact that I can switch it up and do something different at anytime. However, my family doesn’t understand and they never really have.
When I started high school, I started to get extensions and braids and my dad never liked it. He always preferred I have a more “natural” look, but he didn’t understand the pressure I felt when everyone around me was rocking braids and weaves. I felt super immature rocking my short bob and wanted to fit in with the black girls around me.
Even when I started to wear braids and weaves I still didn’t fit in. I was working at KFC and could only afford 8 and 10 inch hair (shout out to Milky Way and Bobbi Boss!) and all the other girls had long 14 and 16 inch hair. When it came to my braids, I couldn’t afford to pay anyone to do them, so I did them myself and they looked a mess. By the time I got to senior year of high school my hair was SO damaged from having weaves glued in and me flat ironing my leave out every single day that my stylist suggested I do the big chop. Once I agreed, she cut off most of my hair, permed it and I rocked a short cut for about three years.
By the time I hit junior year of college I was losing hair once again, because of me being inconsistent with my perms. Therefore, I decided to go back to weaves and eventually started to wear wigs. Luckily my girl Ladonna would do my hair, because I wouldn’t of been able to afford it otherwise.
My fourth year of college I started to become more of a bold and confident person. I transitioned from awkward Michaela to Michaela who wanted to try new things and take risks. Therefore, instead of the 1B I would constantly get, I decided to start rocking hair that was ombre, burgundy and eventually platinum blonde. Everytime I came home to visit my family, I could tell my mom and dad hated my hair by the way they looked at me. It was a little discouraging. I would be happy to try a new color and switch it up and they would just call it “ghetto” and ask why I couldn’t just stick to black. Regardless of their discouragement, I continued to do what I wanted.
January of 2018 was when I decided to go all natural. I vowed to never get a perm again and I asked my sis Imani to help me style my natural hair. I was extremely nervous, because I NEVER knew how to tame my hair. My hair is so nappy and unmanageable and to be honest my mom had me convinced that I NEEDED a perm to be beautiful.
I am about a year and a half into my natural hair journey and it has been HARD. I have to use the LOC method, because my hair is too kinky to do a wash and go. Even after trying different products people have suggested, my hair has not gotten trained or tamed. It got so frustrating that I gave up trying to rock my natural hair and have been wearing protective styles. Every time I try to style my natural hair, my mom finds the need to ask “why don’t you just get a perm?” She doesn’t understand how damaging perms are and why I’d want to wear my hair so untamed. It irritates me that she and so many other people feel like natural hair isn’t beautiful. The last time I went to my stylist *Loni, who had been perming my hair in middle school and some of high school she looked at my hair and said “Whew, why’d I get the difficult head? Have you considered getting another perm?” How do you think that made me feel?
Regardless of people’s opinions, comments and my personal frustration, I have not permed my hair and I am proud of myself. Although I still need to figure out how to tame my hair, I will always like that I can switch it up at anytime. If you have any suggestions for coarse and kinky hair like mine, or if you have any stories about your hair journey make sure you leave it in the comments! 🙂